Having neighbors can be really fun or really stressful, depending on how everyone feels about boundaries.
One such boundary? Noise violations, explained out the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor EsseB420 couldn’t take it anymore when their neighbor kept leaving their dog outside to bark.
But when there were consequences, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if they were wrong for complaining.
They asked the sub:
“AITA for reporting a neighbor’s noisy dog, causing them to have to get rid of it?”
The OP’s neighbor recently got a dog.
“Around mid-January this year, the people that live behind me got a new puppy.”
“I live in central London so we’re all pretty tightly packed and their garden backs onto the garden of my downstairs neighbor.”
“Almost right away the dog would bark constantly any time it was in the garden. I’m talking a bark every 1-2 seconds for 10-15 minutes kind of barking.”
“That’s cool. It’s a puppy and doesn’t know any better. I figured they’d train it in time.”
The dog’s barking became an increasing problem.
“As time’s gone on. the dog has been outside more and more and from what I can see, the owners are putting it outside and closing the garden door. Locking the dog out.”
“The dog then barks constantly until it’s let back in. This can be 20-30 minutes or more and can happen 5-6 times a day, almost every day.”
“I spoke to the owners one day from my window and asked if they were going to do anything about it.”
“The woman replied, ‘What do you want me to do? It’s a dog.'”
“I said they could simply train it not to bark constantly and stop locking it out as we all have to hear it (I’m guessing around 20 households can hear it).”
The OP started filing complaints.
“She just walked back in her house so I started reporting the noise to the local council.”
“They wrote to her and visited my flat to assess the noise levels and said it was definitely too much.”
“They told me to let them know every time it happened so it can be logged. Which I did.”
It turned out there were consequences.
“It’s been a couple of months since I started complaining, and yesterday I was leaning out of my window.”
“The dog owner asked if I had complained and I said I had.”
“She said they had to get rid of the dog and it’s my fault. It was a dog for her kid and the kid’s distraught.”
“I told her that if she trained the dog and stopped locking it outside, there wouldn’t have been an issue. She called me a d**khead and went back inside.”
“As far as I know, the council gives people a fair chance to sort out noisy pets.”
“I doubt only I complained about it but I feel bad if the kid is genuinely upset.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some said the dog was probably better off.
“A constantly barking dog is a sign it’s lonely, bored, and anxious. She obviously didn’t see the dog as a living thing with needs on par with a young child, which is exactly what many pets are, especially pack animals like dogs.”
“I hope it’s adopted by someone who doesn’t think it’s a toy to be put outside when the kids are done playing with it” – MarryMeDuffman
“OP probably saved the dog an unhappy life. It seems like the neighbors bought the puppy as a toy for their children. They were not interested in the proper care or training.”
“Whenever they got enough of the poor dog, they sent him in the garden and let him alone. And OP said it happened often. The poor dog. I don’t want to know how they treated him inside…”
“NTA” – Acceptable-Abalone20
“It is for the better. The dog can be placed in a home where he will receive proper training from a more responsible owner.” – hello_friendss
“This smacks of someone getting a dog for their child without really thinking about the effort (and expense) involved in properly looking after it.”
“Instead of putting on her big girl panties and dealing with the issue, the neighbor has gotten rid of the dog and tried to pin it all on the OP.”
“I suspect the puppy is better off elsewhere.” – eqnrc
Others agreed and said it was the neighbor’s fault, not the OP’s.
“NTA. You’re not obligated to let someone else’s negligence impact your life. If she wants to know who cost her her dog, she should go look in a mirror.”
“You directly told her it was a noise nuisance and she ignored that. Besides, it wasn’t your complaint that got her dog taken. It was the people with the power to take it away observing it barking too loud/often. That you summoned their attention to that fact in no way changes that her dog WAS barking too loud/often.”
“You should make an effort to be extra scrupulous over the next few months. She’ll probably be out to get you back by reporting whatever petty violations she can.” – AtheistBibleScholar
“It should be if you’re doing it right. Dogs are smart and pick up really quickly. But the fact she was locking it out for hours seems like abuse to me.”
“I hate people who get dogs then just mistreat them or dump them instead of training them. Like, if her kid is bad is she gonna lock her kid outside?” – Queenofchaos6
“Isolation as a punishment is as inhumane and ineffective for dogs as it is for humans. Denying a dog any sort of interaction will drive the poor pup crazy, as you heard with the barking.” – Malaeveolent_Bunny
“Dogs bark for a reason. It’s the owner’s responsibility to respond to what the dog is trying to say (whether it’s bored, hungry, or there’s a threat that it’s trying to warn them about).”
“Your neighbor is giving responsible dog owners a bad rep. Councils have those policies in place for a reason. You did the right thing.”
“And yes, I’m a dog owner, and I’m teaching him when its acceptable to bark (though he’s kept inside, so it hurts me more than the neighbors if he barks at the trees moving in the breeze).” – Snoozy27
Though the OP felt bad about the dog having to go to a new home after this, the subReddit was sure the OP had done the right thing. Not only was the neighbor not taking proper care of their dog, but they weren’t willing to accept accountability.