For some excellent advice on how to handle noisy neighbors with or without a barking dog, including the anonymous letter approach, click here:
How to Handle Noisy Neighbors and Their Barking Dogs
If you are a victim of irresponsible dog owners with barking dogs, visit
If you live in Monroe/Union County, NC also see Ordinances and Local Contacts
If you are in a position (e.g., judge, magistrate, law enforcement, city council, county commissioner, etc.) to put an end to nuisance dog barking or to enforce noise nuisance laws but don't view the problem as serious, click here: Why Exposure to Chronic Dog Barking is So Profoundly Debilitating and here: The Deleterious Effect of Exposing People to Noise


Those of you live in other areas in NC and the US, check your county and city web sites for your local ordinances. You can also search for them at and

The City of Monroe & Union County, North Carolina
If you live in Monroe but outside of the city limits of Monroe you will be under the Union County Ordinances (and see below). If you live in another municipality in Union County you can also check out your municipality on the Union County website: Municipalities

If you live in the City of Monroe or Union County and have had success or failure with getting animal & noise ordinances enforced please leave a comment below with a description of your experiences. Thanks!

Note: there might be violations other than those I've listed here that your neighbor is guilty of so be sure to read through the ordinances thoroughly.

City of Monroe Code of Ordinances
Title IX: General Regulations
Chapter 91: Animals


For the purpose of this subchapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
    AT LARGE. Off the premises of the owner, and not under the control of the owner or a member of his immediate family, or his properly designated agent, by leash, cord, chain or otherwise. 
    DOG. A domesticated member of the canine family and includes both male and female.
    OWNER. Any person, firm, association or corporation owning, keeping or harboring a dog.

§ 91.21 RUNNING AT LARGE OR CAUSING NUISANCE. No owner or keeper of any dog shall permit such dog to run at large or cause a nuisance to any other person.

§ 91.22 FEMALE DOGS IN HEAT. Female dogs in heat shall be confined in such a manner as to prevent them from attracting other dogs.

§ 91.23 LOCATION OF PENS AND ENCLOSURES. It shall be unlawful for any person to locate, construct, reconstruct, alter, maintain or use on any lot or parcel of land within the corporate limits any pen or other enclosure for the purpose of keeping more than two dogs over four months of age, unless every part of each pen or enclosure is located at least 100 feet from the adjoining property owner's inhabited structure.

§ 91.24 NUMBER OF DOGS REGULATED. It shall be unlawful for any person to locate, keep or maintain on any lot or parcel of land within the corporate limits more than two dogs over four months of age, except as specified § 91.23.

§ 91.25 IMPOUNDMENT. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer of the city to apprehend any dog found running at large contrary to the provisions of this subchapter and/ or state statutes  to impound such dog in the Union County Animal Shelter.  The owner shall be notified in accordance with county regulations, and disposition shall be in accordance with county regulations.
('84 Code, § 4-18) (Ord. passed 10-4-83; Am. Ord. O-1999-58, passed 9-21-99)

§ 91.26  DANGEROUS DOGS. Reference is made to N.C.G.S. (North Carolina General Statutes)Chapter 67 (Article 1A - Dangerous Dogs) §4.1 and §4.2 which are incorporated herein by reference. The Animal Control Officer of the City is designated as the person responsible for determining when a dog is a potentially dangerous dog as defined and provided in N.C.G.S. Chapter 67 §4.1 and the City of Monroe Board of Adjustment is hereby designated as the Board to hear any appeal.


§ 91.40 ANIMAL CONTROL OFFICER TO ENFORCE PROVISIONS. There is hereby created the office of Animal Control Officer of the city. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to see that the provisions of this chapter and any state statute including, but not limited to N.C.G.S. Chapter 67 §4.1 and §4.2, are strictly enforced within the police jurisdiction of the city. The Animal Control officer shall be directly responsible to the Police Chief. It shall be the duty of the Animal Control Officer to cooperate with the county Animal Control Officer in any manner which will more efficiently and effectively carry out the terms of this chapter.

Title IX: General Regulations
Chapter 92: Noise Control (this is the barking ordinance)

§ 92.07 ANIMALS. It shall be unlawful for any person to own, keep or have in his possession, or harbor, any dog, other animal or bird(s) which, by frequent or habitually howling, yelping, barking, or otherwise cause loud noises, and produce seriously annoying disturbance to any person or to the neighborhood.

