Animal Control Can’t Take Your Dog Away for Barking

In most cases, animal control doesn’t have the ability to simply turn up and take away your dog after receiving an excessive barking complaint. They may, however, offer a legal route for the person complaining to challenge the pet owner if the nuisance barking situation doesn’t get resolved.

Using animal control, however, should be used as a last resort. The complaining individual(s) and the pet owner should try and first resolve the situation between themselves. As the pet owner, you should respect the neighbor’s right to having a quiet environment especially at night. If your dog really is barking excessively, you need to take the appropriate steps to reduce it.

As the individual who submits the complaint, you should double-check that the barking levels do fall under the definition of excessive barking set by the local ordinances. For example, in Los Angeles, excessive barking is determined by a number of different factors such as the nature and volume of the noise, the time of day when it occurs, the number of neighbors affected by the noise, and the repetitiveness of the barking. You may have grounds to submit a complaint if the barking meets the threshold of these criteria.

So what exactly happens if someone wanted to submit a complaint to animal control about excessive barking? Again, this may differ for each city but the general process tends to first include a multi-stage complaint or warning process.

In Los Angeles, animal control will issue a written notice to the pet owner after they have received a written complaint. This could then lead to a meeting with the complainant and the pet owner if the barking situation doesn’t get remedied after the first complaint was issued. Finally, if the situation still doesn’t get resolved for some time and the complaint is valid, the pet owner might get his pet possession license taken away.

Is there a situation when animal control is able to take dogs away? It might not be for excessive barking but some cities may have the ability to get an animal impounded if they determine that a pet is dangerous and may become a substantial danger to the community.

Disclaimer: The content on is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian when in doubt.
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