'It's torture:' Barking irks resident living next to pet playground

Monday, August 20, 2018

WAKE FOREST, NC (WTVD) -- He may live along Highway 98, but Larry Townsend says the hum of traffic is nothing compared to the noise on the other side of the fence.

"It's like fingernails on a chalkboard," said Townsend pointing at the neighboring Paws at Play, a pet daycare and boarding facility. Townsend said he suffers from Misophonia, which means he has extra sensitive hearing and a strong reaction - even anger - to sounds he doesn't like.

That includes dogs barking.

"It's unbearable," Townsend explained. "I have mild anxiety attack every time I come outside and wonder if I'm going to be assaulted by the noise or not. I stay locked in my house all day."

Townsend said his family bought the home on Wait Avenue in 1982, and Paws at Play opened in 2014. Townsend's house, though, is the only residence on the block.

According to the Wake County Code on noise, citations require complaints from at least two sources and a law enforcement officer.

A manager at Paws at Play told ABC11 the company is well aware of Townsend's concerns and has tried to reduce noise by building a six-foot privacy fence. The manager went on the explain that dogs are never allowed out at night, and the facility meets all codes and permits - including its zoning in an industrial zone.

"We've never received complaints from anyone but this one neighbor," the manager said in an email. "Unfortunately, there is noise associated with industrial park businesses. We do our best to limit the noise but we are a boarding facility that houses dogs."