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Help! Barking Dogs

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meowruff
February 16, 2012 03:34AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 346

After two hours of non stop barking from our neighbor's dogs, I am writing - very frustrated and seeking out help from my fellow posters.

Our neighbors have two very large dogs (one looks like a horse). Previously, they were unrestrained and "doing their business" on our patio, terrorizing my private piano students, etc. When we would take our dogs for a walk, I would always take my spear gun with me for protection from these dogs.

A few months ago, they brought home a new puppy. One morning, a few days later, I heard an awful crying, and walked over to see what was going on. The largest of the two dogs was KILLING the new puppy, and the smaller one was licking up the blood. I took pictures and contacted the St Croix Animal Welfare Center immediately. They responded quickly, and we called 9-1-1. They were not allowed to enter the property where this was taking place without police presence, so we waited...and waited...and waited...and waited. And, while we waited, we watched the large dog KILL the puppy. Eventually, the police arrived, but it was too late. The new puppy was dead. The dogs remained at large, and I became fearful for myself, my students and my pets. Over a two month period of time, I called the Animal Welfare Center and the police department every time the dogs were on my property. (This is what I was told to do by the police when they finally showed up to the earlier incident.) Finally, the neighbors tied up their dogs. And, like any good pet owner, they gave the dogs 4' of chain, and tied them to their front porch.

These dogs bark constantly every night for a couple of hours. Sometimes this doesn't begin until 5am, but most of the time, it's between 1am-4am. I'm at a loss as to what I can do next.

I have called 9-1-1, the police, etc. When I called the police this morning again (2:00am), I was treated very rudely. The conversation went something like this...
"I'm calling to report some neighborhood dogs that are constantly barking. This occurs every night for hours, and I'm wondering if there is anything that can be done."
"What do you want us to do? They're dogs. They bark!"
"Is there a noise ordinance or something that can be enforced?"
"No. Some dogs just like to bark. We can't do nothing."
"Do you have any suggestions or any assistance with this situation?"
"Let the dogs bark. We don't do nothing about that."
"So, you're telling me that I have to live with these dogs barking all night long, every night...and there's nothing that can be done?"
"What do you want us to do? They're dogs - they like to bark."

The conversation finally ended, because the police again refused to assist in any way.

So, I'm asking everyone else out there... What can be done about these barking dogs? Talking with the owners is not an option, because we have tried. Talking with the police is not an option. But, I'm running out of options.

Help!

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

OldTart
February 16, 2012 07:30AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

The killing of that poor puppy wrenched my gut. And I can totally empathize with the agony of having dogs barking incessantly as it's something that's been happening in the new neighborhood to which I recently moved. Fortunately, that's been resolved and the owners of the two ankle-biting little yappers is now taking them inside at night after a fellow neighbor went and talked to the owners. What I want to address is your problems with the VIPD.

The response from the police officer you spoke to is totally unacceptable but don't assume that there's nothing you can do where the VIPD is concerned. It's something I've dealt with successfully in the past. Keeping a very long story short, I had a similar problem a few years back when a police officer responded to my noise complaint (not dog related) in the same vein with sarcasm and rudeness. The whole neighborhood had had a bellyful of dealing with this issue for months and this "conversation" irked me so much that I wrote to the then Chief of Police documenting the 'phone call and expressing my dismay at the office's reaction. I didn't know the officer's name and honestly expected no response.

Imagine my surprise when, a couple of weeks later, a suited officer from Internal Affairs was on my doorstep. He painstakingly took down all the details again, said that this sort of response wasn't acceptable, that the VIPD had protocol for dealing with complaints which this officer had apparently breached and that an investigation would be undertaken. He was very pleasant and professional but I still didn't expect anything to come of it.

A month later I'd taken the underlying noise problem to another level and was making headway in getting it resolved (way too long a story to relate here but which battle was eventually won!) and the IA gentleman appeared again to let me know that the investigation had been completed and that the officer in question had been censured. I was curious about what his "penalty" was and was told that he'd been forbidden to do any overtime for a year. I know how important that overtime pay is to police officers and rather gasped. The IA investigator's response was basically that the VIPD continuously works to ensure that its officers treat the community with respect and they investigate all complaints received and deal with them accordingly.

