What to do
A barking dog is a dog that barks, bays, cries, howls, or makes any other noise continuously for 10 minutes or longer.
1. Review “barking dog” in San Francisco Health Code
If someone has a “barking dog,” they may be violating Section 41 of the San Francisco Health Code.
This does not apply if the dog is:
- Barking because someone is trespassing or threatening to trespass
- Being teased or provoked
2. Prepare the info
For all complaints, we will ask you for:
- The address of the home, business, or property of the barking dog
- Your name and contact info so that 311 can follow up with you if needed
The City cannot take action if you are not able to provide the address of where the dog is located.
3. Call 311 to report a barking dog
After you report a barking dog:
- 311 will create a record of the complaint
- ACC and SFPD will issue a warning letter to the owner of the address for the first 2 complaints
If you still have issues with the barking dog, you can:
- Notify your landlord if you are in a multi-tenant building. For help, contact the Rent Board at 415-252-4600 Monday through Friday.
- Reach out to Community Boards, which can help with disagreements and issues between neighbors.
- Visit your local police station, with a neighbor, to file a police report. This may trigger a citation being issued to the dog’s owner or guardian. For more information, see Health Code Section 41.12(e)-Penalties.
Frequently asked questions
Frequently asked questions
Why can’t a police officer be dispatched to deal with my neighbor’s dog?
We understand your frustration over the barking dog. Please understand that the San Francisco Police Department is focused on issues of public safety, and the City cannot dispatch police officers to address barking-dog related complaints in the absence of a threat to public safety or animal endangerment issue.
We hope you can understand the need to prioritize the work of our police officers on higher-priority matters of public safety. Please see above regarding more options you may have to deal with your neighbor’s dog.
If you continue to disagree with the City’s policy on prioritizing police officers for matters of higher public safety priority issues, you may contact the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
What if there is a threat to public health or safety or I think the dog is in danger and the matter requires an immediate response?
Call 911 immediately.
Who do I call for other animal-related issues?
- For non-threatening animal-related emergencies between 6am and midnight call the Department of Animal Care & Control (ACC) directly at 415-554-9400. Otherwise, please call 311 between midnight and 6am.
- For general information, call 311 at any time or go to the ACC website at www.sfanimalcare.org. Or, you can contact ACC directly between 8:30 am to 5 pm by calling at 415-554-6364.
Last updated May 31, 2023