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Lady's Vocal Cords Were Cut Just to Stifle Her Voice

April 11, 2012 | Dogs / Cats / Take Action / Miscellaneous

Use YOUR Voice to End This Cruelty in NY State! Meet Lady and other devocalized dogs.


Legislation is now pending to ban devocalization of dogs and cats-cutting vocal cord tissue just to stifle their voices-in New York State. Massachusetts took that humane step in 2010. This act of cruelty is also illegal throughout most of Europe. There's good reason why: • Devocalization is dangerous regardless of the vet's skill or the instrument used, even laser. Scarring, a normal outcome of any surgery, can be fatal in the throat. • There's no benefit for the animal, not even assurance of a home. Shelters report that devocalized animals are abandoned like any other. Lady, for example, was given up twice after being devocalized. • And it's much more common than you may think. Devocalization of dogs and cats (yes, it's done to them too) is a cruelty that's easy to hide because unlike cut tails, ears and paws, vocal cords aren't visible. People assume these animals have kennel cough or laryngitis-including those who unwittingly purchase or adopt devocalized pets. It's hard to imagine that someone could be inhumane enough to have an animal's voice surgically stifled. Who Would Have an Animal Devocalized-and Why? • Breeders, when they or neighbors don't want to hear their many animals, or to hide an illegal breeding enterprise • Show dog exhibitors, to keep dogs quiet in transit between shows or in the ring • Sled dog racers, because huskies are a "barky" breed, and dogs in a pack tend to vocalize more • Those who hoard animals or who fight dogs, to hide their activities • Uninformed or selfish pet owners, because a breeder or vet recommended it-or because this dangerous surgery is easier than responsible selection, care, training and housing of animals

Lobbies That Profit from Devocalization Are Fighting This Humane Legislation While many humane vets have endorsed this legislation-and yours should too!--professional associations exist mainly to protect all their members' business interests, The New York State Veterinary Society is working to kill the proposed ban outright or turn it into a sham law that legitimizes cruelty. One way is by allowing some people, such as pet owners, to have dogs and cats devocalized. There's no ethical reason for that: Devocalized pets are abandoned for the same reasons as any other, or when owners can't afford costly surgery to remove scar tissue blocking their pet's airway, a common complication of devocalization. Allowing pet owners to have animals devocalized is misguided and unenforceable. Worse, it would legitimize and promote what many societies and humane individuals rightly recognize as an act of cruelty. No one should be allowed to perpetrate cruelty. This legislation already has been weakened to appease the veterinary lobby. It's still viable. But further amendments, including the one above, would leave animals vulnerable to dangerous surgery they don't need and are helpless to refuse. Don't let that happen!


Stella's first owner had her devocalized; her adopter paid $2,000 to remove scar tissue blocking her airway. Act Now. Without Your Voice, Dogs and Cats Will Have None Online petitions won't pass an effective devocalization ban. And emails to lawmakers aren't always read or counted. Call instead. It's quick, easy and effective. WHO TO CALL: • Senator Zeldin's Chief of Staff, Chris Molluso, at 631-585-0608 (district) or 518-455-3570 (Statehouse) • Assemblyman Zebrowski's Chief of Staff Chris Bresnan, 845-634-9791 (district) or 518-455-5735 (Statehouse) WHAT TO SAY: "I'm very disappointed that Assembly Bill 3431 was watered down for the veterinary lobby, which profits from devocalization. If there are further amendments to it or Senate Bill 6167, other animal lovers in your district and I will work to defeat it. We'll be following this legislation. And we vote." HELPFUL HINTS:• If you get voicemail, leave a brief message, then call back till you speak with an aide. • Be brief and polite, but firm. • Make sure your voice is counted: Ask the aide to repeat your message, name and address back to you. Get his/her name too; keep lawmakers and their staff accountable! Posted on behalf of New York Against Devocalization


I am disgusted about how people treat other living beings! It makes me sick! If they can do it to other creatures, then why don't they do it to humans! I think humans deserve to have their voices taken from them!

