Barking Dogs

Barking dogs are among the most common neighbourhood noise disturbances resulting in complaints to enforcement officers. In Vancouver, fines of up to $2000 may be levied against negligent owners, but the process involves at least two separate neighbours keeping a log of barking, and often lengthy court proceedings. In reality, reportedly up to 70% of cases are dismissed without a trial, and the successful few generally result in fines in the $100 range.

Vancouver resident Jennifer Sweeney suffered months of aggravation and lost sleep from the continual barking of a negligent neighbour's two large dogs. The dogs were kept in the back yard, living in mud and excrement. Repeated calls by neighbours to the SPCA, Animal Advocates, the pound and the police proved futile. The case eventually garnered coverage by the Vancouver Courier (July 1, 2001), and Ms. Sweeney and another neighbour persevered with the city's lawsuit and eventually won a $300 fine and much more importantly, accomplished the removal of the dogs by the owner. While some dog owners are hideously unconcerned with the deleterious effect their dogs have on the neighbourhood, as well as with the unhappiness of their dogs, many are more reasonable and, if provided with useful information, are willing to address the problems leading to the excessive barking.

To this end, the Denver Dumb Friends League has compiled a reference helping owners counteract a number of canine conditions which can lead to this problem behaviour: Social isolation, frustration, attention seeking, territorial or protective behaviour, fears and phobias, and separation anxiety. Anti-barking collars are also discussed. This excellent reference is available on the Internet at For those without Internet access who would like to obtain a copy by post, please contact the Society at the mailing address on the front page.

Citing revenue benefit of some $23 to $26 million, Vancouver City Council extended the lease of the Molson Indy for three more years, despite the protests of fifteen delegations of local residents. According to nearby Citygate resident Charles Daniels, "...the race has been approved well before any environmental study on its effects of local residents in the neighbourhood was undertaken. No one in power cares two hoots about our ability to live in peace in our own home, about our well-being, about our children's well-being, about our pets' well- being, and about how our neighbourhood and streets look."

-Vancouver Province, August 3, 2001

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Right to Quiet Society Newsletter, Fall, 2001

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