Our expert says:
Dog Behaviour Expert
Hi Analeigh, stories such as yours just make me see red! The trouble is although we may think that the dog is not barking for a reason, the dog may well be bored, stressed, frustrated etc and believe it or not, barking actually helps it to calm itself down!
I have put some notes below from an article by Cape Town behaviourist Claire Grobellaar on this subject, but you will have to make sure that they apply in your area. With regard to the dog lying outside the yard, i would try to phone the local SPCA as well and ask them what you can do about it. Good luck and the notes from article follow:-
* They will visit the ‘offending’ dog’s owners and give a written warning; at this point the complainant can stay anonymous.
* Usually after a reasonable amount of time; and according to them this is about 10 -14 days; if the barking still persists, issue them with a fine of R250,00. (Fines are variable.)
* This fine of R250,00 can be paid or disputed in the court.
* If owner pays the fine, they admit to guilt. If the fine is not paid and the owners do not appear in court to dispute the complaint, they will issue them with a summons.
* If the owner has paid the first fine and the barking persists, and you want to take the issue further, Law Enforcement will require you to submit an affidavit. (Affidavits can also be required from the complainant before the first fine is given.) They will then receive a second fine of +/- R500,00, which can be paid or disputed in court. (Once you have written the affidavit you loose your anonymity; as your affidavit will be used in court, should it go to court.)
* This fine can then be paid or disputed in court.
* If the problem still persist after that then the owners are summons to court, as well as the complainant. It is then up to the Magistrate to decide if the dog needs to be removed from the home or what steps are to be taken next.
All though procedures can vary from district to district it remains an unpleasant and disruptive process for all involved. Nobody likes to take time out of their all ready busy day to go to court. Rather try and settle matters amicably. It is difficult, but possible.
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