Barking Dogs!

We frequently receive complaints about dogs that bark for hours! 

There is a section in the Greenhills Code about barking dogs (505.09 BARKING OR HOWLING DOGS).  Basically it says that no one can keep or harbor any dog within the Municipality which, by frequent and habitual barking, howling or yelping, creates unreasonably loud and disturbing noises of such a character, intensity and duration as to disturb the peace, quiet and good order of the Municipality.  Anyone who violates this section would be guilty of a minor misdemeanor.

Also relevant to this issue may be our local noise ordinance that states any noise of such character, intensity and duration as to unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the community cannot occur

  • after 10:00 p.m. each night.
  • before 7:00 a.m. Monday through Friday, or
  • before 10:00 a.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and legal holidays.

In determining whether a noise is of such a character as to unreasonably disturb the peace and quiet of the community, a court would consider the following factors:

  • complaints of neighbors regarding the noise;
  • the time of day at which the noise takes place;
  • the intensity and duration of the noise; and
  • the type of noise produced.

Dogs love attention and when there is no one around, they can experience boredom, loneliness or separation anxiety. They may want to go outside, or go inside, they may want to play, or eat.

Try talking calmly and politely to your neighbor about the issue. They may not be aware that the dog barks the whole time they are gone.

And if you own a dog, or dogs, remember that dogs bark naturally, and if your dog(s) constantly bark or whine it can be very disturbing or annoying for your neighbors.

If you have to reach out to the Police Department, realize that barking dogs are probably not high on the priority list if they are working on other criminal matters.  Be prepared to provide them with a written record of everything you’ve done so far to address the matter. Based on the records you have kept, they may be able to issue a warning or citation to your neighbor.  Citations are more likely in the case of repeat offenses.

Last, you can take more drastic steps when all else fails, including taking legal action by going to Hamilton County Small Claims Court. Keep a record of the dates and duration of the barking, take video or audio clips on your mobile phone, and keep a record of all the steps you’ve taken so far. You might even consider hiring a lawyer to help you through the system.

Other things to remember about your pets:

  • No animals are permitted to run loose in Greenhills.
  • All dogs must be licensed annually through the Hamilton County Auditor’s Office.
  • Dogs must be kept on a leash at all times when off the premises of the owner.
  • Dog owners must remove any excrement deposited by a dog on public or private property.
  • Dog runs are permitted in Greenhills.  A building permit must be obtained prior to the installation of a dog run/cage.