A BOURNEMOUTH dog owner has been ordered to keep her pet inside after a neighbour successfully argued its barking was a noise nuisance.
Magistrates at Bournemouth Magistrates Court made the ruling after reading a bundle of documents and hearing live evidence from both parties and their witnesses.
One of the witnesses was a dog behaviourist, who listened to the recordings of the dog’s barking and concluded it was due to separation anxiety and the dog was distressed at being kept outside.
The complainant brought the case to court himself after Bournemouth council decided not to take action themselves.
Magistrates said they were satisfied that on the balance of probabilities the complaint about the dog’s howling was genuine and that the matter had been brought to court as a last resort.
They ordered the dog, a female Lurcher, should be kept inside at all times and only allowed in the garden if under the direct supervision of a responsible person.
When she is alone in the house, magistrates said the doors and windows should be kept closed, except as reasonably required for ventilation.
Following the magistrates’ ruling, an appeal was made to Bournemouth Crown Court. This was dismissed, with the crown court judging saying there was no jurisdiction to consider an appeal.
Jon Payne, a lawyer specialising in nuisance law with Bournemouth-based firm Horsey Lightly Fynn, said: “There are significant merits for individuals to take their own action, not least for the protection on costs that is offered.
“This decision, whilst not binding, indicates that if a complainant is successful at the magistrates court, then the defendant can only seek to challenge the decision through judicial review, which can be costly and time-consuming.”