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Riverside County implements new fines for barking dogs

Some Riverside County residents are pretty steamed about a new anti-nuisance ordinance, approved by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, that will fine owners of barking dogs up to $500.

The new ordinance also affects the way dog-related complaints are handled by officials. NBC Los Angeles has the details:

Under current county law, when a resident in an unincorporated community complains about a barking, howling or otherwise noisy dog, an Animal Services officer investigates the matter, generally by visiting the location where the disturbance has been reported, according to Riverside County Animal Services Field Commander Rita Gutierrez.

When the new rules take effect -- in 30 days -- noisy dogs' owners will receive a warning for a first complaint. If another complaint is made within a year of the first one, the matter goes to a hearing, during which an officer decides whether or not the dog is actually a nuisance. If so, an order is issued to the dog's owner and must be followed within 10 days, as NBC explains:

Remedies might include obedience training, containing the animal within an enclosed space, such as a garage, restricting the amount of time the animal is allowed outside -- or debarking the dog so it doesn't vocalize beyond a whisper.

If the order is not followed within the 10 days allotted, a fine is incurred, beginning at $100 for the first violation. A second violation within a year racks up a $200 fine, and a $500 fine is imposed for each additional violation.

For more information, check out the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.

-- Lindsay Barnett

Video: KTLA

Comments () | Archives (26)

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barking dogs are no worse than screaming children.
We do not fine parents for their uncontrolled loud children,
why should we fine owners of dogs for the same behavior

Dogs bark to let their people know that something is going on that they need to be aware of. It's proven that dogs haved saved lives and property through their barking. So why would Riverside want dogs to be silent? And to DEBARK a dog is a cruel way to handle this problem which can be resolved in much more humane ways! There are much more important things to focus on here folks!

Gee I wish someone would establish such an ordinance that would result in the same treatment of my screaming neighbors kids who climb atop my 6 foot privacy fence with 8 foot poles so they can play "let's kill Moby Dick" with my 5 pound dog and terrorize it.

I would really like to see mandatory spay neuter and removal of vocal chords for many parents who have no idea how teach respect of neighbors, law, common sense.

The new law is unfair! The fines are too high. There should be a provison that there has to be two or more complaints by totally unrelated parties. Otherwise it will be he says, they say, etc. inspite of any investigation by animal services. A stranger standing outside where a fenced yard can cause a dog to bark the same as a dog will when some one comes up to the door. A disgruntled neighbor would be able under this law to cause all kinds of problems.

This is a silly idea. Most folks can't tell which direction the barking is coming from. I once woke a neighbor about her barking dog and she thought it was mine! NOT!

Ok, let's find out where the Animal Control officers live, where each Board of Supervisors lives, and whether or not THEY have dogs...then let the complaints begin!! We'll see how long that ordinance stays in place...two can play at this game...
how about shutting up the noisy, screaming, foul-mouthed neighbors and kids in the County!!!!

this could probably help with this vicous dog that lives next door to me and harasses my kids and me every time we walk the side of our own house. It scares us and it practacly jumps over the falling apart wood fence.

So some have decided that ear cropping, dew claw removal, and tail docking is inhumane and cruel, yet because a dog barks it should be debarked ? How is that not as cruel as tail docking? What happens when a dog is barking because someone is standing by the fence antagonizing it. Dogs bark for a reason, wether it be an intruder, a feral cat, a possum, but usually because something is wrong on their domain. A well trained dog will stop when told to. How about we DEBARK all of the ARists and mandatorally spay and neuter them. Pushing these bills forward is not going to help and will only make things worse on the shelters & rescue groups. If AC would enforce the laws they have now (ie licensing, leash laws, etc) and work on actually adopting out the animals at the shelters, work with rescue groups it would be better for all involved. MSN does not work in the counties that they have passed them in...look at their numbers....look at how much more it is costing them.....look at how many more animals are in the shelters and how many more they have had to euthanize. There are a lot of other options out there other than MSN, and high fees for barking dogs.

Hey wake up and smell the coffee.
Everyday our personal freedoms are trampled by the totalitarian, draconian, Behemoth otherwise known as Riverside County.
Let' send the incumbent Supervisors and all their little bureaucratic lackeys a clear message and vote them out of office!

