Friday, January 13, 2017

Barking Dog Lawsuits

Key point from my county's animal noise complaint process page:

"Complainants may also pursue civil action of their own."

Which raises the question: Can one be successful with such an action? Answer: YES!
 

Here are two recent examples from the Pacific Northwest:
  1. Disgruntled couple awarded $240,000 from neighbor in DOG BARKING lawsuit after claiming the Tibetan mastiffs caused them a decade of unrest
  2. Seattle family may lose house over barking dog
In order to win in civil court, you must prove that you have suffered some sort of harm. Take, for example, your health.

If the barking has caused you to lose sleep to the point where you've become ill, you may be able to recover damages. Here's an Illinois case where that is being attempted.


And here's a Colorado case that's even more egregious. Unfortunately, this man had ineffective legal counsel. Beware of that.


Then there's the financial angle. Has the barking caused you to suffer monetary loss? Is it affecting your ability to do business? Here's an ongoing -- and very well documented -- situation in Florida.

If you don't think that your barking issue rises to the level of a civil court trial, consider small claims court. This book may be helpful.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Actions and Reactions

News story from the southeastern United States:

Athens man shoots neighbor’s dog because of its barking, tries beating it to death with bat

What's interesting about this story is not that it's unique. It isn't. This sort of thing has happened before, and, sorry to say, it will happen again.

What's interesting is how it is being viewed in the online comments. Inconsiderate dog owners are mentioned more than once.

Bingo. That's the problem.

As long as inconsiderate owners allow their dogs to bark, bark, bark, bark, bark, and bark, and do nothing about getting the noise to stop, people are going to react in ways that aren't pretty.

Want to avoid this reaction? If you're a dog owner, follow the advice given by this commenter: "Bring your dogs inside if they are barking. I have three dogs and would never expect my neighbors to deal with them barking."

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

He's doing his job!

You've probably heard this one from your barking dog-owning neighbors and friends. (What? You're still friends with those people?)

Turns out that the sonic sewage has a purpose. The dog is doing his job!

Well, peeps, don't let this one go. Question it. Here are three ideas. Feel free to use them in your next conversation with these dog owners.
  1. He's doing his job? Great! When it comes to creating noise pollution, his performance is off the charts! Good boy, Fido!
  2. Oh, so he has a job to do. Hmmm, would that be preventing peace and quiet in our neighborhood?
  3. So, his job is to reduce crime? Really? Does he know how to dial 911? And how about a neighborhood watch group? Those are quite effective. Is he organizing one?
So, there you have 'em. Three ideas. Feel free to add more in the comments.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Protection Dogs

It's 3:21 a.m. and here I am at the computer.

Why? Same dogs as two nights ago. They're barking their heads off. Again.

I don't know their owners, and, quite frankly, I don't want to. Why not? Because they're probably going to tell me that they have the robo-barkers for protection.

And you know what? Those dogs are doing a great job! They're preventing the following:
  1. Peace and quiet
  2. A good night's sleep for the neighbors
Protection, my ass.

Oh, if those dogs were barking at a prowler, hell, that crook left the neighborhood an hour ago.

And the barking continues.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Soundtrack for Another Night of Ruined Sleep

Live! From the neighbors' yard! Here it is!

Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark! Bark-bark!

I might add that it has been a rainy night in Tucson. Which has been made worse by the neighbors' inability to open the door and let their dogs back into the house.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Goodbye and Good Riddance to Mediation!

Our local newspaper just shared this wonderful news:

Pima Animal Care drops barking dog mediation contract

Quoting from the story:

“Reviewing five years of ‘barking’ complaints we could demonstrate no decrease in the number of complaints or related citations that correlated in any way with our contract expenditures in this area,” Health Department Director Dr. Francisco Garcia wrote in a July 8 letter.

So, there you have it. The health department director is admitting that barking dog mediation was a waste of taxpayer dollars. Here's hoping that other jurisdictions come to the same conclusion.

Not that I'm against mediation. It does work when both parties are interested in achieving a positive result. For barking dog disputes? Uh-uh.

In these cases, the mediation involves a perpetrator (owner of the robo-barking dog) and a victim (the neighbor who's on the receiving end of the noise).

In other words, it's bullying.

And you can't mediate with bullies. You need to use the power of law enforcement -- and civil and criminal penalties -- to get the bullying to stop.

My previous posts on this topic:
  1. Mediation: The Non-Solution
  2. The Futility of Mediation

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Barking Dogs and Lawsuits

Speak to any personal injury lawyer, and you'll learn that dog bite cases are their bread and butter.

Barking dog cases? They're pretty rare.

However, that may be changing. Here's a case from Illinois:

Barking Dog Drove Up Sleep-Deprived Old Lady’s Blood Pressure: Lawsuit

Quoting from the story:

[The plaintiff] "has a right to the quiet and peaceful enjoyment of her condominium,” the suit said, but the barking dog is depriving her of that. So she wants at least $50,000."

I hope she wins.