Grandma's Dogs Found Guilty of Barking

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

August 15, 2012 Updated Aug 15, 2012 at 11:43 PM EDT

Town of Tonawanda

There have been about 30 complaints filed against 77 year old Barbara Creighton for her dogs' habitual barking and she says almost all of them have been filed by one neighbor.

The complaints have cost Creighton more than $2,000 in fines and even a one-day sentence at the Alden Correctional Facility.

"Somebody said was he (the judge) trying to scare you by sending you out there I said well if I had a bad heart he would've had a body on his doorstep instead of me coming in here tonight," said Creighton.

Wednesday's complaint was lodged against her by a 14 year veteran of the Tonawanda Police Department, Lieutenant Jessie Haug.

Lieutenant Haug testified that on June 19th he responded to Creighton's home on the 300 block of Zimmerman Boulevard for yet another barking dog complaint just before 11pm. He says he parked a couple of houses away before going to the door.

He described the barking as loud, obnoxious and unbelievably annoying.

Creighton on the other hand says she didn't recognize the officer and that her dogs naturally bark at strangers.

"Even when they've come to serve me a summons and the dogs have been in the house they ring the doorbell, they come to the door with me barking and that's just normal thing for them to do," explained Creighton.

Creighton's story has generated national attention and she's received support from people all over the country and right here at home.

"I think it's ridiculous. I think that if the dogs are on her property and they're not biting anybody or hurting anybody, I mean there's so much crime in the world today you're going to sentence a poor old lady to jail," said Lisa Cassenti, who lives in North Tonawanda.

But all the support did little to save Creighton in front of the judge who found her guilty of violating the habitual dog barking ordinance for that June 19th incident.

The judge will sentence Creighton sometime in September. She could face a fine of more than $250 and up to 15 days in jail.

She says the stress and harrassment is taking a toll on her health and her doctor has put her on anti-anxiety medication.