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Tell Us: Ban Animal Devocalization?

Local elected officials seek ban on vocal chord removal in animals.

Assemb. Andrew Raia, R-East Northport, and Assemb. Chad Lupinacci, R-Huntington Station, recently voted to ban the practice of animal devocalization.

They were joined by the entire Long Island Minority Conference delegation in voting to outlaw the surgical procedure meant to silence a pet's vocalizations, such as debarking or softening the bark in dogs.

“Pets are members of our families that we develop life long bonds with,” said Raia. “It’s a basic moral principle that harm should not be done to anyone or anything for the mere convenience of another. A malicious procedure like devocalizing dogs and cats for the sake of accommodation has no place in our society.”

“Devocalization of a dog or cat isn’t just a short-term fix, but can create long-term consequences for an animal," said Lupinacci. "Many view their pets as part of the family, and to put them through a potentially life-threatening surgery without medical cause is cruel. I thank my colleagues on behalf of cat and dog lovers everywhere."

What do you think? Do you think the procedure is cruel? Do you think it should be banned?

Tell us in the comment section.

david Calderwood March 12, 2013 at 08:23 PM
This absolutely should NOT be banned! Gary Patronek, DVM, who founded the Tufts University Hoarding Animals Research Consortium and who is on the staff at the Animal Rescue League of Boston, did research on the reasons why people surrender dogs to shelters. Of those animals surrendered due to behavioral reasons, 41% are directly attributed to excessive barking. Many of those dogs will be euthanized and of those that do get adopted most of them will be back in the shelter and thus eventually euthanized. A fuller understanding and experience with dogs that have been bark softened, would help anyone to understand that it is a simple procedure that, when done by a competent veterinarian, is harmless. It also solves problems that can’t be solved by other means and saves lives. This is something that gets passed by well-meaning elected officials that results in unintended consequences -- which is higher euthanasia rates for dogs that would otherwise be saved. The opposition to this procedure is based on emotion – and emotion is not science – nor is it sound reasoning!
Liz Long March 13, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Debarking sure beats having a neighbor throw poison over the fence!
Jackie Geister March 13, 2013 at 02:32 AM
Debarking (bark softening) is a simple procedure performed through the dog's mouth. There are no stitches involved and the dog will eat his supper that evening. Two major reasons to go ahead with this procedure for a noisy dog is to be a good neighbor and to enable you to enjoy your dog again. Gone is the time spent yelling at your dog over and over again. Gone are the trips to the backyard to bring in the dog before the neighbors call with complaints. Your dog is happy because you are happy - don't you agree?
jeff kogen March 13, 2013 at 05:38 AM
I second liz long's comment I see it happen
Kathy Waszczak March 13, 2013 at 11:17 AM
How stupid, devocalize the devocalizers :-X
Kathy Waszczak March 13, 2013 at 11:26 AM
http://youtu.be/zI-2M_vxerQ
Margaret Locke March 13, 2013 at 12:17 PM
There are laws that can proclaim a barking dog a nuisance and force you to "get rid" of your dog or move out of the neighborhood. Many HOA have such regulations. I live in the country and my dogs are my alarm system as well as my companions. I had no neighbors for a long time but now I am surrounded by them. The only solution, bark soften the dogs that barked a lot...my neighbors are happy, I am happy, and so are my shelties (a breed that was bred to bark)!
V Willard March 13, 2013 at 12:22 PM
I'm familiar with how folks on both sides feel on this topic. Though I won't due it to my dogs (as much ad I've considered it at times) I've seen many digs come through rescue that occasionally would be deemed unadoptable because of their accessibe barking. The procedure was safe and the dog came out from the procedure barking his head off but only raspy softer and very adoptable. I know several folks who do it so they may keep their dogs due to complaining neighbors who would otherwise make their life miserable. I was one of the many who assumed this was a cruel procedure but having seen the results and benefits of performing on dogs that really need it I feel it should be available.
Jean McNeill March 13, 2013 at 02:46 PM
Thankfully Bill SB2271 (limiting devocalization of dogs and cats to medical neccessity only) has passed the State Assembly by a vast majority. Now it is up to the State Senate...I congratulate Assemblyman Raia for standing by our animal companions.
vidalia sweet March 13, 2013 at 05:08 PM
It seems like dog training would be a better option. An operation should be a last resort, and people who can't be bothered with training should not be pet owners. That being said, it should not be illegal for the reasons others have mentioned in this forum. It may be the last saving grace for some animals lives.
JMN March 13, 2013 at 05:23 PM
This practice is sick and should be only used in cases where medically necessary. It would make much more sense doing it to humans. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zI-2M_vxerQ&feature=youtu.be
Barbara Davis March 13, 2013 at 10:30 PM
I think this procedure should definitely be banned along with other procedures that are done to animals such as removing claws, docking tails, and changing ears. I have a dog that barks a lot but try to control his behavior so as not to annoy the neighbors. The neighbors make noises a lot too---their kids, yard tools, electric saws
Heidi L. March 13, 2013 at 11:33 PM
Why don't you people get a life and be responsible. Train your dog not to bark. I guess you people are just lazy and put your animal through misery. Don't get a dog if you can't handle it. Get a stuffed dog
JMN March 14, 2013 at 02:50 PM
Exactly.
Ladyhawke March 14, 2013 at 04:29 PM
I echo Heidi L.!

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