A dog owner has been fined and ordered to reduce the number of dogs at her home after failing to prevent her animals from persistently barking.
Mary Higgins, of Elloe Bank, Gorefield, appeared at Peterborough Magistrates on Tuesday, September 29, charged with failing to comply with a Noise Abatement Notice issued to control nuisance dogs at her property.
The prosecution by Fenland District Council follows numerous complaints against Mrs Higgins involving barking dogs, and ongoing failure to comply with the notice.
The notice was served in January 2015 after a long and complex investigation by the Council's Environmental Health team.
The court heard that Mrs Higgins' 16 large dogs were left alone to bark for prolonged periods of time, causing a significant nuisance to her neighbours.
Higgins was fined £500 for failing to comply with a Noise Abatement Notice and ordered to pay £500 costs. She was also ordered to pay £50 compensation to a neighbour.
The Council also successfully applied for a Criminal Behaviour Order, which states that Mrs Higgins must reduce the number of dogs at her home from 16 to 2 by January 1, 2021. She must also take all steps not to cause neighbours any nuisance or anti-social behaviour.
Cllr Samantha Hoy, the Council's Portfolio Holder responsible for Environmental Health, said: "Our Environmental Health Officers thoroughly investigated this case and offered ongoing support to Mrs Higgins to try resolve this matter without the need for prosecution.
"However, warnings and advice went unheeded and noise nuisance continued to be witnessed by officers. Residents have the right to live without excessive disturbances so we will take firm action where necessary. Hopefully this sends a clear message that both the council and the courts take noise nuisance extremely seriously."