We’re a nation of animal lovers, but it can be really hard to love a neighbour’s pet if they are noisy, or cause you other problems.If you’re blessed with a neighbour who insists on leaving their darling doggy outside while it barks all day (or worse, all night), it can really test your patience.
Some people seem to be oblivious to the effect that their animals have on others, and don’t even seem to notice the noise they make. You don’t have to put up with the noise, smell or mess though. Some people also seem to have a house full of pets which you might suspect aren’t being treated as well as they could, or an aggressive or Dangerous Dog could be frightening you or your children.
Sometimes people genuinely seem to be able to tune out the noise of their pets, so if you’re on good terms with your neighbour, the direct approach is often the best. Call round and explain that although you love Fido, you’re not too keen on the Constant Barking, and ask them nicely to try to stop the racket. Keep it peaceful, even if the mutt has been barking all night long and you haven’t had a wink of sleep. Stay calm, don’t swear, get aggressive or threaten them with environmental health – yet.
If you don’t get along with the person responsible for the dog, or if they don’t take any notice of a polite request to keep their darling dog quiet, you might have to take further action.
You could try a few home remedies. You could blow an inaudible dog whistle, or see if you can get hold of an anti-barking device from a pet shop, although these don’t always have much effect.
If the situation isn’t improving, sometimes the only remedy is to Contact Your Local Environmental Health Department and report your neighbour. It will help if you’ve already attempted to resolve the problem amicably, but they will be able to investigate and take any action that’s considered necessary.
Dangerous and Aggressive Pets
If you are concerned that a neighbour has a dangerous pet, whether a dog or something a little more unusual, there are laws relating to what and how a dangerous animal should be kept.
It’s a criminal offence for dog to be out of control in public, even if it’s a usually placid toy poodle. If your neighbours have an unruly dog, they could be breaking the law. A court can order a neighbour to keep their dog to be kept a lead, muzzled or destroyed if it’s considered in any way dangerous.
If neighbours have a dog that you consider to be dangerous, but they claim they use it to protect their property, there isn’t much you can do about it unless it actually goes for you or attacks someone else. If this should happen then they could prosecuted for having a dangerous animal.
Cruelty to Pets
In some cases, a pet may be noisy or troublesome because it’s being neglected or ill-treated. Some owners also keep excessive amounts of pets which can create noise and smell, as well as being hazardous to the animals themselves.
If you suspect that your neighbour is treating animals cruelly, you can report them to the police, or your local authority animal welfare department, who could decide to can remove the animals. Inspectors or police officers need to obtain a warrant is required to enter a home, so if your neighbour refuses to let them in, it can take up to 24 hours for them to gain access in some cases.
If an animal is making a noise or a nuisance because it’s been abandoned, tell the appropriate authorities, as they can prosecute the owner and remove the animal from the property.
Cats that Won’t Stay Out of Your Garden
There’s not much you can do about a cat using your garden as a toilet, revolting as it can be. Some tips, like citronella sprays or leaving black pepper around the garden, work for some cats and not others.
You could investigate the option of an ultrasonic noise emitters which emit a cat-scaring sound, or even opt for the simpler remedy if you’re at home during the day – cats detest water, so a well aimed water pistol won’t harm them but will hopefully deter them from relieving themselves on your lawn!
Being constantly harrassed by neighbours 4 households from the same family I have an dog with severe arthritic hips and has little use of her right leg but vet won't decide on surgery as other 3 legs have arthritis as well.They contantly bully me I have been assaulted in my garden and had an rib fractured and bursing to my head and police refused to persue it as no evidence on either side.They claim to be parlimilitaries and have threatened to havetheir groups put me out of my home.
Mo's mum - 12-Apr-17 @ 5:56 PM
We live on a lane that is a 1/2 mile long, no bollards, no speed cameras, student residence with a drunk driving convictiononce a month an no cats left on the street, I can't think of anythingbut an evil sociopath
Kill nick - 6-Mar-16 @ 6:23 PM
My upstairs neighbour is harassing me verbally and with noise. I was raped some years ago an am disabled so i got a guard dog to protect me as am allowed by housing asso, upstairs makes hissing noises an barks rattles my front door to make my dog bark then she shouts out shut up you mut at him, i have bipolar panic attacks an copd an this is making me suicidal. I have tried to talk to the mum but she shouts abuse at me im to scared to report them as i have to live here. Please advise me as im terrified.
