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Barking Dogs

This information is intended to clearly explain both the role of Garden Grove Animal Care Services and your role as the complainant in the resolution of the problem.

  1. Garden Grove Animal Care Services recommends that neighbors attempt to resolve the problem with the nuisance animal owner or other responsible person prior to filing a formal complaint. Sometimes the responsible person is unaware of the noise and grateful for the opportunity to address the issue.

  2. If a formal complaint is submitted, Garden Grove Animal Care Services will attempt contact with the responsible person in an effort to help in the resolution of the reported problem. We cannot help resolve this matter however, without assistance.

Per Garden Grove Municipal Code section 6.05.020, the definition of a barking dog is one that barks incessantly for 30 minutes or more in any 24-hour period, or intermittent barking for 60 minutes or more during any 24-hour period. A dog shall not be deemed in violation if a dog is barking at a person that is trespassing or threatening to trespass upon private property in or upon which the dog is situated, or when the dog is being teased or provoked.

Civil Citation Process

  • A complaint must be submitted to Garden Grove Animal Care Services. Once the complaint has been processed, an Animal Control Officer shall attempt to contact the responsible person to explain the civil citation procedure and try to help resolve the situation.

Initiate a complaint

  • The responsible person is given ten (10) days to resolve the situation.

  • If the situation still exists after ten (10) days, you may file a second complaint with Garden Grove Animal Care Services.

  • If Garden Grove Animal Care Services is not contacted within a reasonable time of the initial contact of the responsible person, the complaint will expire.

  • Once the complainant requests further action on a second complaint, the Animal Control Officer shall initiate the issuance of a civil citation.

    • The purpose of issuing a civil citation is to encourage voluntary and complete compliance with the City code to eliminate barking dog nuisances for the protection and benefit of the community. The issuance of a civil citation is solely at the City’s discretion and is one option the City has to address barking dog violations.

    • If a request is made to have a civil citation issued, an Animal Control Officer shall respond to the complainant’s residence.

    • Before a citation will be issued, the complaining party is required to sign an affidavit under penalty of perjury that the barking dog has disturbed him/her, and the dog is a nuisance as defined by the legal definition of a barking dog.

    • The requestor shall be advised of the necessity of attending the administrative hearing if the responsible person contests the citation. If the requestor does not attend the hearing, the citation may be dismissed in favor of the responsible person.

    • The Animal Control Officer shall then attempt to contact the responsible person. The responsible person shall be advised of the second complaint and the request for a civil citation. The Animal Control Officer shall advise the responsible person of the option of paying the fine and abating the nuisance or contesting the citation at the administrative hearing. The responsible person may opt to pay the fine immediately to the Animal Control Officer on scene.

  • If there has been no contact made with the responsible person, the Animal Control Officer may post the citation in a conspicuous place on the responsible person’s property where the barking dog violation occurred if the property owner and/or occupier’s name is unknown. An Animal Control Officer may mail the civil citation by certified mail, return receipt requested if the property owner and/or occupier’s name is known but the violator is not present when personal service is attempted.

  • The responsible person must pay the fine within 15 days and contest the citation at the administrative hearing. If the responsible person does not appear at the administrative hearing, the fine will become due and payable. Payment of the fine shall not excuse the violator from correcting the barking dog violation.

  • It is the responsibility of both parties to bring a copy of all evidence presented to the hearing officer at the administrative hearing. If any electronic media is brought to the hearing, a copy must be presented in a manner that is compatible with City equipment. If the electronic media can be played on a standard CD or DVD player, it will most likely work on City equipment.

  • The City of Garden Grove cannot guarantee anonymity to the complainant or the dog owner. The City does not provide the complainants personal information to the owner of the barking dog at the first step in the process. However, should the barking dog complaint process proceed beyond the first step, it may be necessary for an Animal Control Officer to contact the complainant and/or dog owner for additional information. All information obtained is considered public information and may be disclosed to either party.

  • If after a citation is issued to the responsible party and the barking dog(s), stops barking or it no longer meets the barking dog criteria, the complainant may wish to withdraw the citation and stop the process by filing a Waiver of Civil Citation. The complainant has up to four (4) business days prior to the hearing to call and withdraw their complaint.