My dogs bark at my neighbors cats who play on the other side of the fence in front of them...If I get a ticket, those cats are going to disappear!

I think it's a great idea. I'm tired of listening to dogs bark in my neighborhood for no good reason. Obviously most people agree since this law is now in effect. Let the fines begin!

For repeat offenses the animals should be euthanized at the owners expense. If I could do it myself without being prosecuted, I would.

I have lived next to renters to the side and back of me, and let me tell you something...All most of these dog owners do, is fill there back yards up with big dogs, and never give them attention. Some don't even give the poor animals shelter! The dogs continually bark at anything, and everything, all day long, while the owners are at work, and when the owners are at home. The owners never check on the dogs, or yell at them to stop. I'm a stay at home mom, work out of my house, and take online courses, and at times it is unbearable! Dogs need more that food, and a contained yard to be happy. If you don't have the time to walk your dogs, and give them attention, then don't get them, and stop making it everyone elses problem! I say hooray for the fines! It's about time that irreponsible, inconsiderate dog owners have be held accountable. I wish we could fine that parents of loud obnoxious kids as well, especially in grocery stores, and restaurants...That would really make my day!

Some of you people are amazing. You must all either own barking dogs or have never had the pleasure of living next to a dog that never shuts up. It sucks. Everytime my kids go in our backyard to play. All night long. I can't leave the doors open in summer because of the constant racket. Would you let me stand in front of your house with a bull horn all night? No. Same thing should apply to all noise issues. Have some more sensitivity to the people who don't want to hear it.

Anyone who thinks this law is unfair has never lived next door to barking dogs. My neighbor has FOUR dogs who bark constantly. They bark at dogs that are walking by their house. Since their house is on a route that is popular with people who walk their dogs around the neighborhood, that means these dogs are ALWAYS barking. I work from home and have tried to talk to my neighbor, who is totally unwilling to do anything about it. I have purchased a bark stop device which blasts them with ultrasonic sounds, which has helped. Incidentally, I have my own dog, who I have trained not to bark at just anything. He responded to training, so I know it's possible. You just have to be CONSIDERATE and make an EFFORT!!

all dogs bark-its up to the dogs owners to make sure that they are restrained on a leash-have food and water-not using the neighbors yard for a bathroom-have their waste picked up daily-not barking for no reason and annoying the neighbors-show them some attention-don't have your dog tied to a 6ft rope-if you are a responsible dog owner following the simple rules for owning a dog, this law won't cost you any money-if you are a irresponsible dog owner and you live in riverside county i hope they fine you the maximum-I live in a neighborhood full of dog owners that just don't get it.

Our neighbor's dog barks an average of three to four hours straight at night. From 11:00 pm till 3:00 am. We miss alot of sleep because of that pet. I have read comments about screaming children are annoying. They do not scream near your bedroom window through the night. There are very few nights that we are not awakened by that dog. I agree it is hard to keep your pet from barking, but some cases are excessive and there should be some recourse for the "vicitms". We were dog owners for years, but we were responsible dog owners and our pets were not a nuisance to our neighbors and guests!!

We are all pet lover's...
However, we have a renter next door that just moved in 2 months ago and has 2 dogs one being a hound dog, if you are familiar with that, they're bark can be very loud.
I can no longer bring my tiny dog to the side or backyard to do his bussiness without these dogs barking like crazy. Please imagine that.. "I can not go to my own backyard"
It isn't fair to my little dog for me to tell him not to bark, while the other dogs are going crazy.
I do not need a $500.00 fine to tell my dog not to bark at everything or everyone, it's common courtesy to your neighbors.
The irresponsible ones who can care less should be fined...

I miss the good old days I grown up with dog my whole life and I am prove to say I am a dog own but if my dog bark I will be there checking to make sure that everything is ok. if my dog bark constantly I will be there to make sure that I let him know that excessive barking won't be tolerating. In our days peoples have dog and they don’t seem to care about their dog if you have dog and your neighbor are complaining for lack of sleep and excessive barking you need to address the issue right away and take appropriate measure to make sure that don’t become a bigger problem down the road. Dog barking can be extremely irritating, to say the least. Not only does it bother you, but it can bother your neighbors as well and get you in trouble with the law. But it's a completely natural thing. You can't stop a dog from barking. That's what dogs do. They use barking to communicate, just as you and I use verbal communication. You can control their barking, however.

