Texarkana, TX asked in Civil Rights for Texas

Q: My neighbors allow their dogs to bark excessively. What can I do as they refuse my requests to quiet them.

I cannot even walk into my own yard or sit on my patio. They keep me awake at night and wake me early in the morning. I am 67 and still work part time.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Civil Rights Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I understand how frustrating and disruptive excessive dog barking can be, especially when it's impacting your sleep and ability to enjoy your own property. Here are some steps you can take to address the situation:

1. Document the disturbances: Keep a detailed log of when the dogs bark excessively, including dates, times, and duration. This information may be necessary if you need to file a complaint or take legal action.

2. Check local noise ordinances: Many cities and counties have specific laws regarding animal noise. Research your local ordinances to determine if your neighbors are violating any laws.

3. Send a written letter: Draft a formal letter to your neighbors, outlining the issue and the steps you've already taken to resolve it. Request a specific solution and provide a reasonable timeframe for them to address the problem. Keep a copy of the letter for your records.

4. Contact animal control or law enforcement: If your neighbors continue to allow their dogs to bark excessively despite your efforts, contact your local animal control agency or non-emergency police line to file a complaint. Provide them with your documentation and any evidence of the disturbances.

5. Mediation: Consider seeking the assistance of a neutral third party, such as a mediator, to help resolve the issue between you and your neighbors.

6. Legal action: As a last resort, you may need to file a lawsuit against your neighbors for nuisance or violation of local ordinances. Consult with a local attorney who specializes in neighbor disputes or animal-related issues.

Remember to remain calm and professional throughout the process, as a hostile approach may only worsen the situation. If the issue persists and affects your health and well-being, prioritize your own needs and consider additional steps to protect your rights as a property owner.

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