Skip to main content

Barking Dog Complaints

How to file a complaint about dog-related noise in Washington County, Oregon.

We receive nearly 1,000 complaints a year about dog-related noise. Washington County code states that a continuous annoyance is any repeated barking, whining, screeching, howling or other sounds caused by a dog or dogs that can be reasonably heard beyond the boundary of the dog owner's property. It further states that if a dog is allowed to cause a continuous annoyance for a total of five or more minutes in any 15-minute period, that may be considered a violation of County code.

County code requires that an enforcement officer have “reasonable grounds” to believe a dog has caused a continuous annoyance before moving forward with the barking complaint process. Once reasonable grounds have been established, an enforcement officer may deliver written notice to the dog owner with a description of the alleged continuous annoyance complaint and directing the dog owner to abate (reduce) the possible continuous annoyance within 120 hours (or five days).

After the abatement/warning period has passed, you may collect evidence to support citing (ticketing) the dog owner for a violation of the continuous annoyance ordinance. If you can capture a violation of a total of five or more minutes of dog-related noise in any 15-minute period you can file a second online complaint and an officer will contact you to collect the audio or video evidence you captured. If the evidence is likely to prove a violation of County code, the officer overseeing the case will ask you to complete and return a voluntary written statement form. Once the statement form has been returned, the enforcement officer may serve a citation (ticket) to the dog owner for violating Washington County Code 6.04.260. The maximum fine is $500.

If the officer serves a citation to the dog owner, you must be willing to appear in court if necessary. An owner that is cited has the right to plead “Not Guilty” and request a hearing in county court. If a hearing is requested, you must be present in court to testify to the evidence you collected. This assists us in prosecuting the violation. If you fail to appear the citation will be dismissed and the barking will likely continue.

File a complaint regarding barking or other dog-related noise using our webform.

Submit a Complaint

Contact Us

Animal Services