A judge in Oregon has ruled that a couple must 'debark' their dogs, a procedure that involves cutting out parts of the dogs vocal cords to make them quieter. The ruling was a part of a lawsuit brought on by the dog owners neighbors who say the dogs bark nonstop and have disrupted their lives. The dog owners tried to appeal the ruling but it was affirmed on Wednesday by an Oregon appeals court.
The case initially began in 2002 when the Karen Szewc and John Updegraff began breeding Tibetan mastiffs which are very large and fluffy dogs. They used the dogs they bred to protect their sheep from predators. The couple claim they run a farm and are not subject to the same statutory guidelines a normal residence is. Despite this, the couple was forced to pay a $400 dollar fine and have two of their dogs vocal cords surgically removed. This procedure, called 'debarking' or 'devocalization' is partially prohibited in six states according to the AVMP. Many groups who fight for animal welfare oppose the procedure as well as some veterinarians since it is not a medically necessary procedure. It is unfortunate that this dispute has gone on for so long and come so far as to end up with a ruling such as this.
<img src="https://media.8ch.net/file_store/b06eb44af5a4ea2ef93235e933750318f8e4ae1869d71ff2cdcf1777c2ce01ce.jpg" style="max-height:640px;max-width:360px;">
<span style="margin-top:15px;rgba(42,51,6,0.7);font-size:12px;">Credit: The Oregonian</span>
A spokesman for the Oregon Humane Society, David Lytle, said he is shocked by the ruling. Chief medical officer Jeffrey S. Klausner of the Banfield Pet Hospital agrees with Lytle, "Debarking is not a medically necessary procedure," he said. "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." Szewc said in 2010 they did have one of the dogs debarked but it led to disastrous results for their farm when a cougar ran of with six lambs in a single week. She is unsure of what she will do, whether she will continue to fight the decision or accept it.
<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Owners must surgically 'debark' loud dogs, court rules <a href="https://t.co/cnggmgZZdj">https://t.co/cnggmgZZdj</a> <a href="https://t.co/148pp9Y9mk">pic.twitter.com/148pp9Y9mk</a></p>— The Oregonian (@Oregonian) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oregonian/status/903065300630999045">August 31, 2017</a></blockquote>
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