This isn't going to help with your immediate problem but all I can do, apart from urging you to follow up on the response you received, is to tell you to continue calling the PD about the dogs, solicit the help of your neighbors in doing likewise and address it also with the AWC. We now have laws to protect animals but in many cases you have to fight tooth and nail to have them addressed. Likewise we have laws to protect our right to enjoy our homes in peace. Remember too that the pen is mightier than the sword and a comprehensive letter carries far more weight than a telephone call or an emotional vocal outburst.

All the best and good luck.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

stxrover
February 16, 2012 07:56AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 8

Sounds like your my neighbor meowruff...I have an issue with two dogs barking continuously in my neighborhood. I call the police constantly and have been told the same. I have also been told to fill out a police report at the station. Pm, me...if these are the same dogs maybe we can join forces.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

dougtamjj
February 16, 2012 09:47AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 2,545

Meowruff, Try a very loud whistle or a boating air horn. It will wake everyone up. We have a whistle that is supposed to be the loudest in the world that we put on JJs life vest while boating. Maybe the noise will hurt the dogs ears and wake the owners up. happy

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

SkysTheLimit
February 16, 2012 11:06AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 1,843

Ear plugs

Re: Help! Barking Dogs
avatar

meowruff
February 16, 2012 11:54AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 346

Thank you to everyone who has listened to me vent and has responded with kind, funny, helpful (?) words. We have actually placed debark devices on trees that are close to the area where the dogs are kept, but they don't seem to help much. I know that the dogs are starving, so I have been throwing dog bones, etc. for them to chew on, but that only helps for a little bit. We currently have guests staying with us, so it's an additional burden, as I am embarrassed to say "Welcome to our beautiful island. You just won't get any sleep here!" And, the dogs are so loud that the ear plugs wouldn't even make a difference.

When I called the police last night (this morning), the conversation actually began with "I can't hear you. There's too much noise." And, of course, I explained that the noise was coming from the neighbor's dogs.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

HappyFace
February 16, 2012 12:04PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 146

Meowruff,
Barking dogs are a nuisance but not an emergency. I would assume that the police get a little testie when someone calls on the 911 emergency number. I can't remember if they passed a noise ordinance last year because of the loud sounds from bands and recorded music after a certain hour. Dog barking might fall into that category?

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

STXoldie
February 16, 2012 02:51PM

Registered: 8 years ago
Posts: 113

I am really surprised you are not getting assistance from St Croix Animal Welfare Center; you need to call again. They are the ones to deal with this situation, especially if the dogs are not being fed.

Speak with the Executive Director Lix Goggins.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs
avatar

dntw8up
February 16, 2012 06:44PM

Registered: 12 years ago
Posts: 1,866

I don't have anything to add, but appreciate the effort you are making, even though I live on STT. Don't give up!

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

marlene
February 16, 2012 08:13PM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 477

Quote
HappyFace
Meowruff,
Barking dogs are a nuisance but not an emergency. I would assume that the police get a little testie when someone calls on the 911 emergency number. I can't remember if they passed a noise ordinance last year because of the loud sounds from bands and recorded music after a certain hour. Dog barking might fall into that category?

Happyface, I have called the administrative number in the police station when someone ran into my parked car in front of my home. They said I needed to hang up and call 911. If Meowruff would have called the regular number they would have made that same statement.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs
avatar

meowruff
February 16, 2012 08:43PM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 346

With regards to the Police Department phone # dialed... I knew that the barking dogs were not an emergency, so I called the local police department. When I called the first number, they gave me another number, because the person that answered said that it was after hours and he "wasn't on duty anymore". So, I called the other number they gave me. When I called that number, they told me to call 9-1-1, which I did. Then, 9-1-1 told me to call another number, which they provided. I also contacted that number, which is the conversation I have represented in the above posting.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

HappyFace
February 16, 2012 08:44PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 146

Quote
marlene
Quote
HappyFace
Meowruff,
Barking dogs are a nuisance but not an emergency. I would assume that the police get a little testie when someone calls on the 911 emergency number. I can't remember if they passed a noise ordinance last year because of the loud sounds from bands and recorded music after a certain hour. Dog barking might fall into that category?

