Barking Dog

Dog noise complaints in the unincorporated areas of Santa Barbara County are investigated by Animal Control Officers. There is a step by step process for these complaints.  The first recommendation is to contact the dog owner to advise them there is a concern about barking.  Often the owner is unaware that the dog is creating a disturbance. If this is unsuccessful, contact Animal Services for help.

First Complaint

Upon receipt of a complaint, the Animal Services Division of the Public Health Department issues a written notice to the owner or person having charge, care, or custody of the dog advising of the noise complaint and requesting immediate abatement of the excessive noise.

The letter cites the ordinance and includes recommendations for methods of solving the excessive noise complaint. Current licensing of the dog is also verified. The complainant is also mailed a letter indicating that the dog owner has been contacted.

Complaints to the Animal Services Division require the address where the dog noise nuisance exists and shall include the name, address and phone number of the complainant.

Second Complaint

Upon receipt of a second complaint (within 60 days of the first complaint) the Animal Control Officer will respond and attempt to make contact with the owner.

The officer will investigate the nature of the dog noise nuisance and offer recommendations to the dog owner. These suggestions may include a variety of options as developed by the Animal Services Division. Common suggestions include:

  • Bringing the animal inside the residence or garage
  • Training
  • Citronella Bark Collar
  • Relocation of the animal
  • Debarking (usually a last resort)
  • Mediation

Third and Subsequent Complaints

If complaints about the dog noise nuisance persist, a petition will be sent to the complainant. A minimum of two parties must sign the petition and be willing to testify.

Upon receipt of the petition, the Animal Services Division will investigate the complaint. The neighborhood will be canvassed to gather information and determine the validity of the complaint. Prior to submitting a case to the District Attorney, the complainant and the dog owner are to be given every opportunity to solve their own problems through mediation and intervention by the dog noise officer.

Click here to view the County of Santa Barbara Dog Noise Ordinance .

Barking Dog Brochure [ English ] [  Español ]

 For more information or to file a complaint, contact your local Animal Shelter: 

Santa Barbara Shelter
Hours: M-F: 9am to 4:45pm
Phone: (805) 681-5285 

Lompoc Shelter
Hours: M-F: 9am to 12:30pm/1:30pm to 4:45pm
Phone: (805) 737-7755 

Santa Maria Shelter
Hours: M-F: 9am to 4:45pm
Phone: (805) 934-6119

A few contract cities have their own Bark Complaint process. If the nuisance is in one of these areas please contact the appropriate office below:

City of Santa Maria

City of Carpinteria

City of Santa Barbara