Public Health

The mission of the Butte County Public Health Department (BCPHD) is to protect the public through promoting individual, community, and environmental health. 

Public Health Barking Dog Guidelines

To make a barking complaint you must first determine whether you live in or outside a sphere of influence of unincorporated Butte County. If you live in the unincorporated, rural areas of Butte County, please refer to Process 1 below. If you live within city limits, please refer to Process 2 below.


Things to consider when filing a barking dog complaint:

  • “Barking dog” means a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls or makes any noise for an extended period of time to the disturbance of any person at any time of day or night, regardless of whether the dog is physically situated in or upon private property.
  • Such extended period of time shall consist of incessant barking for sixty (60) minutes or more in any twenty-four hour period, or intermittent barking for sixty (60) minutes or more during any twenty-four hour period.
  • A dog shall not be deemed a “barking dog” for purpose of this Article if, at any time the dog is barking, a person is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the dog is situated, or when the dog is teased or provoked by someone other than the owner.

Is the dog owner aware there may be a barking problem?

  • If possible and you feel comfortable, speak to the dog owner about the noise. Often people are unaware that there is a problem.
  • If other neighbors share your concerns, try talking to the dog owner as a group, or sending a letter outlining the neighborhood’s concerns.
  • Keep a written log, documenting the times and duration of the barking. This will help your case should you consider further action against the dog owner.

Process 1:

Unincorporated, Rural Areas of Butte County

The following procedure shall be used to document a barking dog nuisance in the rural areas of Butte County. “Rural areas” are defined as those areas that are not within the sphere of influence of a city. For more information, see the Barking Rural Area Process Chapter 4-1.2b

View the Map of Butte County (Rural Areas) sphere of influence.

  • Complete a Barking Dog Complaint Form and fax or mail to Butte County Animal Control or call BCAC at 530-552-3888
  • The address and if known, the name of the dog owner. 
  • Description of dog(s). 
  • Any audio or video documentation may be submitted, but is not required. 

Upon receiving an initial call or statement form, a barking dog packet will be sent to all parties with further information. Please allow 10 days for the situation to be addressed by the owner. 

  • If the barking continues you and at least one other neighbor will need to submit individual logs indicating the dates and times of the barking.
  • After the barking logs are submitted, they will be reviewed for completeness and evaluated to see if enough evidence has been collected to issue a court citation. 
  • If a citation is issued and contested, you will be notified and asked to appear as a witness if the dog owner requests a court trial. Failure to appear in court will result in dismissal of the case. 

Process 2:

Barking Complaints in Sphere of Influence of a City:

  • A barking dog civil complaint is initiated by at least two (2) Barking Dog Complaint Forms from separate households. 
  • Upon filing of complaints an animal control officer will make a personal visit with the dog owner or responsible person to offer information and to provide education materials on correcting the barking. 
  • From the day of the visit, the dog owner or responsible person is allowed ten days to remedy the barking violation.
  • If barking continues after ten days the original complainants must file a second Barking Dog Complaint Form.
  • Upon second complaint, the original complaints must sign a sworn affidavit, under penalty of perjury, that the dog barking is in violation of the county ordinance. 
  • An animal control officer will then make a second visit with the dog owner or responsible person and may issue a civil citation for the barking violation.

View the sphere of influence for cities in Butte County:

Map of Oroville City Sphere of Influence 
Map of Chico City Sphere of Influence 
Map of Paradise Town Sphere of Influence 
Map of Gridley City Sphere of Influence 


Tips for resolving barking issues: 

Dumb Friends League Website

Butte County General Ordinances Chapter 4 Animals

Find a Clinic  License a Dog  Food Inspection Reports

Register a Birth or Death  Get a Travel Shot  

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Butte County Animal Services
Phone: 530.552.3888
Fax: 530.538.6329

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Butte County Animal Services
202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Office Hours
Monday to Friday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Except Holidays

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Public Health Department

202 Mira Loma Drive
Oroville, CA 95965

Report a Health Emergency
24-Hour Line: 530.552.4000

Danette York, MPH, Director
Dr. David Canton, Health Officer

Public Health Leadership Team