Enough of the woof Howls of de­spair over bark­ing dog

Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin - - NEWS - AMANDA ROBBEMOND amanda.robbemond@news.com.au

RES­I­DENTS in a Gold Coast com­plex say they are be­ing left sleep­less and in tears thanks to a bark­ing dog that be­gins at 3am each day.

De­spite of­fi­cial com­plaints and a noise abate­ment di­rec­tive is­sued by the coun­cil, res­i­dents at the Vil­las North com­plex off Greenacre Drive, Arun­del, claim the dog con­tin­ues to bark for at least two hours most morn­ings.

Res­i­dent Ja­nine Thorstensen said she and her hus­band were at their wits end af­ter lis­ten­ing to the dog, a black poo­dle called Scooby.

“I started record­ing it bark­ing back in De­cem­ber 2016,” she said. “Dur­ing the day peo­ple put up with it but as soon as he goes (the owner leaves at 3am), it starts bark­ing.”

The dog gen­er­ally stops bark­ing around 7am in the morn­ing – four hours af­ter it has be­gun.

Ac­cord­ing to Gold Coast City Coun­cil sta­tis­tics, the city re­ceives at least eight com­plaints ev­ery day re­lated to nui­sance an­i­mal noise.

Last year there were 3144 com­plaints – and there have al­ready been 1140 com­plaints so far this year.

Ms Thorstensen said she and other sleep-de­prived neigh­bours had fi­nally filed com­plaints in De­cem­ber last year, which even­tu­ally re­sulted in a noise abate­ment di­rec­tive be­ing is­sued.

But even that hasn’t stopped the tena­cious poo­dle from bark­ing the house down.

“The dog used to be out­side,” she said.

“(The owner) locked it up in the depths of the house ... it’s not as loud as when he was out­side, but we can still hear it. We lie in bed and start record­ing. Once you hear it, it’s like a drip­ping tap, you can’t un­hear it.”

Ms Thorstensen said she didn’t want the anx­ious dog to be put down, but said the is­sue was so bad it should be re­moved.

Scooby’s owner, known only as Steve, said the sit­u­a­tion was break­ing his heart as the 9-year-old shih-tzu cross poo­dle was “like his son.”

“I’ve just or­dered a bark­ing col­lar last night on EBay,” he said.

“I’ve spo­ken to vets, I’ve looked at cit­ronella sprays, got­ten ad­vice from pet­barn (and AWLQ). He’s very in­tel­li­gent... but he has at­ti­tude, I raised him that way.

“He’s a guard dog, he’s been trained to pro­tect the home too.”

Steve said he in­her­ited the dog af­ter his son couldn’t look af­ter him any­more and con­firmed coun­cil had is­sued him a no­tice for bark­ing.

He said he would look at all the op­tions, even eu­thana­sia, if it was the only way to re­solve the is­sue.

A Gold Coast City Coun­cil spokes­woman said they were un­able to pro­vide specifics about the com­plaint, but con­firmed they were con­tin­u­ing to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter.

Ac­cord­ing to coun­cil’s web­site: “Should the keeper of the an­i­mal fail to com­ply with the no­tice, we may is­sue fines (max­i­mum of two).

“Fur­ther vi­o­la­tion will re­sult in us tak­ing fur­ther ac­tion, such as seiz­ing the an­i­mal or com­mence­ment of le­gal ac­tion.”

Pic­ture: JERAD WILLIAMS

A neigh­bour’s dog that be­gins bark­ing at 3am is keep­ing Ja­nine and Ted Thorstensen awake each night.

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