WHAT TO DO ABOUT

DAY BARKING

Day Barking is defined here as any noise from any dog which unreasonably interferes with your peace,
comfort or convenience while you are in or about your premises (or while you are in any public place) during
your council’s normal hours of business. (At other times the police may help you by confirming the offence –
please refer to my article “What to do about Night Barking”)


These times are the nominal hours when councils may be asked by any aggrieved person to apply the
government’s specific empowering legislation known as the Dog Control Act 2000. It is important that you
realise that contrary to popular belief, no Tasmanian council is under any legal compulsion whatever to even
listen to your lawful complaint, or to the dog, or to act in any way at all at any time to relieve your suffering.
This contrived legal situation allows councils everywhere to commonly render this Act’s barking relief
procedures ineffective. This is why the barking problem has grown so huge and has impacted so adversely on
public health.


There are several possible approaches to initiate remedial council intervention:

You can informally convey the details of the problem either by phone (hold the handset so the din can be
heard) or by letter, or by visiting the council offices. A good council will act forthwith under its own Dog
Management Policy to alleviate your concern and restore peace to the neighbourhood.

You may visit your council office and complete its formal (section 47) complaint form then hand the cashier
the prescribed fee (perhaps $11, but it currently varies up to $55) to initiate an official investigation into the
matter. This procedure takes longer of course, if distance obliges you to request the form by phone (keep
forms handy!) and to post the fee by cheque.


If the general manager (or his appointee) considers, after its investigation, that your complaint has substance
then your council may institute proceedings against the alleged offender. Detected substance to your
complaint requires the full refund of the fee you paid. If your complaint is deemed frivolous or vexatious (the
reason for the deterrent effect of a fee in the first place) then the money may be retained. In this event you may
telephone the Ombudsman’s office for a complaint form to secure its intervention for recovery.

Each council conducts its investigation in its own way. This usually takes the form of a council ranger
(nowadays an Animal Control Officer or ACO) monitoring the premises alleged to contain the noisy dog. This
can occur as and when it suits your council, although your complaint will have more chance of success if you
have listed the times when the barking most commonly occurs. This will often be when the owner is absent (at
work for example) and the dog barks because isolation, to a dog, is torture.

There is no compulsion upon you to compile a barking diary. Such council suggestions are often a specious
contrivance to defer their remedial involvement while you, the victim, compile under severe duress a record of
the times, durations and dates of the barking assaults tormenting you. Anti-barking activists unaminously
recommend that you refuse to stress yourself any further by compiling these torture records. It is the council's
job to obtain such evidence as it feels will hold up in court - and it has a fair expectation that you will support
it in that role with sworn testimony and if necessary, courtroom evidence.


Your role is to help make complaint verification as readily achievable as you can. A diligent council will soon
commence gathering evidence that it trusts will be sufficiently strong to withstand any challenge in a court.
This is often very much harder than you might think. Councils hate this task and will habitually try to wriggle
free from their responsibilities by offering pretexts for non-involvement such as allegations of neighbour
disputes, or simply by denying that there's any discernible barking problem at all.


Investigating barking complaints will cost the council time and money, and the risks of legal failure are
significant. Some councils try strenuously to belittle the integrity of complaints to avoid those perceived risks.


A paid penalty goes entirely to the council that did the work, but if a defiant owner chooses to challenge the
council’s remedial responses in court, and wins, then the council might have to bear the full costs of the
prosecution itself, just as when the offender refuses to pay up. These costs may reach thousands of dollars over
the issue of a fully justified $200 infringement notice for barking. It’s no wonder that so many councils retreat
into a convenient deafness!


In making any complaint to your council you should be aware that many council employess and ACOs love
their own dog and that they will quietly and insidiously take the owner’s side in the issue. This can leave your
case unresolved for years on end and your suffering continuous.

