On May 3, 2017, Hillsborough County Board of County Commissioners passed the Nuisance Animal Noise Ordinance. The ordinance covers any nuisance animal that barks, meows, whines or howls non-stop for 20 minutes or longer with less than 20 seconds of interruption during that 20-minute time period.
This does not apply to animal shelters, commercial boarding kennels or properties that are zoned for agricultural purposes. State law prohibits noise ordinances from applying to those agriculturally zoned properties.
How to Report a Nuisance Animal
To report a nuisance animal under this ordinance (dog barking or cat meowing), you must have affidavits from two unrelated people at different locations within 1,000 feet of the noise source.
If there is only one person able to report, one affidavit must be accompanied by a non-stop, unedited time-stamped recording of the sound from a single incident and submitted with the affidavit.
The affidavit(s) must be notarized.
Once the resident(s) has the appropriate affidavit(s) signed and notarized, the paperwork must be mailed or dropped off to Animal Control at 2709 E. Hanna Ave., Tampa, FL 33610. If a video is obtained, that must be sent or dropped off with the affidavit(s).
Resident(s) filing the complaint must also be present in court when the complaint is brought forward to support the affidavit(s) filed.
Enforcement of Nuisance Animal Noise Ordinance
Enforcement is handled by the State Attorney’s Office and Hillsborough County Sherriff’s Office. Animal Control assists in processing the paperwork during regular hours of operation.
Nuisance animal noise violations can be enforced as misdemeanors that include a fine of no more than $500 or imprisoned up to 60 days in jail. Each day a violation occurs or continues, is a separate offense and may be penalized separately. Warnings will be on a case-by-case basis and at the discretion of the State Attorney’s Office.