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Dog Concerns

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Excessive Dog Barking

Update 3/5/2018:  To reduce calls for service related to animal complaints, Columbus Police along with City Attorney Zach Klein’s office are putting out a “how-to” guide on what to do instead of calling 9-1-1.


The problem of excessive dog barking has been a long unaddressed issue. The Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office, under the leadership of City Attorney Zach Klein, is committed to addressing this quality of life issue.

The first action to take when dealing with a barking dog problem is to contact Chief of Staff Bill Hedrick at (614) 645-8874. Mr. Hedrick or a member of the staff, will assist you with other dog issues.

Excessive dog barking solutions may include the following:

  1. A noisy animal warning letter can be mailed to the address where the dog in question resides.  We do not disclose the identity of the person who has called our office to complain about the noisy animal.  A vast majority of barking dog issues are resolved at this step.
  2. Mediation can be scheduled in our office to allow the parties to discuss the matter.  Our Night Prosecutor Mediation Program has a long history of successfully handling this type of neighborhood problem.
  3. If the problem persists despite a warning letter and mediation, prosecution exists as a final option.  Noisy Animals is a minor misdemeanor under the Columbus City Code and a violation is punishable by a fine of up to $150.  To prosecute this offense, our office requires the following types of evidence:
  • A.  The barking must happen within the city limits of Columbus. You must also provide the dog owner’s name. If the owner’s name is not available, our Intake Unit can attempt to acquire the information.
  • B.  To prosecute a case, you must provide exact dates and times the barking has taken place. Simply stating “the dog barks every day” is NOT sufficient evidence to file a criminal charge. The evidence you submit should also include one or two other households in the area that will confirm the dates and times the barking occurred. Video and/or audio tape recordings of the barking are also very helpful. Generally, 20 minutes or more of audio demonstrating continuous barking is needed to create a strong case.

Please note: Dogs will bark. Unless the barking is excessive, it is NOT considered criminal. Be advised that in order to pursue a criminal charge (as explained in #3 above), you will need to file a complaint through the Intake Unit at the Columbus City Prosecutor’s Office, 375 South High Street, 7th Floor. If charges are approved, you may be required to appear in court several times.

Update 4/3/2017:  If you are experiencing a concern with excessive dog(s) barking, please contact the City of Columbus Mediation Department to assist you with the dog complaint.   Please see the attached Information On The Problem Of Excessive Dog Barking for more information on this process.

Animal Cruelty to Include Dogs Left Outside

If you know of an animal that has been abandoned, neglected or mistreated, please contact the Capital Area Humane Society to investigate or direct you to the proper resource. Report Animal Cruelty to CAHS at: 

  • Leave The a Voicemail 24/7 @ 614.777.7387
  • Franklin County Dog Shelter: Stray Dogs @ 614.525.3400

From CAHS:

How do I know if an animal is being neglected, abandoned, or used for fighting? It is not always easy to know. In some instances, it could be abundantly clear, while in others you may only see signs over a period of time. Here are some warning signs that something could be amiss:

  • Extremely thin, starving animals
  • Wounds on the body
  • Patches of missing hair or severely matted hair
  • Limping
  • Dogs who are repeatedly left alone without food, water or shelter, often chained or locked up in a yard
  • Animals that have been abandoned by their owner
  • An owner striking, or otherwise physically abusing an animal
  • Tick or flea infestations. Flystrike - open wounds on ears and/or nose caused by biting flies
  • Animals with an injury or illness who have not received medical care
  • Embedded collars/chains around the neck
  • Intentionally fighting animals