Spin - 12-Sep-15 @ 6:15 PM
Iv lived here 4 years iv two dogs that live in garage as one is unsociable they are in garden in day but locked in garage through night in a big kennel,they do bark if they hear anything as we live near fields a rail tracks they are good guard dogs,I clean up daily and disinfect,I also have 2 small dogs in house my home is spotless and all dogs well cared for,last week environmental health came out after complaints, noise,lots of dog poo n smell,I was upset but the man was lovely there was two sets of poo,he said obviously fresh n could see everything was clean n no smell,he then said other side said I threw poo into their garden which is ridiculous as I'm surrounded by fields if I wanted to do that but I don't I've a pedal bin with bin liner in I put it in and after a few days tie it up and bin it he had no worries n said matter was closed but both neighbours were chatting away yesterday till I pulled in drive and went round back together they have never bothered before with each other really making me feel ill taking photos of my dogs too
Sam - 26-Jul-15 @ 4:14 PM
I've got a bit of a problem I can't find a solution to. We have two dogs - our neighbour has two dogs. One of our dogs is able to jump a 6 foot high fence - over the years, we've taken every action possible to maintain control of our dog. She is only allowed out on a lead, under strict supervision. It's been nearly 3 years since she has successfully leapt the fence. She is well trained under most circumstances but is dog aggressive and territorial.
The neighbours dogs are territorial as well which has led to multiple instances of fence fighting. They leave their doors open all day (well in excess of 15 hours) and allow their dogs free reign of the garden. Many times, their dogs growl and snarl at the fence when we go outside. It makes it practically impossible to take our dogs out at all because our dog hears growling, barking, and snapping and goes into protection mode, then tries to jump the fence. We're obviously concerned a dog fight could well see us having to relinquish our dog.
We've explained the situation to our neighbours and asked very politely if they would please just call their dogs in and close the doors for a few minutes a couple times a day to remove the stimulus leading to aggression on both sides - they insist (after 7 years of this) the dogs simply need to get used to one another and they should have the right to enjoy their garden. We're trying so hard to not be unreasonable - we just want to keep the situation as safe as we can.
Is there any remedy we can pursue?
BritsKate - 22-Jul-15 @ 7:26 PM
@HCB. It's unlikely this will be deemed a nuisance. Especially if they do not make noise at night time. The council may come and investigate any complaint, but would make a decision based on their own findings.
ProblemNeighbours - 15-Jun-15 @ 11:45 AM
I have 4 budgies in an aviary in the garden. I put them in the aviary about a month ago and since then my neighbour has complained that they interfere with her enjoyment of the wild bird song. Last week she told me that they completely ruin her enjoyment of her garden, she doesn't understand why I keep them, I should have asked her before putting them there and if she had known there would have been budgies there she would never have bought her house. She actually bought her house before me & I did have the budgies when I moved in last year but they were in the house to start with. The neighbours on the other side don't mind the budgies and have 5 dogs which bark sometimes. There is also a council yard within 100 yards which generates quite a lot of noise. I don't want to be a bad neighbour but the budgies are my children's pets and I don't want to get rid of them. As we live in a row of terraced houses in a small town with a council yard nearby there is plenty of noise around to interfere with the birdsong, and although the budgies can be noisy during the day I can still hear birdsong while they are making a noise. I am considering asking the Council to decide whether they constitute a nuisance because she will not be happy until I get rid of them, and then I'm afraid she will complain about my children next. Any advice would be appreciated.
HCB - 9-Jun-15 @ 6:59 PM
@Godfather. Unfortunately as you are not in the UK our laws will not apply and we do not have information about other countries. If you were here in the UK and your were to bark a few times, while you were there with it, no action would be taken.
