PERSISTENT barking that drove neighbours mad has landed dog owners with fines totalling hundreds of pounds
Environmental health officers were called to listen to two bichon frises barking while their owners were out.
One officer heard more than 150 barks in 51 minutes.
In March, Martin and Julie Carlin were served with an order telling them to stop their dogs barking.
But the couple found themselves before magistrates in Fareham having failed to keep to its terms.
The Carlins, of Albacore Close, Lee-on-the-Solent, were charged with five counts of failing to comply with a noise abatement notice.
Mr Carlin, 52, said: ‘We know the dogs barked on those particular occasions and we want to try and resolve the matter and move on.’
Mrs Carlin did not attend court due to ill health and Mr Carlin represented himself.
He said they had not received the notice but had taken steps to control the dogs since becoming aware.
He said: ‘We have put bark collars on them and we take them out when we can. In summer we couldn’t take them in our cars and leave them in hot temperatures.
‘I work in a warehouse and couldn’t take them with me.
‘We have changed their collars and now they don’t even bark when someone comes to the door.’
The court heard that the Carlins’ neighbours called the council’s out-of-hours service to complain about the barking, which started shortly after they left the house at 9.30am and would continue until they returned home in the evening.
A statement from Richard Gustar, a council worker who visited on August 6, was read out in court.
He said: ‘There was barking and howling on and off, barking for several seconds, then barking again.
‘I stepped outside and the noise from the barking dogs was even louder. The dogs were barking more than not.
‘It was a rather annoying noise and the neighbours said this was likely to go on all day.’
Mr Carlin pleaded guilty to the five charges and Mrs Carlin was found guilty in her absence.
He was fined £100 for each offence and he was ordered to pay £300 in costs and a victim surcharge of £20, totalling £820. Mrs Carlin was fined £75 for each offence, and she was ordered to pay £500 costs and a victim surcharge of £20, totalling £895. Speaking after the case, Mr Carlin said his two dogs were now much quieter.
He said: ‘I want to try and get back to some resemblance of order.’
The neighbours did not wish to comment.