Happyface, I have called the administrative number in the police station when someone ran into my parked car in front of my home. They said I needed to hang up and call 911. If Meowruff would have called the regular number they would have made that same statement.

Marlene,
911 has always been an emergency number, I stated " I assume", however you seem to know as a fact that if meowruff had called the regular number she would have been told to call 911 for barking dogs???

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

stxrover
February 16, 2012 09:30PM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 8

I have called the "non" emergency number for the police department each time i have called about the barking dogs in my neighborhood....I am always told to call 911. I have also contacted the animal shelter and they have told me to call 911. It doesn't matter... There is no resolution. I understand your frustration meowruff.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/16/2012 09:31PM by stxrover.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs
avatar

meowruff
March 05, 2012 01:39AM

Registered: 10 years ago
Posts: 346

Update...
After constantly calling, I was finally told that I am able to file a "Noise Complaint" by calling 9-1-1 AFTER midnight. So, at 12:01am, I have been calling 9-1-1. Finally, this morning, I was told that a police car would meet me to help with this issue. We were told that they would call when they were en route, so we could meet them and carry them to the "dog house". Somehow (????), there was miscommunication and the police officers were in the area, honked outside the area that we were to meet at, and left. We were never called to know that they were on their way. After a few more phone calls, we were told to file a formal complaint with the police department. (We've tried to do this in the past, but were told that they couldn't do anything about dogs.)

So, tomorrow, I'm on my way to the police department AGAIN to try to deal with this matter.

(On a side note, we have guests staying with us. Of course, they can't sleep. We decided to take them to one of our lovely beaches this afternoon, and upon returning discovered that our windows had been broken out and we had been robbed. So, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the police department, filing a police report.

Then, we took them to Pueblo, because they wanted some groceries. As we reached the check out, the cashier turned away from them and completely ignored them. I saw what was happening, and said, "Oh, they just forgot to use their manners. Good night!" Finally, she turned to acknowledge them and scanned their items. How do we promote tourism when this is the kind of service and appreciation we are giving?)

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

OldTart
March 05, 2012 07:39AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

I'll still advise you to put your concerns in writing to the Chief of Police. Good luck.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

ChanelCinq
March 05, 2012 09:08AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 171

Quote
meowruff
...(On a side note, we have guests staying with us. Of course, they can't sleep. We decided to take them to one of our lovely beaches this afternoon, and upon returning discovered that our windows had been broken out and we had been robbed. So, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the police department, filing a police report...

This is off topic but I hear about a lot of crime. You guys don't have bars on the windows there? That sounds bad but in PR they are everywhere. I didn't move into an awesome place because the one downfall is there was no bars. It was on the second floor but there were trees all around. It would be to easy for someone to climb up a tree and break in.

I know people that have had stuff stolen from their yards. And lots of people that have had iPhones taken from their hands but that's it. (Lesson and that one is simple. Keep your iPhone in your pocket in certain neighborhoods.) I don't know anyone here in Puerto Rico that has had their place broken into.

And when you say "windows had been broken out" you mean screens right. I mean you don't have glass windows do you?

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

HappyFace
March 05, 2012 09:26AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 146

I would think that most of the residents of St Croix are familiar with iron work on the windows. I guess we are not as lucky as PR with no home burglaries. BTW we do have glass windows, screens, lovers and doors with locks. Thanks for the advise about the iphones.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

stxem
March 05, 2012 09:26AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 834

Depends on what neighborhood/area. The "safer" neighborhoods, gated community homes, homes far away from the main road typically don't have bars. I don't have bars and have glass windows. The last house I lived in had glass louvres and no bars. Never had any problems.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

trainwreck82
March 05, 2012 09:27AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 286

Quote
ChanelCinq
Quote
meowruff
...(On a side note, we have guests staying with us. Of course, they can't sleep. We decided to take them to one of our lovely beaches this afternoon, and upon returning discovered that our windows had been broken out and we had been robbed. So, we spent the rest of the afternoon at the police department, filing a police report...