§ 92.09 ENFORCEMENT AND PENALTIES. Where there is a violation of any provision of this Chapter, the city, at its discretion, may take one (1) or more of the following enforcement actions:

(A) A police officer, noise control officer, or animal control officer may issue a citation as provided in Chapter 10 of the City of Monroe Code of Ordinances subjecting the violator to a one hundred-dollar ($100) civil penalty, which penalty may provide for a fifteen-dollar delinquency charge upon non-payment, and which penalty and delinquency charge may be recovered by the city in a civil action.

(B) A misdemeanor warrant be issued either immediately or upon the issuance of a citation and the violator's failure to pay the same. Misdemeanors shall be punishable by a fine of up to five hundred dollars ($500.00) and/or imprisonment for up to thirty (30) days.

This noise ordinance is enforced in Monroe but you have to be diligent. Call the non-emergency 911 number (see the Local Contacts page) to report barking nuisances...especially at night...and ask that the responding officer contact you by phone after his/her visit and ask what steps will be taken to resolve the situation so that you can get proper sleep. If the problem isn't resolved after the first visit from the law, keep calling until the problem is resolved to your satisfaction. You can make an anonymous report, but if your barking dog neighbors receive a citation you will be requested to appear in court to make your statements against them and I strongly suggest you do so...for your health and well being.

 You might also find your neighbor is in violation of the following (note that animal feces accumulationis a violation of this section):

Title IX: General Regulations
Chapter 93: Public Health Nuisances

§ 93.01  DEFINITIONS For the purposes of this chapter the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates a different meaning. (I'm listing only those definitions that might pertain to dogs)

    HAZARDOUS WASTE. Potentially dangerous by-products which cannot be handled, treated, or disposed of without special precautions. Hazardous waste includes ignitable, corrosive, reactive, and toxic wastes such as acetone, gasoline, industrial metal, alkaline cleaners, acids, cyanide, chlorine, arsenic, pesticide wastes, paint, caustics, infected materials, offal, fecal matter (animal and human), and explosives.

§ 93.03  DECLARATION OF A PUBLIC HEALTH NUISANCE The following conditions shall constitute a nuisance to public health or safety and shall be prohibited within the City's jurisdiction:

(A) Neglect of property. It shall be unlawful for any person to endanger the public health, safety, and welfare through the neglect of property by causing or allowing the accumulation of solid waste or unsightly litter, waste products causing the existence of foul odors, dead animals, unsecured appliances, building material, hazardous waste, or potentially dangerous devices to be discarded, abandoned, or remain on or emanate from any such property, or to cause or allow the accumulation of solid waste or unsightly litter, waste products causing the existence of foul odors, dead animals, unsecured appliances, building material, construction and demolition material, hazardous waste, or potentially dangerous devices to be discarded, abandoned, or remain on or emanate from public property or other private property, vacant lots, ponds, streams, or bodies of water or banks thereof.

(skipping down to enforcement...)

§ 93.04 ADMINISTRATION AND ENFORCEMENT RESPONSIBILITY. The City's Code Enforcement Officer is hereby charged with the administration and enforcement of this Chapter of the City Code.

Union County Ordinances
You can view the entire ordinances on the Union County web site. Union County has failed to organize their ordinances in a logical manner, and there are a number of ordinances that have been repealed and so you have to search the ordinances for the most recent version, or you can call the county and hope whoever answers knows what they are talking about.

When you open a volume, a table of contents will open and after each ordinance is a link that will take you to that page. Note that you will find Animal Control Ordinances in both Volume 2 and Volume 3. The Animal Control Ordinances found in Volume 3 are the more recently amended ordinances.You will also find a Dog and Cat Nuisance Ordinance in Volume 2, and a Dog Nuisance Ordinance in Volume 1; both of these have been repealed.

Here are the animal control ordinances for Union County:

Animal Control Ordinances


  1. I live in rural union county and my neighbors target practice and set of explosives 3-4 times a week. on the weekends it goes on for 5 or more hours straight and all weekend. it is very annoying and scares my animals. The people have had two sons convicted of felonies including rape of a child and they continue to annoy the entire community. The sheriffs office is no help whatsoever and my only option is to sue them in civil court under the noise ordinance. We moved to the country to get some peace and these people are ruining it.

