City Ordinance 9-2-4-7 Animal Noise
My Neighbor’s Dog Makes Too Much Noise. What Can I Do About It?
You can call 311 or fill out an online form. A letter will be sent to the owner, giving a seven-day notice to resolve the problem.
If the noise continues after seven days, call 311 or fill out an online form. An Animal Control Officer will be dispatched to investigate.
On somewhat rare occasions, the officer might witness the noise violation, and a citation and or a criminal complaint can be issued based on the officer’s observations. If the officer does not witness the violation, then you must be prepared to participate if you want the case to move forward.
The officer will need a written log and/or a statement with dates and times of disturbances. The officer will want to know if you are willing to file criminal charges against your neighbor. The officer will also want to know if you have exhausted all means of dealing with the problem, such as talking with your neighbor or contacting the city’s Alternative Dispute Resolution office for help through a mediation process.
If there is sufficient evidence, charges may be filed and you might be needed to testify in a criminal trial. It is not a quick process. It can be several months before a trial date is even set.
If the officer does not find enough evidence, the investigation will be closed. You then might have to consider filing a civil suit against the neighbor.
What Is Mediation? How Can It Help?
Mediation is a dispute resolution process, designed for neighbors in Albuquerque to resolve problems.
Mediators are impartial third parties. They are trained at reducing hostility between neighbors and helping neighbors look at problems in a new way and discuss potential solutions. Mediators do not blame, decide who is right or wrong, or make decisions about what should happen. You are responsible for the outcome.
Mediation sessions, scheduled through the City of Albuquerque Community Mediation Program, are provided at no charge.
Documentation of the Mediation Process can be a crucial part of a complaint. These records can be used as legal documents in a criminal prosecution.
Mediation sessions are scheduled in locations convenient to your neighborhood. The sessions can take place during the day or evening, depending on the schedules of the people involved.
To begin the process, call the Alternative Dispute Resolution office at (505) 768-4712.
What Can I Do About My Own Dog?
- Regular leash walks
Provide your dog with mental and physical stimulation so the animal is calmer in general and less likely to seek objectionable activities. Walking also allows the pet a chance for social interaction.
- Rain on his parade
To remind your dog that his noise is not appreciated, give him a short blast of water with a squirt bottle. It's best to aim for the body and not the face. When the dog stops noise, praise the dog immediately.
- Use a chew toy
Your animal will have a hard time making noise if his mouth is busy chewing. Chewing is a natural stress release for animals and an occupier of time. If you're going to be gone, give your animal a favorite chew toy just before you leave. Certain toys allow for the addition of peanut butter, possibly making them more desirable to your dog.
- A soda can with pebbles
Shaking a soda can filled with pebbles has an effect on both dogs and cats that is the pet equivalent of running your fingernails down a blackboard. Put some pebbles or small coins in an empty soda can and tape the opening shut. If the noisy animal doesn't respond to the command to be quiet, shake the can a couple of times. Your pet won’t like the sound, and might stop what it is doing when the sound occurs. When your pet stops making noise, praise the pet immediately.
- Bring the pet indoors
If your animal sleeps outside and simply won’t stay quiet throughout the night, it might be best to bring the pet indoors.
- Blocking the stimulus with white noise
If your animal is super sensitive to noises, try blocking some of that noise so the dog is not so inspired to bark. Turn on the vacuum cleaner to block the approaching steps of a mail carrier, or children walking home from school. Playing your stereo might help.
- Special collars
An animal trainer might recommend a no-noise collar, which delivers a squirt of citronella, a high frequency sound, or a light shock when your animal makes noise. Some collars go off immediately, while others allow the animal to make noise a few times before being activated. Be very selective. An animal training expert can help you choose the right size for your pet. Some collars can be extremely useful, but you need to work with someone who can help you get a good collar and training. Pet supply stores and trainers offer these specialized collars.
- Know when to change strategies
Sometimes, people don't know when to quit using a particular approach. They might keep doing the same thing for months, even though it's not working. If there is not improvement within three to five days, try a different technique.