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 disturb any person at any time of day or night, regardless of whether the dog is physically situated in or upon private property.
  • An extended period of time shall consist of incessant barking for sixty minutes or more in any twenty-four-hour period or intermittent barking for sixty 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 (PDF).

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

  • Complete a Barking Dog Complaint Form and fax or mail it 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 the 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 the dismissal of the case.

Process 2

Barking Complaints in the Sphere of Influence of a City

  • A barking dog civil complaint is initiated by at least two Barking Dog Complaint Forms from separate households.
  • Upon the 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 educational 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 the 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.

Sphere of Influence for Cities in Butte County