    1. I'm really sorry to hear that. Rudeness of this type seems to be a common mentality in this area and I've seen the same even in some very nice neighborhoods. I wish I could offer you some advice or help, but I can't even solve my own noise problems. They sound like very dangerous people. Please be careful. And apologies for taking so long to respond. It's been a rough year.

  2. hello!! I, too, live in NC... in Mocksville, a cute town in Davie County. I looked up city noise ordinances on both of the websites you provided on your MOST INFORMATIVE blog, and unfortunately, can't seem to fin ANYTHING on barking dogs! I feel like I'm losing my mind. my upstairs neighbors have a schnauzer (that I never EVER see them walk) and this yapper barks and howls incessantly while they're at work... one day, for twelve hours straight! I don't want to confront the neighbors, as the thought of it makes me sick to my stomach, and I've found that relying on other people almost always leads to massive disappointments. I'm going to peruse your articles and see if I can't find another resolution before I lose my frikkin' mind!

    1. Hi Sarah, So sorry to hear about your horrific problem, and sorry to have taken so long to respond to your comment. It's been a rough year. But anyway, I hope your barking dog problem has been resolved, but in the event you are still having a problem and have not found the noise ordinance, I looked on the Mocksville web site and found the ordinance in question. Scroll to the bottom of this page: then go to Chapter VII - General Offenses and Miscellaneous Provisions. Scroll down to Page 11 and you will find the Noise Ordinance. Scroll to Page 12 and you'll find the section pertaining to animals specifically {7-5.2(D)}. The first section of your ordinance is particularly good:

      It shall be unlawful for any person to create, or assist in creating, permit, continue or permit the continuance of, any unreasonably loud, disturbing and unnecessary noise or noise of the character, intensity or duration as to be detrimental to the life or health of any individual in the municipality. (1989 Code, ' 12-6; 2003 Code, ' 7-5.1

      Make recordings, keep logs and go to the doctor, show him/her the log and play a recording and discuss your anxiety, nerves, etc. Everything. Make sure the Dr. documents it all and get a copy of the doctor's report.

      But you could begin by sending the "anonymous letter". Please keep me updated on your progress. Good luck. And you are right, you usually can't depend on other people.

  3. I live in Stockton, CA and I am surrounded on three sides by neighbors with dogs. In Stockton the city council recently updated the dog ordinance such that anyone who experiences a barking dog can register a complaint against the oner of that dog and a notice is then given to them. The notice indicates the complaint and offers information as to the consequences of disregarding said notice.

    As it has been mentioned on this site, we all have the alternative of going to court* to complain about barking keeping us awake at night and here in Stockton several individuals have done exactly that. I understand that the judge in these cases issued stiff fines in addition to mandating certain types of dog training. The general financial outcome of these cases range well into the two thousand dollar ($2,000) amount and higher, which I feel is appropriate when the initial citations have been ignored, especially when an individual had been cited on more than one occasion.

    So utilizing the alternative of a court proceeding may seem to be a bit tedious but alternatively it is the single most effective manner of reducing the intrusions that a barking dog can, in fact, bring into one's life.

    *For those who wish to know if my second hand knowledge is valid I will tell you that my information came directly from the person responsible for the issuance of the Stockton Animal Control citations as well as being a court witness in some of these cases.

    1. Thanks for this info, Steve. And bravo to your city for strictly enforcing the ordinances and imposing stiff penalties for violations. This is proof that big fines are invaluable for maintaining law and order. And peace.

      Going to court should be the single most effective method of relief from barking dogs but, unfortunately, it seems that many cities/counties don't take the noise issue very seriously and the fines reflect such, as is the case where I live. I think if my neighbors had been facing a $2000+ fine and mandatory dog training, the barking would have ceased and no court appearances would have been necessary. As it was, they were required to pay the mere sum of $100 (plus court fees), and they had basically laughed in the faces of the police and Animal Control officers and got away with it. The entire experience has made our law enforcement and courts look very weak.

      Thanks again for commenting, Steve.

