£1.50 per bark – what it cost York dog owners for failing to control their noisy pets

Noisy dogs barked 1,079 times in 44 minutes – and cost their owners more than £1,500.

Wilfred Weston and Audra (also known as Audrey) Weston, both of Burton Green, York, have persistently broken noise nuisance abatement orders by failing to keep their pets quiet.

Neighbours complained of constant noise affecting their daily lives and which could be heard in both their homes and gardens.

They were woken up during the night, and would often leave their homes to escape the noise.

Lowering the quality of life

York Magistrates’ Court. Photograph: YorkMix

The Westons were issued with a noise abatement notice in 2012 because of their dogs howling and barking at their address.

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In April 2017, they were ordered to pay more than £1,000 by York magistrates after they pleaded guilty to breaching the noise abatement notices on three occasions.

Nevertheless more complaints followed and council neighbourhood enforcement officers witnessed another four breaches of the notice in the following months.

One breach, in May, was at 1.20am. On a Saturday evening in July, an officer counted 1,079 dog barks in a period of 44 minutes.

The Westons pleaded guilty by post to breaching the noise abatement orders at York Magistrates’ Court today. They were each fined £225, and ordered to pay £540 costs and a £30 court surcharge totalling £795 – £1,590 between them

Cllr David Carr, leader of City of York Council, said: “Dog owners are responsible for the control of their animals which extends to the level and extent of the noise they make.

“This instance had a significant impact on local people whose quality of life was lowered by this nuisance and I’m glad the magistrates have recognised this.”