Barking Dogs Not a City Council Issue

Dear City Council,

Please encourage the outraged neighbors who will be attending the City Council meeting tomorrow to learn how to communicate with their neighbors without intervention by police or with new laws on the books. There are so many better things to address than someone who can’t communicate to their neighbor that their dog barks too much.  However, if you’re going to cave in, rather than creating new laws, please instead contribute the anticipated funds to enforce those laws into dog training courses for Simi residents.  Thanks!

Love, Mike

It’s true, outraged neighbors plan to make their problems with barking dogs known at the City Council meeting tomorrow, May 11th.  With any luck, they may be able to get a new law approved making it an actionable offense to allow your dog to bark excessively.  Only recently, a law was recently approved for the books making it a crime to feed certain kinds of birds, even on your private property.

I received an email several weeks back from a lady who lives in the Woodrach neighborhood in Simi Valley.  She’s lived there for a while and has a problem with her neighbor.  She’d like to move, but the current real estate market has her pinned down to her home, so that’s not an option.  The problem she’s having is her neighbor like’s to relax in the sun in his backyard in the nude.  When he’s feeling really frisky, he’ll go so far as to… well… you know.  It doesn’t seem to bother him at all that he’s visible by his neighbor, and her kids for that matter.  Pretty disgusting?  You bet.  Anything she can do to get this problem with her disgusting neighbor solved?  Surprisingly, no!

Her calls to the police have indicated now on multiple instances that this guy’s behavior, while disgusting and wrong on many levels, is not a crime.  He’s engaging in activity on his private property, bottom line.  No one can touch him.  Hard to believe, but it’s the truth.

If City Council is going to do anything to make something unlawful, it should be something like the situation I just described.  This is a real problem, it’s happening regularly, it’s offensive to residents and potentially harmful to children.  Barking dogs, on the other hand, not so much.

I have dogs.  They bark.  Three years ago, my neighbor knocked on our door to tell me that my dogs were waking her up late at night.  It turned out that a rat would venture into our backyard to eat the dates from a palm tree.  My dogs didn’t like that.  When she told me what was happening, I got to the bottom of the issue, called an exterminator to remove the rat, brought the dogs inside at night, and we all slept peacefully.  Easy.

Perhaps if we kept small issues like barking dogs out of City Council, we’d have more protection against disgusting, horrifying issues like the one described above.

8 thoughts on “Barking Dogs Not a City Council Issue

  1. One also remember that for every rational pet owner out there, there is an irrational pet owner to cancel them out. I’ve sadly lived with the irrational pet owner. The one who doesn’t care no matter how nicely you ask, that his yapping dog wakes your child up at night. Or the one that lets his dog poop all over your front yard, right in front of you, and doesn’t bother to pick it up. So what can you do? Technically there are noise ordinances in this city and if those ordinances apply to humans then why not dogs?

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  2. Hi,

    No, I’m not insisting that. I would certainly think a situation like that would be handled according to expectations.

    What I’m referring to is a real situation with a woman in Woodranch who, no matter how many calls she makes to the police, always gets the same answer — his backyard is his private property and no one can stop him.

    It’s the “no one can stop him” thing that I have trouble with, considering barking dogs and feeding certain types of birds gets more attention.

    Perhaps the law differentiates between front yard and backyard?

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  3. Mike, You’re obviously not a victim of a neighbors barking dog. Perhaps the city shouldn’t have to deal with this issue, but it could be redirected to Ventura County Animal Regulation through the city. The first thing I did when my neighbors acquired a dog was to politely call them to let them know when they were gone their one dog continually barked (boredom bark). They became extremely upset I contacted them and said their dogs were protection and I should be glad they bark and they weren’t going to do anything about it. They also acussed me of hating dogs, which they don’t realize, I own a dog that doesn’t bark at everything – maybe that’s because I frequently walk it and don’t pin it up in a small area! Being nice and approaching them got me nowhere. Unfortunately all dog owners aren’t receptive and there are many people who should not own dogs. The city could actually make some money on this one if they can pass an ordinance. One of our vacation spots has an ordinance, and after three barking dog complaints, the owners are fined – the city could probably make bank on this one!

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  4. Crystal, you’re right. I haven’t had to endure a barking dog, but I’ve been the source of a barking dog and responded swiftly. It doesn’t seem unreasonable, in my opinion, for someone to inform me when my dog is keeping them awake. I see what you’re saying and understand your frustration. But it’s hard for me to believe that every dog owner would be unwilling to respond to a pleading neighbor.

    I agree, the city could make money, but it would require time and resources to enforce a new law. Would it be worth it?

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  5. Well I got one of those neightbors who works during the day and she has two little non stop barking dogs that start about 6:30 every am when she puts them out and they dont stop all day long. Its costs me two roomates, and even knocking on the door, she was polite enough, but never did a thing about it. They are very annoying. This has been going on for a year now. I dont know what more to do…I have two that dont bark unless someone knocks on my door.

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  6. Mike, I’ve been on both ends, right now we are annoyed, but when I was younger, I lived with my parents and owned two large dogs. One of them for some reason, decided he wanted to bark for no reason, not continually, but it was enough to annoy the neighbors next door – nobody else complained. As much as it hurt me, we did end up placing the dog in another home with somebody who had property, out of respect for our neighbors. We explained to the new dog owners that he had a barking issue, and they were okay with it since they had no surrounding neighbors. I can’t understand why people who know they have barking dogs think its okay to let them annoy everyone. Summer has started, and our neighbors dog is at it again. I can hear it more since we have our windows open more, and we can’t run our A/C 24/7 just so we don’t hear the dog. If I could, I would run the A/C and send the neighbors the bill. It will be sad if the city doesn’t do anything about the dog issue. It isn’t fair the uncaring, irresponsible dog owners can disturb the enjoyment of my home.

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  7. People or I should say irresponsible dog owners who think its “normal” for their dog(s) to bark incessantly are truly asinine & uncaring. In fact, if you ask anyone or someone qualified in training dogs will tell you that excessive barking is NOT “normal”, period. These type of people have no business owning dogs for an example. I wonder if they should have any kids as well? What does this behavior exhibit? Its horrible and they must be considerate of others. Jerks.

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