ProblemNeighbours - 19-May-15 @ 11:31 AM
Today my wife took our dog out on the back yard to enjoy some of the nice weather. As she was relaxing, our dog notice the floating items in our pool and began to bark. As he was barking at the items in the pool the neighbours wife try to huss my dog which made him bark more. As my wife was trying to call the dog, the women explained to my wife that she should control the dog or place him inside. My wife is not a confrontentional person and continue sitting and relaxing while the dog now was quiet, when the husband came out and told her that he is a police officer and that she needed to maintain the dog under control because that is the law. Well, just need your advise since we are new to the Aymer QC area having arrived here last fall. Should I consult a Lawyer, approach the police, I do not know because in my opinion I think the husband was on a border line "abusing his authority as a policeman". By the way this all happen around 1 p.m.
Also is there a bylaw on how loud you should be when on the phone, becausehis wife was very loud last friday afternoon and I never told her to huss! Maybe I should have call the animal control. LOL!
Godfather - 14-May-15 @ 8:14 PM
@me. What did the council say about the noise/barking dogs? Are they pursuing this as a noise/nuisance complaint or were they the ones to suggest mediation? Sorry it's not clear what's really taken place so far.
ProblemNeighbours - 21-Apr-15 @ 11:36 AM
Since July 2014 my next door neighbour moved his girlfriend and her two children in. then in August she became loud her kids banging on wallls their dog would non stop bark she would hit her kids so hard till they would fall over and she would swear and shout at both of them using threatening behaviour to them. I tried to talk to her which lead her to shout abuse at me and then her mum and sister got involved. I am disabled and when I turned to the council about the noise I was told to keep diarys . she has callled the police many times when I have tried to talk to her about her dogs. It's now April 2015 and I'm not allowed tI say anything to her or him. So how does this non communication help when she says she will do mediation then change a her mind
me - 18-Apr-15 @ 5:50 AM
@Anthonyp. In view of these issues, the neighbours should make arrangements for the dog to be kept inside or for the access to be made 'free' of the dog.The dog is effectively causing an obstruction to you. On top of this, it’s against the law to let a dog be dangerously out of control anywhere, including a neighbour’s house or garden and the owner’s home. A dog is considered dangerously out of control if it: injures someone or makes someone worried that it might injure them
A court could also decide that your dog is dangerously out of control if it injures someone’s animal or the owner of the animal thinks they could be injured if they tried to stop your dog attacking their animal. Contact the police or your environmental health office for more information.
ProblemNeighbours - 25-Mar-15 @ 2:17 PM
Our neighbour has recently taken ownership of a rescue dog, I believe the breed is some sort of 'staffy'. Unfortunately after only a few days it escaped from her garden (no 5) and found its way into our garden (no 3) and then proceeded to kill two of our pet chickens. We have a 3 year old son who was obviously very distressed about this! Although this incident was very upsetting my main concern is in regards to our 'shared' access. We live in terrace properties and have access through the gardens of numbers 4 & 5 to a shared alley. This is to take the rubbish round, push cycles, access for tradesmen etc. I am now very unhappy about using this access through her garden especially with my small son as this aggressive dog may be loose in the garden of number 5. I wondered if anyone has had a similar problem as I don't know legally where I stand. I have contacted the trust through which the animal was 'rescued' and they have washed there hands of the issue! Please help!
anthonyp - 23-Mar-15 @ 10:40 AM
@Kay. Are you renting the flat? If so, then ask your landlord for assistance in this. If you own the flat then your deeds should indicate any access or ownership rights. You can then send an initial letter to the neighbour insisting on access, with legal action as a back up if he does not agree.
ProblemNeighbours - 17-Feb-15 @ 11:06 AM
We found out today (After 8 months of living in our flat) that we actually have a garden. Unfortunately, our next door neighbour has put up a fence denying us access to it. After we asked him, very nicely, for a key to gain entry to our side, he basically said no. He has moved the fence separating his own garden from the lane that runs along the back of them, which means the only way to access our garden is to cut through the very top of his. We have been looking for a garden flat for a while now (As we have two dogs) which is how we found out that we already had one. If he is totally unwilling to co-operate, what rights do we have and what should we do?
Kay. - 15-Feb-15 @ 5:17 PM
@countrygirl. As there is livestock on her land then your neighbour is obliged to maintain a stock proof fence to prevent her animals from straying into neighbouring properties. See this website for some useful information.
