Frustrated neighbour

Resident writes letter.

I live in a townhouse complex where several of my neighbours’ dogs bark continuously for no apparent reason.

This happens day and night, and on weekends as well, irrespective of whether the owners are at home or not.

I attempted to speak to the neighbours about this problem but was met with rude and aggressive responses. They feel their dogs have the right to bark, and there’s nothing wrong with it. We are forced to endure the constant barking and howling of their dogs, while the owners spend their days in fancy offices where this kind of nonsense would never be tolerated.

On weekends, they lock the dogs in the house and go out, and the dogs howl and bark incessantly. We are forced to close our doors and windows and turn up the volume of the TV. We can’t even go for a walk in the complex due to these dogs.

Aside from the barking, they feed their dogs in the evening and then walk them around the complex common area so that they can defecate outside our homes, away from their own units. These owners never clean up after their dogs.

They also take their dogs for a swim in our communal swimming pool. Children swim in this pool. Again, they don’t even clean up the pool enclosure afterwards – where the dogs are not allowed.

I contacted an inspector at the SPCA who gave me a number to call and report the barking dogs. She said that they would come out and assess the dogs, and decide whether to take action from there. This number just keeps on ringing.

I tried the police but they are a complete waste of time. The same applies to our body corporate, but no surprises there since the people who write the rules are the very same ones who break them.

What are our public rights and legal recourse against irresponsible dog owners? These problems are not just limited to townhouse complexes, we experience this in public parks as well.

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