The neighbours say the racket caused by up to 25 dogs on the Brighton property in Dunedin has spoiled their slice of paradise and the council has done nothing to stop it.
However, the owners say running a doggy daycare is their lifelong dream and the neighbours are harassing them with complaints.
The daycare in Big Stone Rd, Dogs Day Out, has been operated since May 2022 by owners Jackie Mackle and Keith Mitchell, a former animal control officer.
Dogs would race at his fence barking, growling and snarling when he collected his morning newspaper, Mr Matcheson said.
He never used to turn on his television before the evening news, but was now switching it on in the morning with the volume up to drown out the barking.
"Their barking is driving me and my neighbours nuts.
"They’re just running around barking their heads off."
Four months ago, one of the dogs escaped the daycare and killed four of his chickens, Mr Matcheson said.
He then lodged a complaint with the Dunedin City Council.
Aside from installing a recording device at the neighbour’s property last week to monitor the dogs’ barking, the council’s animal control team had "done nothing", he said.
Neil Roberts, who lives across the road from the business, said he and wife Maree had also complained to the council.
They used to enjoy listening to tui and bellbirds at breakfast, but all they heard now was the dogs.
The dogs at times would bark continuously for three-quarters of an hour, Mr Roberts said.
He was also disappointed by the lack of a council response.
Ms Mackle said the business had operated for a year before receiving its first complaint.
It had compensated Mr Matcheson for the chickens and upgraded fencing so it would not happen again.
Since the chicken incident, complaints had come in "thick and fast", she said.
Ms Mackle believed the complaints were a bullying tactic by neighbours who wanted the daycare shut down.
The doggy daycare had been her partner’s lifelong dream.
The business was not disruptive as the dogs were actively discouraged from barking and monitored all day, she said.
A council spokesman said dog-care services were permitted in some zones under the district plan, including the property in question.
According to its dog control bylaw, owners were required to apply for a kennel permit if two or more dogs were being kept on a property.
Dogs Day Out had been issued a permit and the council worked with dog owners to understand their obligations under the bylaw, the spokesman said.
It was following the same process for all complaints, which included offering advice to reduce barking, issuing barking record sheets and deploying a "bark box" to record barking.
If barking was found to be loud and persistent, it would issue an abatement notice, the spokesman said.
email@example.com , PIJF cadet reporter