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Ban Debarking!

Final signature count: 56,841

Sponsor: The Animal Rescue Site

This horrific procedure of cutting a dog's vocal cords to control barking is inhumane!

Sign now and be a voice for the voiceless and demand a ban on the inhumane debarking procedure!

Severing a dog's vocal chords, known as debarking, is a cruel and dangerous procedure. It is performed to lower the volume or eliminate the dog from barking. Nuisance barking can be controlled with proper training and an exercise regime.

Dogs communicate with us and each other through body language and barking. A dog barks when they are stimulated by a noise, stranger, or other animal to alert us to their presence. Taking that communication away can lead to other behavior problems, like biting.

Training methods such as clicker training can reduce the amount of barking. And positive reinforcement for desired behaviors, like being quiet, is much more effective. [1] Exercising the dog will also decrease the amount of barking. A bored dog will be overstimulated and find ways to entertain themselves. When people effectively communicate and train their dogs nuisance barking is dramatically reduced or eliminated.

Debarking is dangerous. There can be excessive bleeding during the procedure and a chance of developing pneumonia. A buildup of scar tissue around the larynx can lead to complicated breathing, coughing, and a muffled sound. [3] Not to mention, the pain and stress of surgery.

"Debarking is not a medically necessary procedure," Jeffrey S. Klausner, chief medical officer of the Banfield Pet Hospital, told The New York Times. "We think it's not humane to the dogs to put them through the surgery and the pain. We just do not think that it should be performed." [2]

Supporters of debarking claim that it reduces the number of dogs in shelters. However, that is incorrect. The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy's research found that barking is NOT one of the top five reasons people surrender their dog to a shelter. [1] Actually, debarked dogs end up in the shelter and are not adopted because of the muffled noise they make, which sounds worse than any bark.

A court in Oregon ruled for two Tibetan mastiff dogs to be debarked because of nuisance barking. The dogs are used by the owners as protectors for their livestock and need them to bark to deter predators. [4] Nobody should be forced to cause their dog pain and remove a means of communication. Ban this procedure!

More About This Issue

[1] Grossman, A. J. (2012, November 20). All Dog, No Bark: The Pitfalls of Devocalization Surgery. Retrieved December 27, 2017, from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/anna-jane-grossman/debarking\_b\_2160971.html

[2] A. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2017, from https://www.ar15.com/forums/general/Oregon-Court-order-dogs-be-surgically-debarked-because-they-re-annoying/5-2028463/

[3] Alternatives to Debarking Surgery. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2017, from http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/pet-talk/alternatives-to-debarking-surgery

[4] Don't Force Owners to Cut Dogs' Vocal Cords. (n.d.). Retrieved December 27, 2017, from https://forcechange.com/342997/dont-force-owners-to-cut-dogs-vocal-chords/

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The Petition:

To the United States Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service:

The brutal debarking procedure has to stop! Dogs are meant to bark and removing or softening their ability to do so is inhumane!

I urge you to ban debarking and replace it with proper dog training. Owners of dogs who bark excessively can be shown training techniques to reduce barking. There are many proven training and exercise techniques that will help and do not involve surgery or risk to the dog.

Owners of dogs cannot be told to put their pet in danger for an action that is natural and expressive for their dog. Many states have already banned this procedure as it is inhumane. Please make the ban nationwide!

Dogs are already voiceless in so many ways and literally taking away their ability to bark is cruel and unnecessary.

Ban this horrific procedure throughout the United States. I appreciate your help and so do all the dogs who cannot speak for themselves!


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Signatures from this petition were sent to the United States Department of Agriculture and Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service in January 2022.