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Court Orders Dog Not to Bark – 20,000 Kuna Fine if it Does

DogA disgruntled resident from the village of Peroj on the south-western coast of Istria in Croatia has won a court order to stop the dog next door from barking…

Medo is currently the only dog in Croatia under a court order for barking. It all started three years ago when Medo and his owner moved into the neighbourhood and one his neighbours started harassing him.

“We first asked our neighbour to stop upsetting our dog, but she didn’t. We spoke many times with her, begged for her to stop annoying medo. In the end she took us to court. Medo does not bark much – only if he sees a cat or someone unknown comes close to his territory. At night he hardly barks,” owner Anton Šimunović said.

The woman’s lawyer said that the dogs behaviour has effected his clients health and that there is evidence that the dog barks all the time, and that his behaviour at night is even worse. He is seeking 10,000 kuna (1,300 euros) in damages for his client and for the dog to stop barking.

The District Court in Pula delivered an interim decision recently in favour of the woman, and a bark at night from Medo could cost Šimunović 20,000 kuna (2,600 euros). Šimunović says that he believes the case could be a first of its kind in the country.

“I called associations, lawyers….nobody had heard of a case similar to ours. Now we all live in fear – if he barks, it is a 20,000 kuna fine. We know our neighbour would immediately report it,” said Šimunović, who is forced now to keep Medo inside the house.

“Unhappy Medo now spends the night in the house – nervous, upset and frustrated. He is used to the being in the yard, freely roaming around his own territory. The court is strict, from 8pm to 8am he must be in the house. Medo is not the house type and hates being in four walls,” concluded Šimunović. (photo / by Chris Barber – Flickr via Wikimedia Commons)

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