Pets kept in unhygienic conditions can cause a smell nuisance to neighbours. Dogs left alone to bark for long periods may be a noise nuisance to people living nearby.
Anyone owning a pet has a duty to keep it in a way which does not interfere with neighbours' enjoyment of their homes.
Complaints of nuisance will be investigated by the Animal Warden Service. This will involve assessing the nuisance from the complainant's property and may require more than one visit, particularly in the case of barking dogs.
Dog wardens try to resolve the problem through information and advice. Irresponsible pet ownership is classed as anti-social behaviour as well as being a breach of tenancy and leasehold conditions. Noise and smell nuisance may be dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act which carries a fine of up to £5,000.
It is a criminal offence to own a banned breed of dog, for example, a pit bull terrier type. Complaints should be made to the police via your local Safer Neighbourhood Team. The police enforce the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 and are the first point of contact if a dog injures a person. Complaints may be made to the Animal Warden Service about dog-on-dog attacks or other incidents of dogs being out of control in a public place. The wardens will require witness statements of specific incidents in which a dog has been dangerously out of control and will investigate with a view to applying for a Control Order to be placed on a dog to ensure it is kept on lead or muzzled.