There are several reasons why your dog may be barking:

1. Being left alone for long periods of time. Dogs who are left home alone all the time tend to get bored and bark just for fun to keep themselves entertained.
2. You may have trained your dog to bark without knowing it. Humans tend to be very inconsistent with their training, rewarding bad behavior accidentally and/or not punishing bad behavior on a consistent basis.
3. Loneliness, fear, boredom, and defending their territory are common causes of dog barking.
4. A dog may bark if they have a health problem causing them pain.

The most effective way to train your dog not to bark, is to first train them TO bark. I know, it sounds counter productive, but it works.

Here's what to do:

- When your dog begins to bark, let it happen for a few seconds. After a couple of barks, praise your dog for barking.
- Then, tell them 'No Bark' or 'Stop Barking' (or any other phrase you want to use), and display a delicious treat in front of your dog to distract them. This will stop their barking. After they've stopped barking for a couple seconds, give them the treat.
- Do this over and over, and with each practice, extend the amount of time they'll have to be quiet before receiving their treat.
- If your dog barks again after you've said the 'no bark' command, shout NO loudly to startle them. If it doesn't cause the barking to stop for at least a second, find something else that'll make a loud enough sound to stop their barking for at least a split second. Immediately follow this noise with the stop phrase again, and a yummy treat, before they bark again.

This method works very, very well if done properly and consistently. Don't give up too quickly. Like anything good in life, it takes a little work, patience and determination. I hope this article has helped you and I wish you the best of luck and then people would say use to have dogs and I get it you love your pet but if your pet are causing your neighbor to miss sleep by constantly barking it is your responsibility to attend to your pet when they bark. If you are a responsible pet owner you will do the right things care for your pets need know that

I think this law is fair. My neighbor has a dog that barks at everything and anything. Our back yard is a main street with lots of traffic. The dog barks at ALL the cars. If i open my window or turn on my light at night, it barks and barks. I can't talk to my neighbor because they don't speak English. So my small children get awakened from this barking dog all night long.

I want to know how this "barking dog" nuisance fine compares to other nuisance fines. I'd hazard a guess that it's many times higher than the fines for any similar offenses.

I think fining for a barking dog is Riverside Counties way of getting money out of everyone to help pay off the debts of California and the county and it's ridiculous! If you want to fine residents for something, fine them for blasting their ridiculous music and pumping up their subs! My neighbors rattle my walls with their rap and nothing ever happens to them.

tired of barking | March 27, 2009 at 03:46 PM

what device did you buy, I need to buy one. I have a neighbor who have a dog (beagle) that wont shut up.

They should have this law in Orange Co.

It is absolutely horrific what puppy mills will do to puppies to silence them. I just adopted a beagle through a rescue this weekend and was heartbroken to find out that she had been crudely debarked. Fining dog owners for barking in Riverside isn't the issue here - it's the puppy mills within the county that need to be fined and shut down.

Your sound sleep finally got your child to sleep after a long night. The ambulance puts on its sirens. the neighbor dog starts to howl but then thier other four dogs follow and its 1:oo in the morning . So your child is up and so are you after another hour comforting your child and then finally going to bed my self. At 4;30 the dogs decide to bark at a cat ,Yeah all five of them "barking and howling, barking for a good 15 minutes. Seriously you cannot compare dogs with kids who are entlitle to play outside on a wonderful day. But Damn what dogs excuse.can you have. I love animals but when your neighbor has five with no control its just not right.

Hilarious! Salty dog owners trying to compare their dogs to our kids. Typical! Here's a thought; CONTROL YOUR DOG(S)!! People are tired of hearing your dogs bark all night long. And just so you know, there is a noise nuisance ordinance for noisy kids, neighbors, etc. After 10pm, feel free to call the cops all you want.

But your comparison still doesn't hold water. Kids are not dogs, and they cannot be compared.


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