TO THE unsuspecting eye they are just two little dogs minding their own business.
Jack Russell brothers Bob and Wilf have been happily living with their owner Sheila Wayman at their Hedge End home since they were puppies.
But their antics in the early hours of the morning when they are left home alone has now landed them all in the dock because its sending neighbours barking mad.
Bob (left) and Wilf's barking has caused neighbours to lodge noise complaints
Despite buying anti-barking collars, confining the dogs to the kitchen and keeping the television on for them, Ms Wayman says she has been unable to stop the seven-year-old dogs barking while she is at work.
Southampton Magistrates Court heard how Eastleigh Borough Council’s Environmental Health team had compiled a dossier of evidence against the dogs after a series of complaints about the noise first thing in the morning when their owner has gone to work.
As one of only two dustbin ladies working for Eastleigh Borough Council, 46-year-old Ms Wayman leaves her Crusader Close home at 5am every day.
It is between 6am and 7am that the dogs have been heard barking intermittently causing her neighbour “distress” and a lack of sleep.
Ms Wayman was served with an abatement notice ordering her to take action to stop the nuisance barking earlier in the year, but as the complaints continued council staff visited the property next-door on three occasions in May and have compiled a report noting on the noise sending neighbours barking mad.
The dossier revealed how on one visit, environment health technician Kathryn Jones recorded 40 seconds of barking at 6.42am, ten barks at 7.06am, a minute of barking at 7.14am and 30 seconds of barking at 7.16am.
In her witness statement she wrote: “I feel it was sufficient to wake a person from sleep and would have prevented them from going back to sleep”.
Ms Wayman pleaded guilty to three offences of breaching a noise abatement notice but fears that she will face the courts again because she does not know what more she can do.
She told the Daily Echo: “I know that they bark and I know it can be annoying but it is not constant.
“I’ve tried everything to stop it but what more can I do apart from either getting rid of them or giving up my job?
“They don’t make any noise when I am home and I feel victimised for being a single working person. That’s what aggravates me because nobody has come to speak to me in person.”
Ms Wayman was fined £150 for breaching the notice, plus £150 costs and a victim surcharge of £20.
Deputy Leader Councillor Anne Winstanley said: “This outcome should act as a warning to other residents who cause a noise nuisance that the council will not hesitate to take action to protect the interests of residents.”