How to file a barking dog complaint

The Fayette County Attorney’s Office prosecutes criminal cases. When you decide to file a barking dog complaint through our office against your neighbor, you are filing a criminal charge against that person. When the case goes to trial, our office must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant (neighbor) is guilty of violating the barking dog ordinance. Our office realizes the effect that an incessant, non-stop barking dog can have on a person or family whether its interruption of sleep or causing an inability to work from home, etc.   But, please know that our office is confined to what the law allows for a criminal prosecution. Our office can not order the dog to be muzzled, to stay indoors or to even seek an injunction against your neighbor to stop the dog from barking. The extent of the relief, if any, the criminal court system can attempt to remedy the situation is to file a criminal charge then our office can seek a monetary punishment.  Even then your neighbor may still have the dog outside barking. You may need to seek the assistance of a civil attorney to file a lawsuit against your neighbor.

At trial, we have to prove that your neighbor violated the law which states, “It shall be unlawful for any person to keep or harbor within the urban county any animal, including, but not limited to, domestic pets, that repeatedly or frequently emits any sound, including but not limited to barking, yelping, howling, meowing, or squawking, or that otherwise creates a noise disturbance across a dwelling unit boundary, in such a manner so as to annoy or disturb a reasonable person of normal sensitivities.” 

In order to prove this, our office requires you to do the following before filing a complaint: 

  1. Attempt to talk to your neighbor. Please give your neighbor the benefit of the doubt. In many situations, someone with a noisy dog may not realize that there is a disturbance. 
  2. Keep a log of the date, time, and duration of the barking. 
  3. MOST IMPORTANATLY: video record the barking dog. A jury will want to see and experience the extent of the barking. Without a video and audio recording of the dog barking, the chances of a conviction at trial are minimal. 
  4. Once you have completed steps 1-3 above, call our office to schedule an appointment to file the charges. Please contact Hunter Faulconer at 226-1874 or email him at hunter.faulconer@fayettecountyattorney.com
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