Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, including to warn an approaching stranger to stay back from either their "space" or a familiar person that they are protecting, or sometimes in play with their owners or other dogs. However, there are some dogs that bark all the time, even in the absence of these situations. The constant, unrestrained, and unwarranted barking of dogs can disturb the peace of the surrounding neighbors, with effects ranging from mild annoyance to lost sleep or even health problems such as severe headaches. Dog owners should read the information provided on the Department of Animal Care & Control's (DACC) http://animalcare.lacounty.gov page for information on why dogs bark and for strategies and training tips to control excessive barking.
If there is a dog in your neighborhood that constantly barks, whether it's only for a few hours every night (or day) or around the clock, you can report it! For dogs that live within City limits, contact the Public Safety Office's Barking Dog Hotline at (661) 723-5991 or email@example.com. (For all other animal-related complaints (whether or not in conjunction with a barking dog complaint), including unsanitary or abusive conditions, vicious animals, strays, and more, please contact the Lancaster Animal Shelter at (661) 940-4191.
When submitting your complaint, please have available the address where the dog resides along with any other pertinent information, as well as your name, address, phone number, and email address (if applicable) so that we can contact you if needed. Note that we will not share your information with anyone, including the dog owner, without your prior and specific consent. Also please note that we will only contact you if we need further information, and generally will not give a "call back" for each complaint received.
Please allow a reasonable period of time between complaints, as this is needed both to follow-up on the complaint and to allow the dog owner(s) to respond and correct the problem. While timely complaints are important to keep problems from continuing for an extended period of time, daily complaints will not "speed up the process" for legal reasons. The process for complaints is as follows:
Complaints submitted to the City are followed-up by a visit to the dog owner's residence by a Community Service Officer; if after three attempts contact is not able to be made, a courtesy letter will be sent. If the problem does not resolve within a reasonable amount of time of contact or mailing (generally 7-10 calendar days) and additional or follow-up complaints are received, a Notice to Abate will be issued to the owner's address.
If the problem does not resolve within 10 calendar days of issuance of a Notice to Abate and additional complaints are received, the City may elect to pursue legal action against the dog owner(s), including but not limited to citations, office hearings, court proceedings, monitored compliance, and more. Keep in mind that this is within the City's discretion based on information gathered as a result of complaint follow-up, and is determined on a case-by-case basis. In addition, the dog owner has 30 days from the date of a Notice to Abate to formally contest the complaint in writing before any action will be taken.
For dogs that live outside of City limits, you may report the problem by using the Department of Animal Care & Control's (DACC) Animal Complaint Form (an email address is required). For more information, please visit the DACC's Animal Laws & Ordinances page.
If you have any questions about barking dogs, or to follow up on the status of a complaint, please contact the agency with whom you filed the complaint for the City of Lancaster's Public Safety Office, 661/723-5991 or firstname.lastname@example.org; for the Lancaster Animal Shelter, (661) 940-4191, or visit their office at 5210 West Avenue I.
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