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My (Neighbor's) Dogs Are Barkin'

What are the things that puzzle, enrage, delight and tickle you as you go about your life in Madison?

My (Neighbor's) Dogs Are Barkin'

Postby Mortimer Snerd » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:32 am

So a new couple recently moved into the house two doors down from us, and brought their barkin' dogs with them. They leave them outside, unattended, for 4-6 hours at a time while they work or shop or whatever. Either out of boredom or separation anxiety or some other doggy neurosis, the mutts bark intermittently the entire time, until they finally come home about 10 or 11PM and bring them in.

We've left them an anonymous note, politely but firmly asking them to do something about the noise, and it seemed to help for about a week or so, but they're back at it now, barking for hours on end. The noise will only get worse when summer arrives and we open the windows.

Against my better judgment, my partner has called the police 2-3 times now, and they said they'd 'make a contact', but we have seen no evidence they have, or intend to. Meanwhile, the barking continues. The pooches do take the occasional break from their yappin', so at any given moment a cop could stop by and hear nothing.

What should we do at this point? I can't imagine we're the only ones in the neighborhood bothered by this. I'm inclined next to distribute an anonymous note to all the nearby neighbors, urging them to call the police too if they're disturbed by the noise. If indeed no one else has called, then we're the sole cranky complainers, and are now on record at MPD. If the police give our names to the offending neighbor we're at risk for retaliation, especially if the cops don't do anything and I am compelled to ... er, take matters into my own hands.

Ideas?
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Postby jjoyce » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:34 am

Have you considered actually walking over and speaking with them personally? Understandably, it's not great for the first contact with new neighbors to be like this, but a personal plea is much better than anonymous notes and cop calls.
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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 14, 2007 10:42 am

jjoyce wrote:Have you considered actually walking over and speaking with them personally? Understandably, it's not great for the first contact with new neighbors to be like this, but a personal plea is much better than anonymous notes and cop calls.


What he said. I would have started the way you did, but I would have done the whole "hi we're your neighbors" knock on the door thing before calling the cops. You might consider bringing a dog toy (I suggest this little attention-occupier, available at Mad Cat) so as to mend any raw nerves brought on by the cop calls.
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Postby blunt » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:18 am

Poor dogs.
Try secretly placing a sponge soaked in bacon grease on the owners' dinner plate.
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Postby Eastsider » Wed Mar 14, 2007 11:49 am

Sucker. Sounds like my old neighbors moved next to you. Tried everything, the only thing that worked was them moving away, next to someone else.
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Postby Mortimer Snerd » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:16 pm

Thanks for the advice.

I lament as much as anyone the decreasing interpersonal social relations and the growing sense of anonymity in modern American culture, but the last time my dad tried the ol' friendly howdy-do meet-n-greet, the hillbillies came over the fence and killed our family cat. As far as the local police were concerned, that resolved the issue. The noise continued.

I guess I'm open to the idea of a cordial face-to-face, but I wonder what that will accomplish that the previous request didn't, other than to identify me as the (evidently) sole complainer, thereby opening me and my property up to retaliation.

Certainly, a yapping dog is on a different scale than, say, a crackhead or a mugger, but isn't it the ROLE of the police to enforce the laws and DEpersonalize interpersonal conflicts like this?
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Postby TheBookPolice » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:25 pm

Mortimer Snerd wrote:I guess I'm open to the idea of a cordial face-to-face, but I wonder what that will accomplish that the previous request didn't, other than to identify me as the (evidently) sole complainer, thereby opening me and my property up to retaliation.

Certainly, a yapping dog is on a different scale than, say, a crackhead or a mugger, but isn't it the ROLE of the police to enforce the laws and DEpersonalize interpersonal conflicts like this?


First of all, where did you live?? Jesus. And where do you live now, that you're still concerned with a retaliatory response?

Second, from what you've described, it's never been an interpersonal conflict. Neither party has spoken directly to the other party. You've done the equivalent of sending them junk mail. Attaching a personal face to a complaint makes it harder to ignore. If they still ignore it, then you bring in the authorities.
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Postby Peanutbutter » Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:27 pm

Call the cops again, but this time tell them that the dogs are pitbulls. The police will then look into it for sure.

If you want it done quickly, mention that you think the dogs might be protecting a grow operation.
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Postby Lynne » Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:14 pm

A friend had a similar problem with a neighbor (among lots and lots of other problems). She bought one of those ultrasonic dog bark trainer things from Sharper Image and installed it facing the neighbor's yard. Problem solved.

I don't blame you for being nervous about a face-to-face. A few years ago I had really noisy neighbors. My roommates and I tried to talk a few time about the noise level. It was utterly ineffective. Because we were the only ones who had ever said anything, they apparantly assumed every single noise complaint was from us (they were up to an average of 10 per week, and it was from alllll over the neighborhood, according to the cops) they were very threatning to us.
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Postby Violet_Skye » Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:25 pm

How about calling the humane society? They might have advice, maybe they'd even go out and talk to the people about neglecting their dogs like that. Sounds like neglect to me. Good luck.
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Postby sydgrl » Sun Mar 18, 2007 3:28 pm

I concur with the folks urging a face to face. Unless you get the sense that they are scary, retaliatory types, I'd give it a whirl.

Are the dogs kept outside for 5-6 hours when it's below freezing? If so, you might have a case for calling animal control.

It's frustrating that the police won't do anything because Animal Control explicitly tells people to call the police about barking dogs.
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