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What Happens When You Call Animal Control on a Neighbor?

What Happens When You Call Animal Control on a Neighbor?

It’s now clear to you that your neighbor doesn’t care about their pet. They mistreat the pet, and sometimes, the pet winds up in your yard. No sane human would witness animal cruelty done another and not react.

But then, when you alert animal control about your neighbor’s behavior towards their pet, how would the agency react? Well, firstly, don’t expect them to come around unless it’s a serious issue. But most of the time, the agency would contact the pet parent and issue a warning. 

If the abuse on the pet continues, expect animal control to show up in your neighbor’s house and issue a citation. The citation indicates that the violence done to the pet was reported, observed, and documented. The number and gravity of offense determine citation fees.

So, do you care to learn more about the outcome of informing animal control about a neighbor’s behavior towards their pet? Read on!      

Can You Call Animal Control on Your Neighbor’s Dog?

Let’s be frank. Dogs that bark nonstop can get on one’s nerves. They can drive you nuts and make the neighborhood noisy. It’s animal control’s job to keep pets and pet parents in check. So, yes, you can call animal control on your neighbor’s dog.

However, don’t let that be your first line of action. Let calling animal control be your last resort after all efforts fail. Firstly, meet the pet owner in person. Let them understand that their pet is disturbing you and probably making it difficult for you to catch some sleep.

If your neighbor fails to call their pet to other after several approaches, then you can have good reason to contact animal control. And ensure that the dog is barking terribly or constituting a nuisance. Otherwise, there’s no point disturbing animal control. 

Furthermore, rather than call the police or other authorities, contact your local police’s animal control department directly. The people in that department are more effective than the police or any municipal official. 

Again, when you contact animal control, endeavor to do a follow-up. Doing so will enable the officials to have a sound knowledge of your complaint and attend to you much quicker. 

A Pro Tip:  Whatever you do, don’t fight or quarrel with your neighbor because of their pet. Approach them calmly and iron things out like adults.

Steps You Can Try Before Calling Animal Control

Earlier, we mentioned that calling animal control should be your final option. It shouldn’t be your first line of action. You need to make an effort to calm things down, and if you can’t, you can go ahead with your plans to inform animal control. 

Now, what are those things you can do before calling animal control? 

1. Re-examine the situation

If you live in a populated area and think there won’t be noise here and there, think again. The noise would be part and parcel of the neighborhood. From kids playing drugs to car owners warming their machines, you’ll hear a couple of noises now and then. 

Again, if you live close to a neighbor with dogs, expect the dogs to bark occasionally. So, before you get animal control or the police involved, ask yourself this question: are the dogs’ barking enough to get the authorities involved? 

If your answer is no, please don’t bother involving the police or animal control. You’ll only end up giving your neighbor a bad image, something you wouldn’t want others to do to you. 

With that said, if your neighbor’s dog doesn’t bark often, and if the noise from the barking isn’t causing any serious problem to you, please forget about getting the authorities involved. 

2. Initiate a peaceful dialogue with your neighbor

Is your neighbor’s dog barking making it difficult for you to have a good night’s rest? Or, is it so loud to the extent that you can’t have quiet conversations with someone in your apartment or via the phone? If yes, then you need to take action. 

The action in question has nothing to do with calling the authorities. Instead, find a way to discuss the issue with the neighbor. Let your neighbor know how the dog’s constant barking is affecting your sleep. But please be polite and give your neighbor a smiling face. 

Additionally, you can give your neighbor suggestions on how to end the problem. These include giving the dog opportunities to stay indoors, most of the time, and taking the dog for a walk, or dedicate more time to it. 

You see, dogs like to have fun. So, have some playtime with the dog occasionally. You should also ensure your dog is well-fed. And know that dogs are more vocal when they’re passing through pain. 

So, if your dog is barking or acting so restless, try to examine its health. Chances are your canine friend is passing through pains.    

3. Acquaint yourself with the law

Do you know the law’s position on reporting a neighbor’s barking dog to the police or animal control? If you don’t, please devote time to ask relevant people or start researching to know more about it. 

However, in all you do, please ensure your complaint to the authority on your neighbor’s dog won’t plunge your neighbor into bigger trouble. How would you feel if your neighbor is fined the sum of $300 and asked to take the barking dog away? Think about it. 

When Can You Call Animal Control on a Neighbor’s Pet?

We have explained before that calling animal control should be the last thing on your mind. If you tried talking to your neighbor about their pet and you’re not happy with the way they handled the issue, then you can make plans to get animal control involved. 

Nonetheless, desist from creating a false alarm. If you’re going to contact animal control, ensure you have evidence to support your claim. It’s also crucial to know that animal cruelty or neglect isn’t the only reason to call animal control. Here are other reasons.  

1. You discovered an injured pet

If you find an injured pet in your lawn or on the owner’s lawn, and the owner isn’t available, you have to do something. You can try contacting the pet owner, but if you were unsuccessful, then call the authorities. Again, if the pet’s owner is around and aware that the pet is injured and hasn’t moved a muscle, contact animal control. 

2. Your neighbor’s pet is trespassing

Your neighbor’s dog used to be in chains but somehow managed to break loose. In this case, try to contact the owner, but let the authorities know what’s happening if unsuccessful. You can also contact animal control if you feel your neighbor’s pet is damaging your lawn. 

3. Your neighbor’s dog makes life difficult for your livestock

If your neighbor’s dog keeps chasing or killing your livestock, and you have complained to the pet owner without a positive response, take your case to animal control.

4. Your neighbor’s dog destroying your lawn

If your neighbor’s dog is aggressive and it’s ruining your neighbor’s lawn, please report the case to the animal. 

What Qualifies as Animal Neglect?

Please pay attention to this. Most animal neglects aren’t intentional. The pet owner may not know their responsibilities. In this case, what such persons need is proper education on how to cater to a pet. 

So then, what qualifies as animal neglect? Here it is:

  • If you find a dog limping, injured, pale or is in bad shape, such a dog needs to see a vet. And it’s evident that the owner hasn’t done so or isn’t doing anything about it. This is a typical case of neglect.
  • Another case is when your neighbor’s dog is always outside. No shelter and chances are, the dog’s coat would have to soak up the rains and scorching heat from the sun the entire year. And during summer, where dogs need shelter and lots of water, the pet owner doesn’t provide such. This is another clear case of neglect. 
  • If you notice that your neighbor’s dog has to fend for itself, that is, visit all the trash cans in the neighborhood to get food since the owner has failed to provide a balanced diet, you have every reason to contact animal control. This is another clear case of animal neglect.   

How To Call Animal Control Anonymously?

It’s simple. And many people do such daily. So, if you don’t want your identity blown but feel the need to report your neighbor’s poor pet handling to a reputable organization that can help, you can have your wish met. 

You can contact ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, including the Humane Society of the United States. These two organizations have hotlines opened 24 hours

And what’s more, you can report your neighbor for animal neglect without giving out your information. However, it’s essential to know that giving out your information can make the job much easier for the organization and make the process a success. 


It’s expected that you now know what can happen when you call animal control on a neighbor. It’s a good thing because you’re trying to save an animal’s life. However, it’s advisable to try various means before going that path. 

We highlighted things you need to know about getting animal control or other related organizations involved in your neighbor’s pet man-handling issue. You can read and apply the tips discussed here.