Q&A with the Animal Shelter: That dog barks all day long… what can I do?

Q&A with the Animal Shelter: That dog barks all day long… what can I do?



Each month, you will have the chance to have your questions answered by the animal shelter.

My neighbor’s dog barks all the time. What can I do? What will Animal Services do if I call about this?

If you are comfortable doing so, talk to your neighbor. They may not even know about the barking if it is happening while they are away from home. Your neighbor may be able to take steps to reduce the noise such as working with a professional dog trainer to help the dog become more comfortable home alone, trying puzzle toys or feeders to keep the dog occupied while they are out, or hiring a dog walker or having a friend check on their pup during the day.

When we receive a barking dog complaint, we first look to see if there have been other official complaints to our agency. If there are none, we start by mailing a letter. This letter makes the dog owners aware that there has been a complaint, provides information about the relevant county code, gives tips on solving the problem, and has contact information for Animal Services so the dog owner may call if they have questions. No further steps are taken unless there are additional complaints and evidence of a barking violation. Washington County Code states that a dog barking for a total of five or more minutes out of any 15-minute period is in violation and a citation may be issued to the dog owner.

It is very cold, and my neighbor leaves their dog outside all the time. I’m worried about the dog. Can you help?

You can always call us at 503-846-7041 if you believe an animal in Washington County is not being properly cared for; one of our officers will follow up. It is against the law to deprive animals of adequate shelter and bedding, but we do not have the authority to make people let their pets live inside with them. Some breeds have thicker coats that naturally give them more protection from the cold, and sometimes, what seems like an outside-only dog may have access to inside but prefers to spend most of their time outside. We take animal abuse and neglect very seriously. When a concern is reported to us, we’re committed to first contacting the animal owner to determine the facts and then, if necessary, taking action to uphold the law.


For more information on these topics and more, please visit www.WashingtonCountyPets.com or call us at (503) 846-7041. The Bonnie Hays Animal Shelter is located in downtown Hillsboro at 1901 SE 24th Ave. Email your questions to: Stacy_Beckley@co.washington.or.us