ProblemNeighbours - 20-Oct-14 @ 2:09 PM
We've been having probelms with our neighbours horses for 3 years now - she keeps too many horses (6-9) in a small field which has had no grass for ages. As a result the horses keep crossing over to our field, damaging the fencing in the process! we've complained to her many times and asked her to contribute to the new fencing we had to put in as we keep sheep in our field - no luck! nor has she done anything to secure her fence on her side which is virtually non existant! Not sure what to do and who we can complain to?
country girl - 18-Oct-14 @ 11:32 AM
@no hope in the world. An interesting point of view. Does anyone else support a pet free residential community?
ProblemNeighbours - 14-Jul-14 @ 2:27 PM
People that own pets think they hae rights over and above the law, and mostly over and above their neighbour. This touchy, feely story is full of rubbish advice and as soon as you approach your neighbour about anything pet related that is bothering you, you become the person the whole street hates from that point on/
Be as polite as you can, it does not make a difference, you are targeted as an animal hater of some sort and you WILL NOT get the peace or law enforcement you need. They accuse people bothered by animals in our communities as having a mental problem and that you should submit to any crap from any animal in the community, regardless of the laws directing animal control authorities to enforce the laws.
It IS a situation NO ONE will win. The best bet is to group together and start a residential area where ALL pets are banned. Give an inch, take a mile theory rules here. Allow one animal in and the rest will be history. A dog owner will go to the courts and claim unfair and they will win destroying a totally good pet free residential estate!
THIS IS THE ONLY SOLUTION!
But, seeing as most people think this is silly or will never happen, this attitude will ensure it surely will not hapopen.
Get the guts to group together and lobby for a pet free residential community, and it will happen, one day sooner!
No hope in the world - 13-Jul-14 @ 12:24 AM
I came back from holiday last night to find a large hutch in next door's garden placed right up against my fence. I thought the new tenants of the private rented poperty next to my owner occupied terraced house with very small back garden must be planning to house rabbits but this morning, to my horror, I found 4 very smelly ferrets in residence. Does anyone know if there are any rules re the proximity to neighbours for keeping these animals. I've spoken to the landlord to no avail- I've had a four year battle with him about the previous tenant's collection of dog faeces in the garden-he seems unconcerned about what his tenants do as long as h gets his rent
Clarrie Grundy - 21-Sep-13 @ 2:38 PM
My neighbour has in the last 6 months started to look after small animals, mainly rabbits and guinea pigs etc. As far as I can see at the moment she has at least 18 rabbits in hutches in the garden. This is on top of her 2 cats and a dog. The problem is that during the night the rabbits will kick the hutches and at the moment its worse due to the heat, I have to have the bedroom window open. The type of house doesnt help either being modern terrace so that the rabbis and dog are right below my window. Couple this with the fact that in 10 years of living here I have not been able to enjoy my garden deck , as soon as I open a window, door or walk onto the patio the dog will continue barking. Talking to the neighbour is a no go as it will only end in abusive language, I am losing sleep now and things are getting tense. Is this a council matter or private etc, any help appreciated
Wabbits - 9-Jul-13 @ 6:45 AM
ShelyI would like advise if there is anything I can do about the state of my neighbours back yard I can't go out into my yard because of the smell from the fecis and urine smell from his animals as he doesn't clean it up very often
Shell - 7-Jan-13 @ 12:07 PM
My ex daughter inlaw as a boyfriend who is the owner of a, bull mastive and it as bitten her leg badley. I am worried about my two young grandchildren going to his home is there anything that can be done to protect my grandchildren ?
nanny - 14-Dec-12 @ 6:37 PM
Lots of good info about how to complain about people with noisy dogs but nothing at all about people with dogs can protect themselves against moaning neighbours such as mine who came to view next door when it was for sale 4 months ago, She saw the big sign saying it is a rescue centre, she heard the dogs bark when she pulled up, and decided that this was all fine so bought the place and has since made my life hell by complaining to the council about the dogs, the parrot, the untidy (to her mind) yard to the side/. Week in and week out I get the council hassling me. Then she lit a bonfire and burned wet stuff despite seeing my windows wide open and when I asked them to stop, telling me that if I don't like it, I should move.Or them banging, drilling and scraping wallpaper off the wall about a foot from my head when I was fast asleep at 1am. The dogs don't bark at night, nor prolonged during the day but I am being persecuted. If she doesn't like animal noise, why did she decide to buy a house next door to an animal rescue?????