Barking dogs and Noise Laws

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Barking dogs and Noise Laws

Good Day, I have a neighbor who is running an underground dog shelter / rescue
on her property. She houses approximately 20 dogs maybe more on her
property and they bark, howl and whine all hours of the day and night. They
are always adding more dogs to the mix which compounds the issue with each
addition. This noise affects my home along with neighbors all around her
property from being woken up at 2am with howling at sirens or to hearing a
chorus of barking dogs while sipping morning coffee before leaving for work
with the large number of dogs on property the sounds can be quite loud. We
live in Spring Texas within Harris county but are not inside any city limits of
either Spring or Houston.

My questions is simply are there any ‘peace and tranquility’ laws on the Texas
civil code for home owners? Our subdivision has an HOA but unfortunately her
property is in the neighboring subdivision which does not have an HOA, my back
fence line is the boundary between the two subdivisions.

Asked on December 24, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Texas


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The common law has a possible remedy for: it is called a lawsuit for "nuisance." If a property owner (or renter/tenant) is using a property in a way that is inappropriate for the neighborhood and which disturbs neighbors' peace and quiet, it is sometimes possible to sue them for one or both of a court order, barring the offending use and/or for monetary compensation.
Common examples of nuisance suits are for bars or restaurants in residential areas that have loud music and loud patrons too late at night, or when some sort of noisey and odor-producing manufacturing or commercial endeavor (a concrete plant; a rendering plant) is operating near residences. But a dog rescue/shelter in a residential area, if the dogs are allowed to bark/howl/etc. at all times of night and disturb neighbors, could also constitute a nuisance. 
If you want to explore this option, consult with an attorney; a nuisance suit can be a somewhat complex one, and if it's worth bringing, it is worth having an attorney bring it for you. If other neighbors are also affected, perhaps you can jointly retain the attorney, to share the cost.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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