What to do If You Receive a Barking Dog Complaint

barking dog complaint Though you may think of yourself as a civic-minded, law-abiding citizen of the state of New Jersey, your neighbors may think of you and your barking dog in an entirely different way – and that can mean trouble. New Jersey has at least 144 municipalities that have established laws that specifically address the incessant whining and barking of dogs, and if you have received a barking dog complaint, then you need to know what to do to defend yourself and your pet. Richard M. Josselson of Josselson Law has spent over 39 years fighting for the rights of residents of South Jersey, defending them in municipal court against a wide variety of complaints, and he can help you defend against your neighbor’s complaint as well.

You may not even be aware that your dog is disturbing your neighbors, especially if the animal only makes noise when you leave your home. Though it is not unusual for a dog to howl for a few minutes when their owner leaves, or to bark when a stranger passes the house or rings the doorbell, most barking dog complaints are for more consistent disturbances that are described as quality of life issues. In some cases the barking dog complaints are filed under the municipality’s general noise ordinance and in others there are specific ordinances that address dogs barking, howling or crying for more than 30 minutes in an hour. Some townships have specific time frames during which the barking is a noise violation.

Though every municipality’s rules are different, in most cases the process involves a resident filing a complaint with the city’s health department, which will send a warning note to the animal’s owner. If you have received this type of notification, it is strongly advised that you take action to try to quiet your dog. Some possibilities include purchasing bark collars or speaking with your veterinarian or a dog trainer to try to mitigate the situation. If your efforts are unsuccessful and your dog continues to bark, there is a good chance that your neighbor may file a complaint with the municipal court. If the situation escalates to this degree, you will likely need an experienced attorney to handle your defense, as the fines for violations can start at $250 and can easily climb higher – particularly if there have been complaints filed by multiple neighbors.

An experienced municipal court defense lawyer, Richard M. Josselson can provide you with the legal representation that you need to reduce the fines against you or get the charges dismissed or lowered. He understands that the situation can be stressful and will work hard to help you limit and address any issues regarding your animal. For information about how to protect yourself and your pet, contact us today.

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