Excessive Dog Barking Complaints
5/14/2021 10:26:54 AM
The Township of South-West Oxford recognizes that excessive barking from dogs may disturb others and negatively impact quality of life. Residents may elect to file a noise complaint against the owner of a dog that is creating a disturbance by barking, howling or yelping. Municipal Enforcement Unit (MEU) has been contracted by the Township to assist with resolving By-law complaints.
When MEU receives a complaint regarding excessive or persistent noise, especially with regard to barking or other By-law contraventions that require continual monitoring, they may enact the process below:
- A notice is sent to the owner/occupant of the property where the concern is located. Sometimes, an owner/occupant may not be aware of a problem and this notice will be enough to correct the issue.
- For some investigations, at the same time a notice may be sent to the complainant. At this stage, all information with respect to the complainant (i.e. name, address) is kept strictly confidential. However, if the contravention continues to negatively impact the complainant, the Township may require the complainant’s involvement and cooperation to help bring closure to the matter.
- In order to gather evidence with respect to the contravention which has been brought to the Municipality’s attention, the complainant may be required to record the following information in a log format (a template will be provided):
- how the contravention is disturbing (i.e. trying to sleep);
- the location on their property when the contravention disturbed;
- visual information about the source of the contravention (observed dog barking, type of dog);
- time of day contravention disturbed; and
- how long the contravention disturbed.
Once the complainant has the above information for at least 15 occurrences within a 30-day time frame in which the contravention (dog barking/excessive animal noises) has disturbed them contrary to By-law 46-2013 (Regulation and Prohibition of Noise Emitted) they are requested to contact the Township’s Clerk’s Department at 519-485-0477 x 7023 to discuss possible charges being laid. Please note, that the ten occurrences must be after a formal complaint has been registered and a notice has been sent out; the Township will not proceed unless the notice has already been sent. This ensures the occupant/owner has ample opportunity to take mitigating measures.
The information collected may be entered as evidence if By-law charges are commenced. The complainant will be required to testify in court on the evidence collected in the presence of the occupant/owner of the property from which the contravention has disturbed them. The complainant may also be asked questions by the alleged violator or their legal representative with respect to the evidence collected.
Questions regarding Township By-laws or the complaint process can be directed to the Clerk, Julie Forth: 519-485-0477 x 7023 or email@example.com