A Voice for Dogs So They Don’t Lose Theirs
Debarking is a cruel procedure most often employed by puppy millers to keep down the noise when there are hundreds and hundreds of dogs. In puppy mills it is often accomplished by jamming an object, like a pipe, down a dog’s throat and banging on it, severing the vocal cords. It can also be done surgically by vet when an owner can’t figure out how to train their pooch and opts for an easy out, for them anyway.
“It is not a minor surgery by any means,” Dr. Barbara Hodges, a consultant to the Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association, said, explaining that in addition to subjecting the animal to anesthesia and blood loss, “sometimes there is scarring or regrowth of the vocal cord tissue” that could hinder swallowing or result in chronic gagging or aspiration pneumonia.
With a family pet that has been debarked, often when they can’t get your attention through normal means, barking, they may resort to physical means, tugging, pushing, mouthing and even destructive behavior to make themselves “heard.”
And, yes, it is legal. I am not sure if there is anywhere that it is illegal to debark dogs in the US.
If one teen, Jordan Star, gets his way, it won’t be legal in Massachusetts. “To take a voice away from an animal is morally wrong,” he says.
Star, a 15-year-old high school freshman is the driving force behind a bill that would make debarking illegal in MA. After encountering a dog that had been debarked, Star began his campaign.
“It was just horrible,” he said of the dog’s struggle to get his attention. “It was just like a hoarse, wheezy cough. In a shelter, all they are is a mutilated animal, which makes them harder to adopt.”
Democratic House Majority Whip Lida E. Harkins and Republican Sen. Scott P. Brown have signed on as sponsors of the bill against devocalization.
The law, if enacted, would be know as Logan’s Law and would make it illegal to debark a dog unless it is deemed a medical necessity. Anyone found breaking the law would face up to five years in state prison and a mental-health evaluation.
People need to realize that if a dog is barking, there is a reason; boredom, lack of socialization, lack of training, even an underlying medical problem. Dogs bark for reasons and if those underlying reasons are addressed, the problem is usually solved. We are a society of “quick fixes” anymore. People don’t want to put in the time which is just one of the reasons that so many dogs wound up in shelters.
To me, debarking is barbaric and cruel. Try letting someone cut out your tongue if you consider debarking a viable and acceptable answer.
It always gives me hope for the future to see young people step up and make a commitment to work for a worthy cause. So many kids and teens are under the misconception that things should be given to them and wound up irresponsible and worthless. Jordan Star, kudos to you!! You will go far in this world.
And is you live in MA, contact your legislators and let them know that you support this bill! To make changes in this country and anywhere, for the betterment of the welfare of those without voices, we need to be their voices, each and every one of us who care.
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