Barking dogs impact the quality of life in our neighborhoods and are a common problem for many municipalities. A dog is considered a public nuisance if it barks, whines, howls or makes other annoying noises in an excessive, continuous or unreasonable fashion, or at unreasonable hours. Animal Care Services recommends the following procedures to assist residents in resolving this common issue:
1. First Remedy
Animal Care Services recommends neighbors attempt to resolve the problem through open communication. In many instances, the pet owner is not aware that their dog is disturbing their neighbor. An amicable conversation may be the quickest way to resolve a barking dog issue.
2. Second Remedy
If neighbors cannot come to an amicable solution, Animal Care Services recommends the use of mediation as an alternative means of resolving disputes without government intervention. Mediation is available through Nueces County Dispute Resolution Services (DRS). All mediations for Nueces County Residents are FREE.
For more information, please see the link below for information about requesting mediation.
3. Third Remedy
If residents are unable to resolve the barking dog issue through open communication or mediation, residents may report excessive, continuous or unreasonable barking dog(s) to the Customer Call Center at 311 or email Animal Care Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Animal Care Service may attempt to educate the owner of the barking dog(s) as a method of resolving the issue. Failure to resolve barking dog(s) issue after education may result in prosecution. In the event of prosecution, the complainant and witnesses will be subpoenaed to testify in Municipal Court. To aid in Animal Care Service’s investigation, complainants are strongly encouraged to make video or audio recordings of the barking dog(s).
4. Alternative Remedy
Alternatively or additionally, a civil suit may be brought. Justice of the Peace Courts have jurisdiction for civil matters in which exclusive jurisdiction is not in the district or county court and in which the amount in controversy is not more than $10,000, exclusive of interest. In legal terms, the party bringing the action is called the "Plaintiff." The one against whom the action is brought is called the "Defendant."
An individual may represent himself or herself in Justice Court, or may be represented by an attorney. An individual representing himself or herself in Justice Court may be assisted by a family member or other individual who is not compensated for their assistance if the Court finds a necessity for this assistance. In an eviction case, an individual may be represented by an authorized agent.
Parties who represent themselves in the Justice Court may be required to follow Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, Part V, Rules of Practice in Justice Courts and the Texas Rules of Evidence.
Is Your Pet Making All the Noise?
Keeping animals under control is a key element in maintaining a livable neighborhood. Please help both your neighbors and the city by being a responsible pet owner.