  4. We live in one of the nicer neighborhoods within the city limits of Monroe. For the past 2+ years there has been a Great Dane kept outside 24/7 on a 30' steel line. This dog barks all the time and at all hours and just so happens to be less than 50' from our bedroom windows. We started out asking the neighbors to do something about it, that was a big waste of time, we have contacted the landlord on multiple occasions, another big waste of time and have had police and animal control out no less than a dozen times. All that happens is they make them put the dog in the garage but the next morning she is out there again. As of this weekend we find that she is in heat and there is now ANOTHER Great Dane over there running loose for what appears to be breeding purposes... long story short Animal Control did come pick the loose dog up after several hours of this loose dog charging at me and police that responded to the call. But the female in heat is still being kept outside and the barking continues... we are at our wits end... I know for a fact the tenants and landlord intend to do nothing about this issue and I am feeling that Monroe Animal Control and police really don't want to do anything about it either. Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions before I flip out one evening and exterminate the problem????

    1. Hi Brad, So sorry to have taken so long to reply, and extremely sorry to hear about your barking dog problem; it sounds almost exactly like mine. At least, the barking part does. Have you had Animal Control Officer Tim Griffin out? Tim should know better, after having been to my place numerous times and having been to court with me twice for the 2 citations my neighbors received, and also dealing with the barking problems that some other folks I know had. But it took a long time to get any law enforcement to enforce the laws and issue citations, After numerous visits by the police and animal control with nothing changing, and it got to the point where I was calling the police every night, especially after midnight, and calling Tim almost as often during the day, I finally ended up sending an email to Mayor Bobby Kilgore and CCd the entire City Council and the Police Chief (the police chief then was Debra Duncan who now sits on the City Council). In the email I outlined, with great detail about my distress, the barking problem from the beginning to the day I sent the email, and included links to the YouTube videos I'd made of the barking dogs. I went into great detail and it was quite a long email. I sent it in the morning just before 8 and less than an hour after I sent it, the Mayor called me. Less than an hour after that, Police Capt. Beth Greene and Animal Control Officer Tim Griffin showed up. Tim was the AC officer who had come out to my house. Capt. Green gave them one last warning and a week later I called to tell her the dog was still barking as much as ever and she sent Tim out to issue the first citation. Some other advice, if you aren't already, start making a written barking log (date, time, duration, etc., with notes especially pertaining to being awakened, threatened, etc.) and make video/sound recordings and put them on a flash drive. When I went to court I had a big folder with my barking logs, and I also took my laptop so I could play the barking videos (which I had on flash drive) for the judge. Also, familiarize yourself with the noise ordinance pertaining to animals. Sadly, I found out that most of the police officers weren't familiar with that ordinance, and the animal control officers didn't have it in his ordinance book (until after the first time he went to court with me). I moved out of that house about 1 1/2 years ago, into an apartment which is much quieter, and I don't visit this blog much now so some of my ordinance info might be out of date. I'll check and get back to you with another reply. And let me know how it's going.

  5. I live in Unionville, NC. which is part of Monroe, NC. I have recently lost my vehicle to blown engine so i have to walk to stores and other places. But it is nearly imposible when on Sykes mill rd. from 601 North to Unionville indian trail rd there are 3 to 5 houses that have 4 or more dogs that run loose and they charge at me when they see me walking or riding by on my bike. This is getting out of line and i think there should be a leash law or they should be confined by fences or something. Just today i rode my bike on Sykes mill rd. from Haigler baucom rd toward route 218 and i had 4 or 5 dogs chase me for some distance and they were in the road not in the yard, nobody came out to call them or stop them. Please let me know if anything can be done about this. Thank you.

    1. I apologize for taking so long to reply; while there are still barking dogs in the area, my immediate problem has lessened and I don't often visit or post on this blog now.

      Really sorry to hear about your dog problem. I think this is quite common out in the county, with dogs running loose, pursuing and charging at people walking/riding bikes, etc.

      Unfortunately, there is not an easy solution to any animal problems in Union County.

      Unionville is under the Union County AC ordinances which you should become familiar with. In the UC animal control ordinances you will find on page 182 in Section V, sub-section D: Public Nuisance Animals. You should become familiar with the entire Public Nuisance Animals section because any part of it might be useful to you when you call the Sheriff's department and tell them you are being threatened by dogs following you down the road, barking and charging at you, and you are afraid you will be attacked. And you need to call the Sheriff every time it happens. They have to respond to such calls, especially after what happened in Waxhaw a few years ago. Use the 911 non-emergency number 704-289-1591

      You should also keep a written log of all of these events. Include date, time, number of dogs, their manners and actions (charging, barking, etc.), how long they carried on like this, how you felt (fear of being attacked, etc), the address of where you think they live, if anyone came out to control them, etc. Put as much info for each incident as possible. Also enter when you call the law, and the responding officer's name and whatever they did.

