A close neighbor who lives in a two-family rental has a small pit bull that they tie to a dog run in their backyard. The yard is less than 100 feet from my back deck. The dog barks for hours on end, all hours of the day and evening. They ignore it and never walk or play with this dog. I am not talking about an occasional bark when the mail is delivered, or when a cat passes by, I am talking non-stop barking for hours.

It is just tied there and allowed to bark, with no response from the owners. It is barking as I write this, and has been for at least four hours. I have lived in my home for more than 30 years, and this is the first time we have ever had such an inconsiderate neighbor.

Dog lovers in the neighborhood are also concerned about this dog that is often left out in rain or sleet, even snow, with no dog house. I called Auburn City Hall and they told me to call the police. I hate to call the police for this type of issue, but I did research the laws for Auburn and this barking is considered a public nuisance and the owners can be fined $150 if warranted.

Several neighbors have agreed to tell the police they have heard and seen this problem if necessary. Before I resort to the police, isn’t there some type of animal control in Auburn that I can complain to first? I would like to have someone with authority other than the police speak with these people and let them know dogs that are just tied up and just left to bark for hours isn’t OK with anyone.— A Concerned and Frustrated Taxpayer, Auburn.

ANSWER: Auburn has a fairly thorough animal ordinance which, as you know, you can review online by visiting municode.com/library/me/auburn/codes/code_of_ordinances?nodeId=PTIICOOR_CH8AN#!. You can also place a complaint directly online without having to phone the police. Visit auburnmaine.gov/pages/government/police-animal-complaint and fill out the online form which, based on the information you provide, should be routed to the correct department to investigate your complaint.
 
Before you do that, though, have you tried talking directly to your neighbor? Sun Spots is a dog owner and knows firsthand that it can become easy to tune them out from time to time. Sometimes a friendly reminder is all it will take to prompt the owners to take action. Most people are reasonable and do not want to purposefully annoy their neighbors, and living in close proximity creates situations where dog owners should take care of their animals in such a way that they do not become a nuisance.

DEAR SUN SPOTS: I’m looking for old doilies thread crochet books that anyone may want to get rid of. Thank you. You can reach me at (207) 353-4383. — No Name, No Town.

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