Excessive dog barking could result in hefty fines for pet owners in Milton

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Published April 21, 2022 at 4:14 pm

Have you ever wondered what could happen if a neighbour complains about your dog barking in Milton? If so, you’re not alone.

Sometimes, neighbours can become close and trusted friends, but other times, they aren’t quite as harmonious or cooperative as residents would like them to be, particularly in situations that cause them to feel inconvenienced.

Recently, a Milton resident wrote a post in a Facebook group to seek advice from the community after receiving a noise complaint about her dog’s barking.

The comment section of the post received several responses, with the majority empathizing and showing their support.

“I’m sorry this has happened to you. We have a neighbour whose dog barks constantly and you know what I do? I ignore it. Because that’s a normal response. Dogs bark, children scream and run around, neighbours have parties to celebrate stuff. All part of life,” responded one Milton resident in the comment section of the original post.

“Everyone makes noise. So what, dogs bark, get over it,” wrote another resident.

While every municipality has its own way of handling each situation, here’s the protocol for noise and specifically, dog barking complaints in the Town of Milton.

The Town of Milton’s Noise by-law states that no person shall cause or permit the emission of sound resulting from “persistent barking, calling, whining or other similar persistent sounds made by any domestic pet or any other animal kept or used for any purpose other than agriculture.”

In terms of the protocol, Mary Beth McMullen, Manager, Licensing and Enforcement for Milton recently told insauga that when the Town receives a noise complaint, the concerns are assigned to an officer for investigation.

“The first point of contact would be to educate the property owner of the legislation. We do this by either making direct contact with them or by sending a notice in the mail,” said McMullen.

“If subsequent complaints are received, the officer may issue an Order to Comply or a Provincial Offences Act charge.”

According to McMullen, while the penalty under by-law is $250.00, subsequent offences may result in the following increased fines.

Other than a corporation, every person who fails to comply is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $10,000 for a first offence or not more than $25,000 for a second or subsequent offence upon conviction.

Every corporation that fails to comply is guilty of an offence and is liable to a fine of not more than $50,000 for a first offence and not more than $100,000 for a second or subsequent offence upon conviction.

It’s important to note, however, that prior to fines being issued, the investigating Municipal Law Enforcement Officer must prove that an offence has taken place, which they may do by either witnessing or hearing the noise associated with the offence or by way of a witness statement, according to McMullen.

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