A dog owner whose 11 border collies barked ‘day and night’ has been ordered to pay £10,000 after noise caused misery for neighbours.

Susan Ince of Nuttall Avenue, Horwich, kept up to seven border collie dogs, including four puppies, at her home where next door neighbours were subjected to continuous barking.

Bolton Council successfully prosecuted her for noise nuisance offences which severely impacted neighbours for almost a year. The council received the first complaint of noise nuisance from Ince’s property in January 2023 with reports of her loudly shouting at the dogs as well as barking at all times of the day.

An audio recording device was installed in the neighbour’s house the following month.

As a result of the findings, Ince was officially ordered to stop the noise nuisance within three weeks by way of an abatement notice. The notice was breached, and further recordings were gathered.

Despite numerous attempts to engage with Ince, environmental health officers were unable to resolve the issue and the matter was taken to court.

On December 11, Ince pleaded guilty to breach of a noise abatement notice served under the Environmental Protection Act at Bolton Magistrates Court.

She was handed a conditional discharge for two years and ordered to pay £10,000 costs to the council. She was ordered to reduce the number of dogs at the property to one and re-home some dogs within one month. She must also engage with an animal behaviourist and follow all recommendations including training, exercise and medication.

Failure to comply with the orders could result in a five year prison sentence.

Coun Sue Haworth, Bolton Council’s cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “The team attempted on several occasions to engage with the resident to resolve the issue but were unsuccessful.

“Supportive conversation can be a first step to seek change from owners including better care of animals. In this case, legal action was the only alternative. “This was a highly resource intensive case where officers had to gather all necessary evidence over several months.

“The incessant noise severely impacted the quality of life of the neighbours for almost a year. “Dog owners have a responsibility to control their dogs and their behaviours including unreasonable amounts of barking.

“This prosecution serves as a reminder that residents must be considerate of their neighbours and also look after their animals well, and we will take action against those who negatively impact the lives of others.”