Incessant barking can be very disturbing to the peace and quiet of a neighborhood. In addition, it violates the Douglas County ordinance:
A dog owner commits a Class 2 petty offense if:
Section 1.05 (1) (h)
The dog’s owner fails to prevent his or her dog, regardless of whether the dog is on or off the owner’s premises, from disturbing the peace of any person by loud, habitual, or persistent barking, howling, yelping, or whining.
Section 1.05 (2)
No dog owner shall be charged with violating Subsection (1) (h) of this section 1.05 unless and animal control officer previously has issued a written warning to the owner in accordance with the following warning process;
- The animal control officer shall issue the warning on the basis of a written statement from a complainant;
- The complainant shall clearly identify himself or herself by stating his or her name, address, and telephone number, and shall state the dog owner’s address, a description of the owner’s dog if possible, a description of the incident, and the date, time, place, and duration of the incident.
- The warning shall relate to a prior incident as described in Subsection(h) of this section 1.05;
- The warning shall include a description of the incident, the date, time, place, and duration of the incident, and the name and address of the complainant;
- The warning shall precede the incident being charged as a violation by at least seven (7) days;
- A dog owner shall be deemed to have received a warning under this Subsection (2) if the warning was personally served on the owner or was posted on the owner’s premises;
- A Contractor shall keep records of all warnings issued and such records shall be prima facie evidence that such warnings were issued by an animal control officer and were received by the owner.
When DCAS is contacted regarding a barking dog, the Animal Welfare Officer will first issue a warning and notice to comply on the basis of a written statement from the complainant. If a second written statement is provided a Penalty Assessment can be issued. Each violation is considered a separate offence, and is subject to a separate penalty. Violations begin at $50 per animal, and increase in cost for the second and third violations. A summons for the dog owner to appear in court can also result.
As a responsible pet owner, excessive barking is something you can and should control. Dogs normally bark to alert others, to request something, because they are uncomfortable or bored. As a dog owner you need to determine why your dog is barking and work with your dog to mitigate the undesired behavior. Try limiting the dog’s time outside, provide interesting chew toys and teach your dog to use them, take your dog on walks, make a digging pit, or use a visual barrier. These are all great ideas to control and reduce barking.
Dogs at Large
Animals must be kept under control for their own protection and to preserve the public’s health and safety. Dogs, found off the owner’s or keeper’s property are called “strays” and may be impounded. The owner or keeper may also be fined.
(1) A dog owner commits a Class 2 petty offense if:
(b) The owner’s dog runs at large in the County;
Running At Large means off the premises of the dog owner and not under the real and immediate physical control of an owner able to control the dog.
Control means the restraint of a dog by means of a leash or similar tether no more than thirty (30) feet in length or by means of confinement within a fully enclosed area adequate to ensure that the dog will not escape;
A dog owner is in violation of this law if an owner fails to properly control or allows a dog to run at large in the County. This ordinance does not apply in designated parks where dogs are permitted to run off leash.
DCAS monitors all domestic animal bite cases for Douglas County. Regardless of the extent of injuries, if the skin is broken, the bite must be reported. Animals involved in bites to humans must undergo a ten day quarantine. The purpose of the quarantine is to monitor the animal’s health for warning signs that the animal may be infected with the rabies virus. Such animals may be quarantined at home or at a shelter, depending upon the situation.
In addition to these public health concerns a dangerous animal present a real public safety issue. Any aggressive animal should be Immediately Reported to DCAS.
Colorado Revised Statute 18-9-204.5 Unlawful Ownership of a Dangerous Dog
A person commits ownership of a dangerous dog if such person owns, possesses, harbors, keeps, has a financial property interest in, or has custody or control over a dangerous dog.
Dangerous dog means any dog that:
Has inflicted bodily, or serious bodily injury upon or has caused the death of a person or domestic animal; or
Has engaged in or has been trained for animal fighting as described and prohibited in section 18-9-204.
