Dog owner ordered to pay £10,000 for noise nuisance from barking dogs

Ms Susan Ince of Nuttall Avenue, Horwich, kept up to eight border collie adult dogs and three puppies at her home where next door neighbours were subjected to continuous barking.

The council received the first complaint of noise nuisance in January 2023 with reports of Ms Ince shouting at the dogs as well as barking day and night.

An audio recording device was installed in the neighbour’s house the following month. 

As a result of the findings, Ms Ince was officially ordered to stop the noise nuisance within three weeks by way of an abatement notice.

The notice was breached, and further recordings were gathered.  

Despite numerous attempts to engage with Ms Ince, environmental health officers were unable to resolve the issue and the matter was taken to court.

On 11 December, Ms Ince pleaded guilty to breach of a noise abatement notice served under section 80 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 at Bolton Magistrates Court.

Ms Ince was handed a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £10,000 costs to the council.   

She was ordered to reduce the number of dogs at the property to one and rehome the dogs within one month. 

She was also ordered to engage with an animal behaviourist and follow all recommendations including training, exercise and medication.

Failure to comply with the orders can result in a five year prison sentence.      

Cllr Sue Haworth, Bolton Council’s Executive Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services, said:

“The team attempted on several occasions to engage with the resident to resolve the issue but were unsuccessful. Supportive conversation can be a first step to seek change from owners including better care of animals. In this case, legal action was the only alternative.

“This was a highly resource intensive case where officers had to gather all necessary evidence over several months.   

“The incessant noise severely impacted the quality of life of the neighbours for almost a year.  

“Dog owners have a responsibility to control their dogs and their behaviours including unreasonable amounts of barking.

“This prosecution serves as a reminder that residents must be considerate of their neighbours and also look after their animals well, and we will take action against those who negatively impact the lives of others.” 

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