A DROMORE Councillor this week called on dog owners to head off the noise nuisance caused when their animals are allowed to bark for prolonged periods.
Councillor Olive Mercer reminded owners they could face court proceedings if they did nothing to stop their dogs barking sufficient to cause a nuisance.
The Ulster Unionist went on to offer owners advice on how to tackle the problem.
“A dog barking continually can give rise to noise nuisance and the owner can be taken to court and fined if he/she does nothing to stop the nuisance,” she said.
“Dogs bark for a variety of reasons, which include loneliness, boredom, frustration or simply defending their territory.
“In many cases the owner who is at work may be unaware that their dog barks for long periods during the day; it is good practise to ask neighbours if your dog barks when left alone. If you have to leave your dog for long periods ensure that it has been fed and exercised before you go out; access to fresh water is essential.
“Keep it away from windows so it cannot see people or other animals.
“Dogs, like humans, can be uncomfortable when their environment is too hot or cold and adequate ventilation is essential.
“If your dog gets lonely and barks when you leave the house, try and get a friend or relative to look after your dog when you go out - or when possible take it with you.”
Mrs. Mercer advised anyone seeking more information about noise nuisance and how to tackle dog-barking issues, whether they are experiencing noise nuisance from a neighbour’s dog, or their own dog is causing a nuisance, to contact the district council’s Environmental Health Department at, Gatelodge, Linenhall Street, Banbridge. Tel: 028 4066 0606.