Here's a Bark Off moment that was surely missed. I found this annoying story in the news and it made me think that if Bark Off works it could have saved a lot of money and angst.
Perhaps they were keeping a watch out for angry neighbours. Or maybe they were just trying to get some peace and quiet from their brothers and sisters.
Either way, this trio of boxers were on hand to greet neighbours who went round to complain about the noise from Mark McGowan and Sam Watkins's dogs.The animals had made their neighbours' lives a 'living hell' with their constant barking at their home in Southampton.
McGowan and Watkins have been hit with a £1,900 fine after council officers found the animals were barking an astonishing 800 times an hour.The couple, who breed boxers and bulldogs at their three-bedroom detached home, were convicted of repeatedly breaching a noise abatement notice.
The pair failed to turn up to Monday's hearing at Southampton magistrates court, where it was ruled the pack of boxers and bulldogs they keep at their home were unacceptably noisy. The court heard how council environmental health officers made notes of their incessant barking, yapping and whining during various visits to neighbours' houses.
Council officers recorded 805 barks during one hour-long visit.A number made complaints to the council and kept detailed diaries of the barking. They also signed a petition.
Neighbours said McGowan started keeping dogs about seven years ago and the noise problem had escalated since then. They said he had up to 17 dogs, and the back garden of his property was filled with cages for them. Neighbour Ian Murray, 47, said: 'The barking is absolutely horrendous. We cannot use our garden.
'And it's not just the noise, the smell is terrible. It's making our lives a living hell.'
Mr Murray, who is a director of an industrial noise reduction company, and his wife Kerry said their young children were even afraid of going outside. The problem became so bad Southampton Itchen MP John Denham took up their case and held a meeting with Southampton City Council noise chiefs to press them to take action.
Council animal welfare officers visited McGowan's home but found no offences had been committed. The RSPCA was also informed.The couple were charged with five breaches of a noise abatement notice, which was issued three years ago. But they failed to show up at the court after asking the council prosecutor to apply for an adjournment on their behalf.
However, magistrates decided to go ahead with the hearing. Handing out fines totalling £950 each, chairman of the bench Merrielle Billington said: 'It's clear the dogs' barking is totally unacceptable.'
The couple run a website dedicated to their dogs and their breeding programme. In recent years they have advertised puppies for sale and offer the services of their dogs for stud.
Their boxer dogs have been listed for up to £800 - although neither have applied for a breeder's licence. McGowan, who claims on the website to be a former grocery manager, refused to comment when contacted at his home. Watkins was unavailable for comment.
Southampton City Council's environment boss, Councillor Matt Dean said: 'Noisy neighbours can cause untold misery for residents and can have a real impact on people's quality of life. 'The court's decision here sends a clear message that this will not be tolerated in our city.' Brilliant Write Up Daily Mail ! )
I would have pulled my hair out if I leaved near these folks but Bark Off might be the answer for those still suffering this type of agony.