Report an Animal Nuisance
The information on this page applies to incidents that occur in unincorporated Snohomish County (outside city limits). Find out if an address is in our service area.
If you are experiencing or witnessing an emergency situation, call 911.
All dogs bark. However, when barking becomes a neighborhood nuisance, there are steps you can take to address the problem. Following the steps below will give you the best chances of achieving a quiet, happy neighborhood.
1. Understand the law
A dog that barks for at least 10 minutes during any half hour period is in violation of Snohomish County Code 9.12.606.
2. Start by talking to the pet owner
- Explain what’s happening and ask them to work with you to find a solution. Consider giving them an owner notification letter (PDF) and How to Prevent Nuisance Barking (PDF) tip sheet.
- Many barking dog problems are solved at this step without needed to involve Animal Services at all!
3. Document the ongoing issue
- If speaking with the owner directly does not resolve the issue or the owner is not approachable, document the ongoing issue for at least 7 days using the Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF).
Note: Using the Edge browser to fill this form causes errors. Please use an different internet browser or Adobe Acrobat.
- Documentation is essential for Animal Control Officers to find the owner in violation of Snohomish County Code.
4. Share your documentation with Animal Services
- Email the completed Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF) (keeping a copy for your records) to Snohomish County Animal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- You will be contacted by the Animal Services Coordinator who will provide you with a case number. Please hold on to this case number as you will need it to escalate enforcement should the barking continue.
- Animal Services will issue a warning to the dog owner.
5. Send additional documentation if the problem continues
If 30 days have passed since the date you submitted your completed barking dog complaint form and the barking is continuing:
- Locate a witness who can corroborate the barking and request they complete and submit a Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF) referencing your case number on the form. This helps Animal Services verify this is a significant community problem and will assist in escalating compliance enforcement.
- If you are unable to locate a witness, please complete a new Barking Dog Complaint Form (PDF) and document the ongoing issue for at least a week. Attach this to a copy of your initial complaint form and email it to Animal Services at email@example.com.
Once Animal Services receives the additional documentation, the case will be reviewed and assigned for additional investigation.
6. Continue documenting the issue
- Do not stop documenting the noise issue. If the above steps do not resolve the problem, Animal Services can take escalating enforcement action if provided with updated documentation of the continuing problem.
- Please make sure you always reference the case number on the documentation sheets.
Please note that if 90 days elapse between documented instances of the nuisance barking, the process above starts over.
Leash laws protect dogs and people. Dogs on a leash are less likely to:
- Be hit by cars
- Bite or injure people or other animals
- Be bitten or injured by other animals
- Eat or drink things that can make them sick
- Harm local wildlife
1. Understand the law
In unincorporated Snohomish County, all dogs must be leashed when off the owner’s premises under Snohomish County Code 9.14.030. A first time offense can result in a $100 fine.
2. Report violations
Complete the online Animal Complaints form (select “Nuisance Dogs” as the complaint type). Animal Services will investigate the complaint.