R-999-177 Section 1.05
A dog owner commits a Class 2 petty offense if:
Subsection (1) (c) Animal Bite without causing bodily injury or Animal Bite to Domestic Animal
The owner’s dog, under the control of the owner, bites a person without causing bodily injury or bites a domestic animal; provided that if the dog was provoked into biting, such provocation shall be an affirmative defense to this Subsection;
Subsection (1) (d) Approached in a Vicious or Terrorizing Manner
The owner’s dog, whether on or off the owner’s premises, approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack and/or in a vicious or terrorizing manner.
Subsection (1) (f) Vicious Dog
The dog owner fails to keep a vicious dog under physical control;
Vicious Dog means a dog that:
(a) Bites or attacks a person or a domestic animal without provocation, or
(b) Approaches any person in an apparent attitude of attack and/or in a vicious or terrorizing manner, or
(c) Has been found to be a vicious dog by any court in any action brought pursuant to this resolution.
1.06 Animal Bite Causing Bodily Injury
A dog owner commits a Class 2 misdemeanor if:
Subsection (1) (a) While Unlicensed Bites a Person Causing Bodily Injury
The owner’s dog, while unlicensed, bites a person, causing bodily injury;
Subsection (1) (b)
The owner’s dog, while running at large, bites or attacks a person, causing bodily injury; or
Subsection (1) (c)
The owner’s dog, while off the owner’s premises but under the control of the owner, bites or attacks a person, causing bodily injury.
Subsection (1) (a)
The owner’s dog, while on the owner’s premises, bites or attacks a person, causing bodily injury.
How many dogs can I legally own?
You are allowed to have four (4) adult dogs at one residence. An adult dog is defined as a dog that is 4 months of age or older.
Resolution R-998-100 1.05 (4)
No person shall keep or harbor more than four dogs of four months of age or older on any premises, unless such dogs are kept or harbored in a kennel approved pursuant to the Douglas County Zoning Resolution.
How long do you hold animals after impounding them?
In accordance with Douglas County Resolutions an impounded animal must be held for five (5) days after the date it is impounded unless the dog is critically ill or injured.
DCAS vigorously purses reuniting pets with their owners and if the owner cannot be located we will exhaust every effort to adopt animals into new loving and caring homes. These efforts combined with the hard work of The Buddy Center’s staff have been very successful.
Douglas County Resolution R-998-100 Section 1.04
- No dog shall be disposed of prior to five (5) days after the date it is impounded unless the dog is critically ill or injured and the dog’s owner is unknown or cannot be located.
- If the owner of an impounded dog is not known, and if the dog is not claimed by its owner within five days after the date it is impounded, a Contractor may, at its sole discretion, sell, donate, or destroy the dog.
- If the owner of an impounded dog is known, a Contractor shall take reasonable steps to notify the dog’s owner of the impound. If the dog is not claimed by its owner within five days after receipt of such notification, a Contractor may, at its sole discretion, sell, donate, or destroy the dog. A dog owner shall be deemed to have received notification if an animal control officer contacts him or her by telephone or in person, or if the officer posts a notice on the owner’s premises.
Where do I go to pay a fine for an animal violation?
How do I tell what type of ticket I was issued, how to pay it or where to go to court?
For tickets issued by the Douglas County Animal Services the agency name will appear along the right hand side edge of the ticket, and the ticket number will contain an alpha letter as the third character in the ticket number. For example 06D 00100.
05 D 12345—This is a Uniform Summons and Complaint or Penalty Assessment.
If you signed in the Penalty Assessment box you may pay the fine per the instructions on the back of your ticket, payment can be made to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office. You must pay within 20 days from the date you received the ticket. After that the tickets are sent to the Douglas County Combined Courts and you must appear on the court date written on your ticket. You can not change your court date with the Sheriff’s Office, you must contact the courts. The violations on these tickets fall under the Control and Licensing of Pet Animal code that was adopted by Douglas County. The location of the court to appear in is typed on the front of the ticket about half way down.
If you signed in the SUMMONS box you must appear at the Douglas County Court located at 4000 Justice Wy. Castle Rock, Colorado 80109 on the date and time indicated.