Each week, Scottsbluff Police Cpl. Krisa Brass will answer questions submitted by Star-Herald readers.
Send questions for consideration to firstname.lastname@example.org or by leaving your question at 308-632-9057.
I have always lived in Gering and have never had this issue. I understand the “barking dog” law, but what I don’t understand is how long is too long before the police should be called on a barking dog? We just moved into a house we are buying, only living here 3 weeks now. I can time it from the time I let my dog out to the time an officer shows up at 8 minutes or less. My dog (Doberman) yips when he wants in, but before I get the chance to do that, an officer is at my door. It feels like harassment! Please help me understand this!
City ordinance does not outline a specific amount of time regarding barking dogs. The ordinance simply states an individual may not own “an animal that causes noise continually to the disturbance of the peace of the neighborhood.”
Since a specific time frame is not given, we revert back to the basis of most statutes and ordinances. What is reasonable? Now, if you truly let your dog outside, he yips a couple of times before you let him back in, and law enforcement is at your door, I can understand feeling a sense of harassment.
On the other hand, if you let your dog out five times each day and each time you let the dog out he barks for ten minutes, I can see how a neighbor may find this barking disruptive and a disturbance of their peace.
As for the law enforcement response, we are going to show up when we get the call because that’s our job. Most officers will respond to the area and sit back and observe for some time to try and see the big picture. Is the dog barking just to bark? Is the dog barking because people are walking by? Again to determine the appropriate action based on what is reasonable.
Do you know who is calling in the complaints? Have you reached out to your neighbors to try and find a common ground? If not, maybe consider this avenue. I have seen many situations similar to yours easily remedied by simple communication between the parties involved.
If that approach doesn’t work, give me a call and we will figure out a solution.