In this event you may have no practical alternative but to either move out (to meet the same problem
elsewhere?) or to seek your own relief in the least offensive manner you can devise.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT

DAY BARKING

Day Barking is defined here as any noise from any dog which unreasonably interferes with your peace,
comfort or convenience while you are in or about your premises (or while you are in any public place) during
your council’s normal hours of business. (At other times the police may help you by confirming the offence –
please refer to my article “What to do about Night Barking”)


These times are the nominal hours when councils may be asked by any aggrieved person to apply the
government’s specific empowering legislation known as the Dog Control Act 2000. It is important that you
realise that contrary to popular belief, no Tasmanian council is under any legal compulsion whatever to even
listen to your lawful complaint, or to the dog, or to act in any way at all at any time to relieve your suffering.
This contrived legal situation allows councils everywhere to commonly render this Act’s barking relief
procedures ineffective. This is why the barking problem has grown so huge and has impacted so adversely on
public health.


There are several possible approaches to initiate remedial council intervention:

You can informally convey the details of the problem either by phone (hold the handset so the din can be
heard) or by letter, or by visiting the council offices. A good council will act forthwith under its own Dog
Management Policy to alleviate your concern and restore peace to the neighbourhood.

You may visit your council office and complete its formal (section 47) complaint form then hand the cashier
the prescribed fee (perhaps $11, but it currently varies up to $55) to initiate an official investigation into the
matter. This procedure takes longer of course, if distance obliges you to request the form by phone (keep
forms handy!) and to post the fee by cheque.


If the general manager (or his appointee) considers, after its investigation, that your complaint has substance
then your council may institute proceedings against the alleged offender. Detected substance to your
complaint requires the full refund of the fee you paid. If your complaint is deemed frivolous or vexatious (the
reason for the deterrent effect of a fee in the first place) then the money may be retained. In this event you may
telephone the Ombudsman’s office for a complaint form to secure its intervention for recovery.

Each council conducts its investigation in its own way. This usually takes the form of a council ranger
(nowadays an Animal Control Officer or ACO) monitoring the premises alleged to contain the noisy dog. This
can occur as and when it suits your council, although your complaint will have more chance of success if you
have listed the times when the barking most commonly occurs. This will often be when the owner is absent (at
work for example) and the dog barks because isolation, to a dog, is torture.

There is no compulsion upon you to compile a barking diary. Such council suggestions are often a specious
contrivance to defer their remedial involvement while you, the victim, compile under severe duress a record of
the times, durations and dates of the barking assaults tormenting you. Anti-barking activists unaminously
recommend that you refuse to stress yourself any further by compiling these torture records. It is the council's
job to obtain such evidence as it feels will hold up in court - and it has a fair expectation that you will support
it in that role with sworn testimony and if necessary, courtroom evidence.


Your role is to help make complaint verification as readily achievable as you can. A diligent council will soon
commence gathering evidence that it trusts will be sufficiently strong to withstand any challenge in a court.
This is often very much harder than you might think. Councils hate this task and will habitually try to wriggle
free from their responsibilities by offering pretexts for non-involvement such as allegations of neighbour
disputes, or simply by denying that there's any discernible barking problem at all.


Investigating barking complaints will cost the council time and money, and the risks of legal failure are
significant. Some councils try strenuously to belittle the integrity of complaints to avoid those perceived risks.


A paid penalty goes entirely to the council that did the work, but if a defiant owner chooses to challenge the
council’s remedial responses in court, and wins, then the council might have to bear the full costs of the
prosecution itself, just as when the offender refuses to pay up. These costs may reach thousands of dollars over
the issue of a fully justified $200 infringement notice for barking. It’s no wonder that so many councils retreat
into a convenient deafness!


In making any complaint to your council you should be aware that many council employess and ACOs love
their own dog and that they will quietly and insidiously take the owner’s side in the issue. This can leave your
case unresolved for years on end and your suffering continuous.

In this event you may have no practical alternative but to either move out (to meet the same problem
elsewhere?) or to seek your own relief in the least offensive manner you can devise.

