Barking Dog Complaints
All dogs bark. However, when barking becomes a neighborhood nuisance, there are steps that can be taken to help alleviate the problem. Per Snohomish County Code 9.12.606, it is unlawful for an animal to make repetitive sounds, whether or not continuous, for at least 10 minutes or more during any half hour period. If a barking dog is in violation of this code, the following steps are necessary to file a complaint.
1. Start by talking to the pet owner and explain what is occurring or consider providing the owner with this owner notification letter (PDF) and this "How to Prevent Nuisance Barking" (PDF) tip sheet.
2. If that does not resolve the issue or the owner is not approachable, please document the ongoing issue using the Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF). Email the completed form (keep a copy for your records) to the Animal Services Division. Once the form is received, the following will occur:
- You will be contacted by the Animal Services Coordinator who will provide you with a case number. Please hold on to this case number as you will need it to escalate enforcement should the barking continue.
- Animal Services will send a warning letter and information on how to control the nuisance behavior to the dog owner.
3. If after 30 days from the date you submitted your completed barking dog complaint form the barking is continuing, please do the following:
- Locate a witness who can corroborate the barking and request they complete and submit a Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF) referencing your case number on the form. This helps Animal Services verify this is a significant community problem and will assist in escalating compliance enforcement.
- If you are unable to locate a witness, please complete a new Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF) and document the ongoing issue for at least a week. Attach this to a copy of your initial complaint form and email it to Animal Services.
Once the additional documentation is received, the case will be reviewed and assigned for additional investigation.
4. Do not stop documenting the noise issue. If the above steps do not resolve the problem, Animal Services can take escalating enforcement action if provided with updated documentation of the continuing problem. Please make sure you always reference the case number on the documentation sheets.
Please note that if 90 days elapse between documented instances of the nuisance barking, the process above starts over.