      If you can, make a video (preferably with sound) of the dogs following you, barking and charging, of each incident. Just a few minutes will do, to go along with that particular entry in your written log.

      Make a YouTube account for your dog nuisance videos and post the videos on YouTube. YouTube will supply you with a link to the videos.

      The written log and videos are necessary for any legal activity that might come up, and for email you send to county officials.

      Compose a desperate email which includes the links to your videos, and address the email to each Union County Commissioner, your Unionville town council (unfortunately I can't find individual email addys for the council members), the County Managers …heck, I'd CC it to every Union County email address you can find (which is what I did when I sent an email to the City of Monroe).

      Unfortunately, the Sheriff doesn't have an email address listed but there is a contact form you can send in. Copy the email you send to all of the above and paste it into the form and at the bottom include the names you've CC'd the original to.

      If you are bitten, go to the doctor immediately. The doctor must make a report and the sheriff is legally required to investigate. This is one area where your written logs and videos will be of use.

      It also helps a lot of you can find a witness or two, or someone else who is threatened or annoyed in any way by these dogs.

      I wish you luck, my friend.

  6. sorry but the pup in your video does not appear "Deranged". He/she just sounds happy

    1. If you are talking about the video in the sidebar, yes, the dog seems "happy", I guess you could call it, when I approach the fence because he thinks he is going to get some attention. He and his dog mate are left out in their yard 24/7 and get no attention from their owners which, in my opinion and that of most of my dog owning friends, does not really make a happy dog; actually, it's kind of sad to see a dog ignored in such a way by the people who are supposed to be his family.

      But if you see how nervous he is, and look at the way he is moving his mouth and shaking his head, you might see why I describe him as appearing to be deranged. He's actually not a dangerous dog, unless you consider the negative impact that his continual barking has on the peace in the neighborhood, especially at night when people are trying to sleep.

  7. You people are ridiculous. As long as the dog is on a chain or inside a fence and can't bite you they are fine. Seriously. Barking? They are dogs! I'd much rather hear a dog than a crying screaming baby. Can I file a noise complaint on them?

    1. Ha! Perhaps someday you'll find yourself living next to a dog that barks all day and night, and then you'll realize how ignorant your comment is.

  8. We are in Indian Trail with a neighbor who was already fined and cited for nuisance barking last January 2015. The dog has started up again and we again submitted extensive video to code enforcement (per their request). The original code enforcement officer who was very effective and sensitive to our stressful situation is no longer there and her replacement said dog barking is "at the bottom of his list" - he has more important matters to handle. All he did was come out and leave a warning at her house and did not fine her with a 2nd violation despite seeing the video. I have had extensive communication with his superior who advised that we should try to work it out between us and the neighbor and meet on common ground somewhere to which I expressed to him this is not a personality conflict but a homeowner violating a town ordinance and we are just trying to get it lawfully resolved and just get the dog to shut up so we can live in peace, and that we came to them for help same as we did last year. We have had no success. (Don't our taxes pay their salaries?) Is there someone in Union County that is higher up in chain of command that can enforce the ordinance?

    1. That's disgusting and I'm sorry to hear that you've been stuck with such ignorant city officials. I definitely feel your pain.

      I'm not sure how things works in IT, but if you are under the Union County animal control ordinances, could calling the Sheriff and Animal Control be helpful? If not, you could go over the heads of the code enforcement idiots and contact the Mayor and City Council and complain that ordinances are not being enforced. That's what I would do next, or first you could casually mention to the code enforcement people that you are going to go over their heads if they don't do their jobs.

      At one point, I was calling the police almost every night and the animal control officer during the day hoping they'd get tired of me and do something, like actually enforce the law. When that didn't work, I sent an email addressed to the Mayor, all city council members, the police chief and a few other city officials, and described the situation and my distress in great detail, emphasized the noise ordinance and demanded to know why it wasn't being enforced, included links to my barking videos on YouTube and links to articles on noise, sleep deprivation and was a very long and hysterical email. Less than an hour later I got a call from the mayor and an hour later a police captain showed up to issued a final warning and then finally a week later my neighbors, who weren't taking any of it seriously, got the first citation. Unfortunately, that still wasn't the end of the barking because my neighbors are just so mean and hateful...

      I wish I could give you something more positive but unfortunately around here there are too many rude and ignorant people on both sides of the law...

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