Dog lover’s deaf and blind pooch could cost him £500 daily after noise complaint

A dog lover faces a £500 daily fine amid noise complaints about his 16-year-old pooch's regular barking.

Keith Lilley has hit back at the "ridiculous" nuisance noise rules after his neighbour reported the deaf and partially sighted dog.

Mr Lilley, who lives alone with his Parson Russell Terrier, Phoenix, in Bolton, says the dog's age and health conditions play a part in his regular barking.

He says although the dog does bark when he leaves for work in the morning and when he arrives home at the end of his shift, he has tried everything to calm the Parson Russell Terrier down.

Despite this, Bolton Council are investigating into noise complaints made by Mr Lilley's neighbour, reports Manchester Evening News.

If Phoenix's barking is found to be a nuisance, then Mr Lilley could end up being fined £500 for every day his dog continues to bark.

"It's anxiety barking," Mr Lilley said.

"He barks for about half-an-hour or so after me leaving and he barks again in the evening. Dogs aren't stupid, they know roughly when you're coming home.

"My neighbour first approached me around a year ago and told me it'd been going on for a few weeks. It was apparently getting on his nerves because it was disturbing his lie-ins on weekend. I apologised, closed the curtains and put background music on when I left, basic things that your vet advises you to do.

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"He came to me a few weeks later to tell me it wasn't working and that I needed to do some other things to calm him down. My vet told me that they wouldn't recommend things like shock collars of muzzles because of his age and previous health issues.

"I got some calming sprays and a comfort jacket, I've moved the sofa away from the window, I've tried everything. There's nothing more I can do.

"I've changed all my shifts at work, I was doing 39 hours, I've come down to 28 hours over six days so I can do shorter shifts. I booked every weekend off in January so he can have quiet weekends for five or six weeks."

Mr Lilley said that the investigation has rumbled on for the past 12 months, without a conclusion, due to problems caused by Covid-19.

He added: "It's absolutely ridiculous that it's even an issue. The dog owner is basically hung, drawn and quartered. That's the way I feel like I've been treated.

"I'm just asking for a bit of compassion and understanding. They're not dealing with young, out-of-control dog, it's an old dog that's pining for its owner and it's not a large booming bark, there's a bit of a yelp in there."

A Bolton Council spokesman said: "We can confirm that the Council has received a complaint regarding alleged noise nuisance from a Tonge Moor resident.

"As this is an active investigation we cannot comment further."

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