Responding To Complaints

Enforcement of the barking dog ordinance is only possible with the cooperation and assistance of the citizens of Kennewick. Complaints and logs that are submitted with incomplete and/or insufficient evidence will be returned to the complaining party for further information.

Office Response

If, upon review, sufficient evidence is provided, the Kennewick City Attorney’s Office will:
  • Send a 10-day Compliance Letter notifying the dog owner that a complaint has been made and giving the dog owner an opportunity to correct the situation.  A copy of the compliance letter will be sent to the complaining witness with additional instructions.
  • During this 10-day compliance period, the complainant should continue to monitor the nuisance and must notify the City Attorney's Office if the barking persists 10 days after receipt of the compliance letter.
  • If, at the end of the 10-day compliance period, the violation has not been corrected and complete information has been provided by the complainant, the City Attorney's Office will file one or more civil infractions in Benton County District Court against the dog owner. Pursuant to KMC 8.02.360, the first violation within five years is $50.00, the second violation within five years is $100, the third violation within five years is $200.00, and the fourth and subsequent violation within five years is $400. The City of Kennewick typically files multiple counts in one complaint based on the information provided by the complaining party.

Contested Hearing

The defendant may choose to request a Contested Hearing through the Benton County DIstrict Court. These hearings are set many weeks from the date of filing, and may also be continued several times before they result in a disposition. When the case is set for a hearing, the complaining witness will be subpoenaed to testify about the barking dog log and his/her personal observations on the charged offense dates. Once a subpoena is received, court attendance is mandatory. The defendant will also be allowed to testify and to present witnesses on his/her behalf. After all testimony is taken, the judge will determine whether the evidence supports one or all of the infractions charged and impose the appropriate fine amount.

If you have questions about the barking dog ordinance or filing a complaint, please contact the Kennewick City Attorney’s Office.
  1. City Attorney's Office

    Physical Address
    210 W 6th Avenue
    Kennewick, WA 99336

    Mailing Address
    P.O. Box 6108
    Kennewick, WA 99336

    Fax: 509-585-4424