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Disgruntled neighbour's 'demanding' note about barking dogs sparks fiery debate

Residents are split over who is in the right.

An Aussie dog owner says she's at her wits' end after receiving a string of "demanding" notes from a stranger. The woman shared her outrage on Monday after picking up another letter about her pets.

"Get some barking collars for those dogs or take them with you. We are sick of them," the piece of paper read.

"The notes are very demanding and always anonymous," the dog owner shared in a local community Facebook group, before explaining she was already taking measures to stop her dogs barking.

Note telling dog owner to stop or dogs barking
The upset dog owner shared one of the notes she's received from an angry neighbour. Source: Facebook

"I am paying over $120 a month on calming medication under veterinary advice and also buying specialty anxiety food for my dogs, yet have NO WAY to even discuss this with our disgruntled neighbour."

The Sunshine Coast woman asked if anyone else in the area had been receiving anonymous complaints about their dogs, and claimed her pets only bark at customers of the business next door. "We have a hairdressing business next door, just feet away from our lounge room. We then have strangers pulling up constantly outside our house and sometimes walking through our yard to go to this business," she said.

"I am hesitant to buy bark collars for my dogs when I don't even know who is forcing me to buy them," she added.

Note divides community

The post has divided opinion, with many arguing that the dogs should be forced to wear anti-bark collars. "Someone is telling you that your dogs are constantly barking while you're out. Clearly you know that your dogs have an anxiety problem and you are trying everything you can, but you may have to try the bark collar as a last resort," one resident suggested. "People don't complain for no reason," quipped someone else.

But many have sided with the woman and encouraged her to ignore the "rude" letter writer. "If it was any neighbour worth dealing with they wouldn't hide behind anonymous notes," one local wrote, while others said that barking dogs are just a "part of living around other people" instead of rural areas.

Calls for collars to be banned

Anti-bark collars have long been a divisive topic, with animal welfare groups including the RSPCA rallying against them. "The RSPCA is opposed to the use of anti-barking collars that deliver aversive stimuli such as high-pitched sounds, electric shocks or citronella," the organisation's website states. "These devices are inhumane as they are designed to deliberately cause suffering."

But Neil Smith, the Director of Bark Control Australia, says the collars — which can emit either an ultrasonic tone, a vibration, a loud sound that only dogs can hear, a spray of citronella or an electric shock — are "totally harmless to the dog".

"There is a lot of misinformation out there about how these collars work and there are people who think the collars can burn the dog's neck for example, and things like that, which is completely impossible for any decent bark collar out there to do," Smith told Yahoo News Australia.

Electric shock collars are banned in several states and territories including NSW, South Australia and the ACT.

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