Much as I dislike hearing all these dogs barking all over the place- NO to devocalization. The animals should not have to suffer because these self-entitled idiots don't give a crap about anyone but themselves and choose devocalization surgery for their poor pets so they don't have to lift their fat butts off of Farmville long enough to even find a good home with people who care. Do you hear me out there, you lazy selfish animal abusers? This message is for YOU. There are no bad dogs, only bad owners! Dogs, cats, all animals literally LACK the actual piece of their brain to allow them to "be bad". This portion of the brain is present only in humans, like the good people supporting the legislation, in gorillas and other apes, and in one precise strain of bipedal mutant pigs, namely you!

Response from NY Against Devocalization to GDiFonzo's questions: All types of people have dogs and cats devocalized, not just vivisectors. They include pet owners--some because they blindly trust vets who tell them this invasive, dangerous procedure is simple "bark softening"--as well as breeders, show dog exhibitors and sled dog racers. The result? Animals who cough and gag persistently, struggle to breathe or die horribly from choking, heat stroke or aspiration pneumonia regardless of how skilled the vet or what instrument was used to cut their vocal cord tissue, including laser. And they're not even assured a secure home, let alone a "good" one. Devocalized animals are convenience euthanized or abandoned for the same reasons as any other, or because the owner can't or won't pay for very costly surgery to remove scar tissue from the animal's throat, a common and potentially fatal complication of devocalization. Lady was one of lucky few. She was adopted by a wonderful couple who love her to pieces. Her new owner is in this video: Who's lobbying against the humane legislation to end this cruelty? The veterinary and breeding lobbies and their allies are working to kill it outright or with subtle amendments that will allow and legitimize devocalization. Unfortunately, the sponsors of the legislation, Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski and Sen. Lee Zeldin, already have weakened their legislation to appease pro-devocalization lobbies. Tell them and your own NYS lawmakers: "No more amendments. Protect animals, not lobbies that profit from devocalization!"

Poor Lady. Does she have a good home now? What happened to her since this article was written? Also, which groups are the ones currently lobbying to weaken or defeat the bill? And don't vivisectors have a big vested interest in de-barking dogs used for research?

Even devocalized animals end up in shelters or with rescue groups. Animals that are devocalized often have problems breathing because of it. Life saving surgery is expensive and can cause the animal to be relinquished or euthanized if the owner cannot afford the surgery. Financial hardships are one of the top reasons dogs are given up, not barking. Dogs bark. Live with it or don't get a dog. Not only does devocalization not benefit the animal it actually causes the animal harm.

This is SO STUPID!!!! I hate all pain animals go through.

You know who uses this surgery most? Here's a hint: its not hoarders or breeders or dog fighters. No, the most common use of this surgery is by pet owners who live in apartments or with neighbors close to them who have complained. They use this surgery, often a last resort, to allow them to keep their pets and their housing. Think about it: Just how easy do you think it is to adopt out a pet who barks loudly and constantly if you live in a city? You can try to train them to be quiet, but if you have to be away from the apartment for hours at a time, the dog may set up a ruckus that will lead to eviction or citations from the city for violating the noise law. It's not going to improve the lives of animals to have thousands of them ending up in shelters because their owners are unable to keep them quiet. Some dogs are fine when left at home during the day and others really love to bark for long periods. Using de-barking surgery is often the only way for someone who loves their dog to keep that dog. It's not like there's a giant adoption pool of people waiting for adult dogs who bark constantly. FoA comments: There is a long list of people that should not have pets. Included on that list are people that would subject their dog or cat to de-vocalization surgery. Also included on the list are people who purchase animals from breeders rather than adopt a shelter animal. Stopping the commercial exploitation of animals by breeders and utilizing spay/neuter on existing animals will increase the number of homes available that can adopt animals. De-vocalization is not a necessity. It is an evil.

Filthy disgusting kretins, how utterly tragic. What RIGHT do these moorons have to desecrate these poor animals this way. They have NO "VOICE" to say leave me alone! Selfish, selfish abusers, I weep for this poor dog and other abused animals

This practice should be illegal in all states.

this is barbaric???????????????????who the hell gave them the right to do this.this is why I HATE NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


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