Tuesday, 07 June 2016 09:42

Let barking dogs bark

Annoying to hear them bark, but even more heartbreaking to think of them caged Annoying to hear them bark, but even more heartbreaking to think of them caged

I’ve been forced to join the many helpless ‘victims of barking dog(s)’. And I reached the end of the road relatively quickly, simply because there are no options or rather, no laws.

I live in an apartment block and a neighbour in one of the small houses nearby keeps four, sometimes five (hunting) dogs in a cage. Apart from the sadness that overcomes me every time I think of those poor dogs, I am also faced with the barking.

Especially the crying of the puppy – which gets no attention at all and can’t even be blamed for crying – gets to me. And now that it’s getting warmer the smell is becoming an issue, too.

The barking is not excessive, just frequent – but a little three-minute barking spell at 2am and another one at 5am will do fine to make your night’s sleep pretty much useless. And then another one when you are trying to get in a quick rest in the afternoon will make sure you’ll feel tired all day.

How do other people on my block deal with this, I wonder? The immediate ground floor neighbours? Are they all deaf or afraid of the dog owner?

Sometimes I try to console myself by telling myself that other dogs are worse off and probably other people have noisier dogs nearby…

But still, I resent having my quality of life, which has thus far been really good, suddenly destroyed by some irresponsible individual who is most likely making some sort of profit – nobody appears to be living in the actual house – to the detriment of the dogs’ wellbeing and the neighbours’ peace.

The police took details, but I never heard back from them. I contacted the ‘community police’ and was told that yes, they did talk to the owner and have also informed the municipality. I contacted the governmental vet service who did go there within two days and got back to me immediately.

However, they had to inform me that, for their part, there is nothing they can do. The dogs was all healthy, had all papers, sufficient space (a couple of square metres), water and food was available, the cages were clean and the owner claimed to let them out for an hour every day.

I can say for a fact, that it is a maximum of five minutes a day, but at this point, does anyone care?

There is actually no law that forbids keeping dogs in a cage 24/7. There is no law, saying that if you live in a crowded neighbourhood it is NOT okay to keep four or five dogs in a cage, no matter how little they bark.

All I could do now is to try to get some of the neighbours to sign an official statement with me at the police station, wait for six months, a year, to see if the court will decide whether the dog owner/keeper should be fined.

Why anyone would be so cruel as to get dogs, then keep them in a cage all day, is beyond me.

Meanwhile I feel like in a bit of a cage myself, as leaving doors and windows open has become mostly unpleasant, and I try not to think of the dogs that are much worse-off still.

Article as published in The Cyprus Weekly of June 3, 2016 

Mary Anglberger

I’ve been travelling the world for over 20 years teaching English and am now taking time to follow my passion for photography and writing. I want to share all the things, events and people that have inspired and inspire me and spread those positive vibes all around.

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