This is off topic but I hear about a lot of crime. You guys don't have bars on the windows there? That sounds bad but in PR they are everywhere. I didn't move into an awesome place because the one downfall is there was no bars. It was on the second floor but there were trees all around. It would be to easy for someone to climb up a tree and break in.

I know people that have had stuff stolen from their yards. And lots of people that have had iPhones taken from their hands but that's it. (Lesson and that one is simple. Keep your iPhone in your pocket in certain neighborhoods.) I don't know anyone here in Puerto Rico that has had their place broken into.

And when you say "windows had been broken out" you mean screens right. I mean you don't have glass windows do you?

All of this depends entirely on where you live. In some areas, there is no such thing as a window without bars on it. In others, bars on windows is a very rare sight. I have friends that don't even close their doors when they leave their houses, I myself have left with the balcony doors open without worrying about it. In other parts of the island, doing something like that would be considered completely insane.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

ChanelCinq
March 05, 2012 09:55AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 171

Wow I can't believe some of you have real windows, wow. Does that mean you have central air too?

I have been to only ONE home here in PR that had real wondows. My friend thought it was strange I kept saying how she had real windows. I have been to some very, very nice homes that did not have glass windows. I am surprised you guys have them.

And here in San Juan I think most everyone has bars. If you don't you are asking for trouble. I have bars and I live in a gated community right on the beach (Ocean Park). And my apartment is in an interior court yard so they would have to get past the first door to the court yard first. I know a lot of people in this gated community and no horror stories. Though there are various people that live a few blocks away OUTSIDE the gated community that have had stuff stolen from their yard. One friend had a motorcycle stolen from his yard. Now he lives inside the gated community a block from me and has had no problems.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

trainwreck82
March 05, 2012 09:57AM

Registered: 11 years ago
Posts: 286

Almost everyone I know has glass louver windows, no bars.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/05/2012 09:58AM by trainwreck82.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

JulieKay
March 05, 2012 10:03AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 1,341

Some people have central air, but not many. Mainly the pricier homes. You don't really need it - and because it doesn't get really really hot here (like the Texas heat I left behind) for me it feels "clammy" to be inside a house with A/C - they don't always work efficiently.

Most houses have glass louver windows and hurricane shutters.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

HappyFace
March 05, 2012 10:22AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 146

Hey Meowruff,
I hope your dog did not get hurt with that break in.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

ChanelCinq
March 05, 2012 10:28AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 171

Quote
trainwreck82
Almost everyone I know has glass louver windows, no bars.

I had to Google "glass louver windows" and look at images. LOL, I have those in my living room but I never open them as the mosquitos would sneak in. There are not many this time of year but it only takes one mosquito to drive me batty.


Quote
JulieKay
Some people have central air, but not many. Mainly the pricier homes. You don't really need it - and because it doesn't get really really hot here (like the Texas heat I left behind) for me it feels "clammy" to be inside a house with A/C - they don't always work efficiently.

Most houses have glass louver windows and hurricane shutters.

Julie I know PR and the USVI have the same weather because they are all in the same area. I think it can be a smidge cooler on STX then STT and PR. I have been checking the weather for over a month and a while back I saw you guys had some nights it got into the 60s. I have never seen 60s here. But anyway it is pretty much the same. You are from TX and I am from CA so we have different interpretations of heat and more specifically humidity. I most definitly find it hot and humid, not right now. I love this time of year. But starting in April my routine changes and in August, ick! And all year round in yoga with all the windows open, ick. Yeah CA is dry and I love it. Not a fan of humidity AT ALL.

Re: Help! Barking Dogs

OldTart
March 05, 2012 10:34AM

Registered: 6 years ago
Posts: 6,524

Quote
ChanelCinq
I had to Google "glass louver windows" and look at images. LOL, I have those in my living room but I never open them as the mosquitos would sneak in. There are not many this time of year but it only takes one mosquito to drive me batty.

Louvered windows here (glass or metal, window or door) almost always have screens in place additionally. Wouldn't be much point in having them otherwise as when opening them to let the breezes flow through you'd be letting in all the bugs too ...

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