WHAT TO DO ABOUT

DAY BARKING

Day Barking is defined here as any noise from any dog which unreasonably interferes with your peace,
comfort or convenience while you are in or about your premises (or while you are in any public place) during
your council’s normal hours of business. (At other times the police may help you by confirming the offence –
please refer to my article “What to do about Night Barking”)


These times are the nominal hours when councils may be asked by any aggrieved person to apply the
government’s specific empowering legislation known as the Dog Control Act 2000. It is important that you
realise that contrary to popular belief, no Tasmanian council is under any legal compulsion whatever to even
listen to your lawful complaint, or to the dog, or to act in any way at all at any time to relieve your suffering.
This contrived legal situation allows councils everywhere to commonly render this Act’s barking relief
procedures ineffective. This is why the barking problem has grown so huge and has impacted so adversely on
public health.


There are several possible approaches to initiate remedial council intervention:

You can informally convey the details of the problem either by phone (hold the handset so the din can be
heard) or by letter, or by visiting the council offices. A good council will act forthwith under its own Dog
Management Policy to alleviate your concern and restore peace to the neighbourhood.

You may visit your council office and complete its formal (section 47) complaint form then hand the cashier
the prescribed fee (perhaps $11, but it currently varies up to $55) to initiate an official investigation into the
matter. This procedure takes longer of course, if distance obliges you to request the form by phone (keep
forms handy!) and to post the fee by cheque.


If the general manager (or his appointee) considers, after its investigation, that your complaint has substance
then your council may institute proceedings against the alleged offender. Detected substance to your
complaint requires the full refund of the fee you paid. If your complaint is deemed frivolous or vexatious (the
reason for the deterrent effect of a fee in the first place) then the money may be retained. In this event you may
telephone the Ombudsman’s office for a complaint form to secure its intervention for recovery.

Each council conducts its investigation in its own way. This usually takes the form of a council ranger
(nowadays an Animal Control Officer or ACO) monitoring the premises alleged to contain the noisy dog. This
can occur as and when it suits your council, although your complaint will have more chance of success if you
have listed the times when the barking most commonly occurs. This will often be when the owner is absent (at
work for example) and the dog barks because isolation, to a dog, is torture.

There is no compulsion upon you to compile a barking diary. Such council suggestions are often a specious
contrivance to defer their remedial involvement while you, the victim, compile under severe duress a record of
the times, durations and dates of the barking assaults tormenting you. Anti-barking activists unaminously
recommend that you refuse to stress yourself any further by compiling these torture records. It is the council's
job to obtain such evidence as it feels will hold up in court - and it has a fair expectation that you will support
it in that role with sworn testimony and if necessary, courtroom evidence.


Your role is to help make complaint verification as readily achievable as you can. A diligent council will soon
commence gathering evidence that it trusts will be sufficiently strong to withstand any challenge in a court.
This is often very much harder than you might think. Councils hate this task and will habitually try to wriggle
free from their responsibilities by offering pretexts for non-involvement such as allegations of neighbour
disputes, or simply by denying that there's any discernible barking problem at all.


Investigating barking complaints will cost the council time and money, and the risks of legal failure are
significant. Some councils try strenuously to belittle the integrity of complaints to avoid those perceived risks.


A paid penalty goes entirely to the council that did the work, but if a defiant owner chooses to challenge the
council’s remedial responses in court, and wins, then the council might have to bear the full costs of the
prosecution itself, just as when the offender refuses to pay up. These costs may reach thousands of dollars over
the issue of a fully justified $200 infringement notice for barking. It’s no wonder that so many councils retreat
into a convenient deafness!


In making any complaint to your council you should be aware that many council employess and ACOs love
their own dog and that they will quietly and insidiously take the owner’s side in the issue. This can leave your
case unresolved for years on end and your suffering continuous.

In this event you may have no practical alternative but to either move out (to meet the same problem
elsewhere?) or to seek your own relief in the least offensive manner you can devise.