Yesterday I did a radio interview about the devocalization of dogs and cats.
In 2010 a small grass roots group, of which I am a member, pushed legislation through the State of Massachusetts Legislature in record time. This legislation banned convenience devocalization of cats and dogs. They said we would never win, but we did…actually, we didn’t win. The dogs and cats who won’t have their vocal cords cut in this state won!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with devocalization, it is the cutting or punching of the vocal cords of dogs and cats in order to silence them from barking and meowing normally and to forever alter their ability to communicate as dogs and cats are designed to do.
Most frequently, the procedure is performed on dogs. Devocalization has also been called debarking or bark softening. The term, “Bark softening”, I find particularly heinous. It is a deceptively beige description of a devastating form of multalization.
The part that no one talks about in this procedure is the pain and lifelong suffering the devocalized dogs endure. Scar tissue often grows in their throats restricting their airways and requiring further surgery; they have been known to die of heat stroke because they can’t pant adequately to cool themselves down. They can aspirate vomit into their lungs (that means they suck vomit into their lungs), subsequently dying agonizing deaths from aspiration pneumonia. There are documented instances of dogs bleeding to death during or after the procedure.
At the very least, they can no longer communicate. They try to bark, and instead they wheeze; they sound like 3 pack a day smokers.
There is a movement afoot to “encourage” the AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) to alter their stance on devocalization. Many vets, although refusing to perform the devocalization procedure, are reluctant to take a stand in opposition to the AVMA’s official position.
By the way, it doesn’t matter what vet with what qualifications and expertise performs this procedure. Scar tissue doesn’t care what the vet’s credentials are…
This issue is much bigger and much more complicated than can be explained here in this blog. Perhaps, however, this will be your introduction to the subject.
Why would anyone do this to man’s best friend? Follow the money, baby…