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Home Civic Affairs Santa Ana’s dog barking ordinance needs to be revised
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Santa Ana’s dog barking ordinance needs to be revised


Squirrel attacks dog

Sometimes the squirrels fight back!

My dog really hates squirrels!  And this year we have had a lot of them in our neighborhood.

Today we received a letter from anonymous neighbor threatening to call the police because my dog barks.

How ridiculous.  My dog sleeps in the house at night.  He barks during the day, but usually only for about five minutes at a time.  When he sees a squirrel or when the other neighbor’s dogs are out.

I reviewed the City of Santa Ana’s dog barking ordinance and sure enough it does not the time of day or the duration of a dog barking.  Here is the letter I sent to the City Council Members asking them to review and revise their dog barking ordinance:

Honorable Members of the Santa Ana City Council,

I recently received, in the mail, an anonymous threat from a neighbor who is upset because my dog barks.

For the record, my dog sleeps in the house at night.  During the day he has a doggie door so he can do his business in the backyard.

Lately we have had a lot of tree squirrels in the area.  Needless to say, the squirrels drive my dog nuts.

My dog is licensed, and we put him through dog training.  He is a Jack Russell/Weenie Dog mix.  He is quite small but rather hyper.

Does he bark during the day? Sure, but certainly not constantly.  He spends most of the time in the house.

I reviewed the city ordinance and found that it is far too vague.  Here it is:

Sec. 5-59.  Noisy animals.

It is hereby declared to be a nuisance for any person to keep, maintain or permit on any lot, parcel of land, or premises under his/her control any dog or other animal within the city limits which is in the habit of either disturbing the peace and quiet of any person within the city or interfering with any person in the reasonable and comfortable enjoyment of life or property.

(Ord. No. NS-1020, § 1, 7-6-70; Ord. No. NS-2134, § 21, 7-1-91)

Note that this ordinance does NOT mention the time of day.  I think if a dog barks on occasion during the day that should be expected.  It would be far more troublesome of the dog was barking at night, when folks are trying to sleep.

My dog also barks when my neighbors let their dogs out.  The dogs all bark at each other.  Again, that is typical of dogs.

I would request that you revisit this ordinance and consider defining it further.  Some people are just grouches and are going to complain no matter what anyone else does.  Others just hate dogs.  They should not, in this case, be able to file ridiculous complaints with the city.  If a dog barks occasionally during the day, that should be expected.  Barking inordinately at night, on the other hand, truly would be a disturbance of the peace.

I would also ask that you consider mentioning how long a dog should bark before it becomes a nuisance.  I would say that more than 30 minutes of continuous barking would indeed be problematic.  My dog never barks for that long.

Finally, our police department is already undermanned.  If they have to spend precious hours investigating bogus dog barking complaints that will only hurt crime fighting in our city.

Thank you for the consideration.

Sincerely,

Art Pedroza


 
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9 Comments  comments 

9 Responses

  1. RS

    Oh, please. Your dog barks, and YOU’RE the one complaining? Just because you own a dog doesn’t mean the rest of us want to listen to it.

  2. Anonymous

    I think if a dog barks on occasion during the day that should be expected.”

    Really? What if you were the one working out of your house and dog’s barking on occasion disrupted everything you’re doing?

  3. Anonymous2

    I agree, 5 minutes is not that bad, if it was longer or more frequent, yes.

    @Anonymous:
    It was just 5 minutes she/he was talking about and not frequently. And it’s not like you’re going get disrupted from your “yard work” because of minor dog barking. It’s not like you’re doing brain surgery and if you’re doing things such as building, hammering is going be louder than a dog bark.

    @RS:
    ^^ I feel the same way, just about you.

  4. Anonymous

    They have this law in place for a reason
    your quality of life should not be damaged because of any person or animal.
    i have a dog and dogs can be taught not to bark excessively.

  5. Anonymous

    Art is a squirrel, if he thinks its Ok for his dog to bark
    for some dogs it might be birds, cars, squirrles ect. Excessive barking is a nuisance

  6. Karina

    It’s a DOG people!!.. Animals can’t be tamed and they bark for good reasons and for protection. I really think people that complaint about a dog barking are ignorant and are just trying to pick fights. Remember for all dog owners they are family not just DOGS!!! So get over it and stop complaining!!

    • Yes

      Karina, I live next door to one of those occasional barking dogs? How the heck does he know if he’s not there when and how long his dog barks? A barking dog is just that, a barking dog! Family be damned, if it were a screaming kid or a yelling adult for any length of time, I would call the authorities as well. Just because you think of your pet as family does not mean you have the right to disturb the peace nor does it mean I have to put up with it. I have a dog next door that barks at ever sound made. I can hear him barking on the other side of the yard, and if he hears me in the bathroom, he’s barking. And the sound, well let’s just say, he might as well be in my house. So yes, I will continue to complain. I am not ignorant because I cannot deal with impetulant barking dogs but I do think your statement of those who value their peace was indeed and ignorant statement! Please, keep your dog quiet!!

  7. jk

    My neighbors have 3 stupid little annoying dogs that bark for long periods of time. Both my bedroom window and my daughters bedroom window are on the side of our house, and our neighbors happen to let their dogs out just on the other side of the fence from where our windows are located VERY early in the morning. The dogs not only are out there barking forever for no reason, they charge people as they are walking by on the sidewalk if they happen to be out. The owner thinks its hilarious and cute that they do that. He does nothing but stand by and watch as his little pesty dogs do this, and says if people dont like it dont walk down our street. I believe that is hugely an ignorant obnoxious way of thinking. Thats what gets you your house egged or toilet papered, people like that are problematic for everyone. We also have a dog, but he doesnt bark at anything when hes outside doing his business. I think he even thinks those dogs are annoying. I also disagree that people complaining about dogs barking being annoying are not grouches or trying to pick fights whatsoever, its just simply obnoxious and completely annoying. Also, I should mention that my neighbors are my parents and in no way does that take away from how much it pisses me off that they cant control their dumb little barking dogs and non-caring attitude about how much it bothers people. They just received a citation about their barking dogs. As many times as I have threatened to call on them, it wasnt me, really. So, apparently we are not the only people their dogs are pissing off, so thank you to whoever it was. We havent heard those stupid things outside barking since then, its been the best 3 days of all our 10 years residing here.

  8. K

    An occasional bark is not a problem. My neighbor has two pit bulls who are left outside and they bark 24 hours a day!!! They bark at trucks, they bark at the mailman, they bark in the morning, they bark at night, they bark at squirrels, they bark at birds, they bark at EVERYTHING and they bark at NOTHING!!! I am going NUTS!!! I work online from my home and I can’t concentrate, make phone calls or hear myself THINK!!! I can’t sleep at night, take a nap during the day or enjoy a television show without the constant, nonstop BARKING!!! They are totally oblivious and they tell me that I must be a “dog hater”. Both of my adorable QUIET little doggies would beg to differ. I pay attention to my boys, correct them when they are wrong and would NEVER allow them to disturb others. What the HELL is wrong with people who neglect their dogs and allow them to be a nuisance to their neighbors??? To the person that said “Dogs bark, get used to it” FUCK YOU!!!! My dogs don’t bark and they don’t annoy my neighbors. Dogs bark because their lazy ass owners can’t be bothered to train them not to. And Karina, animals CAN be tamed. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years you moron. I trained my dogs, my neighbors can train theirs. Either that or they can keep the annoying animal in the house where they can enjoy his “natural behavior”.

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