The most consistent complaint I’ve heard over the years from neighborhoods is about barking dogs.
Dog poop is a close second.
But barking dogs top the list. My Sept. 26 column is about barking dogs and one neighbor’s reaction to it. In this case, the dog owners are deaf and didn’t realize the frustration it caused neighbors.
It’s also a lesson about how to deal with barking dogs. The fellow most upset by the barking, Rainer Steinbauer, never approached the dog owners about his issue. He didn’t even know their names. I suggested a knock on their door might have solved the problem before it escalated into hurt feelings all around.
But I also wanted to raise awareness to the issue.
Did you know it is illegal to allow chronic barking in Colorado Springs and in El Paso County?
Folks with dogs often say “dogs are going to bark” as if there’s nothing they can do about it. They typically describe complainers at hyper-sensitive.
Victims often get very frustrated. Some of the nastiest neighborhood feuds I’ve seen over the years center on barking dogs.
In fact, the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region gets upwards of 2,000 complaint calls a year about barking dogs.
Experts have all sorts of advice to stop the barking. Some attribute chronic barking to boredom. They say the cure is more human interaction, toys or a companion dog.
The marketplace also offers anti-barking devices that sense barking and emit an ultrasonic noise in response. Dogs hate the noise and the theory is that they will associate barking with pain and stop.
A few recommend “debarking” surgery to remove a dog’s vocal cords. The Humane Society and other experts, however, denounce the surgery because it robs the animal of its voice.
But it’s best not to ignore a barking dog complaint. They can lead to summons, covenant violations, lawsuits and even violence.
Informal complaints will bring the Humane Society to your door. Formal complaints will initiate deeper agency involvement.
A victim who has witnesses and videotape of a chronic barking dog can land you in court.