What is Nuisance Barking?
No owner of a dog shall fail to prevent the dog from disturbing the peace and quiet of any other person by loud and persistent barking, baying, howling, yipping, crying, yelping or whining, whether the dog is on or off the owner's premises. In Mesa County and the City of Grand Junction, excessive barking is generally considered to be at least (30) minutes of unprovoked barking within a 24 hour period.
Dealing with Nuisance Barking
Mesa County Animal Services wants to assist if there is nuisance barking in the community that is negatively impacting a citizen’s or neighborhood’s quality of life.
We have found that many pet owners are not aware (because they are gone or have grown accustomed to the noise) that their dogs are causing an inconvenience for others. Once aware, they may voluntarily correct the problem. We ask that neighbors consider talking to their neighbor and come to an amicable solution before we get involved. Some individuals are uncomfortable contacting their neighbors. We certainly understand and our suggestion that the dog owner be advised of the barking prior to our involvement is a recommendation, not a requirement.
If an attempt at addressing the problem with the dog owner fails or no contact was attempted, please contact us. We will send the owner an official bark warning and some informative materials that might be helpful to them in trying to change the behavior of their dog(s). In order to send this warning, we will need the dog’s address, a date and time frame the dog(s) was barking and description of the dog(s), if available.
We will need the reporting party to provide their name, address and phone number so we can contact them with information and if we have any follow up questions. We like to allow seven days for the dog owner to receive the information in the mail and correct the problem before we proceed to the next step.
If we are not contacted after we issue an official bark warning, we will assume the problem has been solved and take no further action.
In order to issue a citation for a violation of the barking ordinance/resolution we require evidence of at least (30) minutes of unprovoked barking within a 24 hour period. Video or audio evidence is generally required for proof of nuisance barking.
Video recordings must be date stamped, timed and marked at the spot where the nuisance barking incident occurred. The reporting party should be careful not to infringe on the dog owner’s privacy rights in the course of obtaining any visual evidence.
With appropriate documentation, we will investigate and may issue a citation to the owner of the dog(s) for a nuisance barking dog violation. The owner can choose to pay the citation or contest it. Paying is an admission of guilt. If they choose to dispute the citation, the reporting party and any witnesses will be required to testify in court.
If the barking continues, the reporting party may provide evidence of continuing nuisance barking violations. With sufficient evidence of a new violation, our officer may issue a citation with progressive consequences to encourage compliance.