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Massachusetts House votes to ban most debarking surgeries in pets

Bark BOSTON — The Massachusetts House has voted overwhelmingly to ban the surgical "debarking" or silencing of dogs or cats.

By a 150-1 vote, the House on Wednesday approved the bill which prohibits the devocalization of dogs and cats unless a licensed veterinarian certifies that the procedure is medically necessary to relieve an illness, disease or injury.

Animal rights groups pushed for the bill, saying the practice amounts to animal cruelty and poses only risks to the pets.

Some dog owners opt for the procedure as a last-ditch effort to try to quiet chronically barking dogs.

The bill now heads to the Senate.

-- Associated Press

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Photo: Stephen Osman / Los Angeles Times

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BRAVO Massachusetts!! Only vets and breeders - those that make money off animals - are for slitting dogs throats to take their voices away. I live with a Border Collie who is a "barker" and with enough exercise, stimulation, and training, her barking isn't an issue - unless I want it to be - like when someone trespasses on my property. Every cosmetic & convenience surgery (cropping, docking, de-clawing) needs to be outlawed here in America, like it is in the European Union states, and many other countries worldwide.

I did this - about 15 years ago - just as the article states - my vet suggested it as a last ditch effort so I could keep my dog (that I loved dearly) and not get evicted from my apartment at the time. (she had a piercing bark and barked at everything!) Knowing what I know now - I would never even consider this surgery for my pet. I believe it contributed to her collapsed trachea in her later years. I'll never know for sure, but I'm sorry I did it. A BIG YES! FOR MASS for considering this. I hope other states follow.

That is a horrible thing to do to an animal and I'm glad that people are starting to pass laws taking care of our four legged friends.

Finally more humanness

This bill is a bad idea. People don't seem to understand what the purpose of debarking is. It is not for the owners, it is for the neighbors! The owners don't want it, it's the neighbors who demand it, using the Animal Control Officer and the courts. It is used as a last resort when training and other methods have failed. People seem to think that if you ban it, noisy dogs will be left alone - WRONG! They will have to be either euthanized or dumped in shelters, where dogs with a history of barking are very unlikely to get adopted - at least not for long. This bill will kill a lot of dogs and break a lot of owners' hearts. I work in rescue, and I know of dogs that have gone through owner after owner because of barking, and others that have been horribly tortured by inept attempts to shut them up. Check out this website: http://www.illinoissheltierescue.com/debark.html

jbchandler...i am sorry, but i can not believe someone in resuce would support something so cruel. the website you cited, not so respected in IL. also, instead of inhumanely taking body parts of a dog how about helping to educate people on the right dogs for their living situations. And, anyone who would perform those cruel acts that are showed on the website, shouldn't have dogs anyway and probably is abusing them for anything they do. I do not believe this law will increase animals coming into shelters. Education, education, and more education is needed vs. support in more harm to the animals.


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