Two Rhode Island cities currently have ordinances prohibiting dog and cat devocalization: East Providence and Warwick. Senate Bill 266 would extend the law to cover the entire state. A growing number of veterinarians condemn the surgical procedure of devocalization.
The procedure is not only unnecessary in most cases but can also be dangerous to human safety. There is a preference for guard and attack dogs to be quiet. Without hearing a warning growl or bark from one of these dogs, people can unknowingly put themselves into danger.
Dogs bark and cats meow to express a multitude of behaviors: illness, boredom, stress, pain, as an alert signal, and as a defense are a few reasons. Taking away the ability to vocalize does not take away the problem. Devocalization merely addresses the symptom, not the behavior. When the behavior fails to improve, these pets wind up in animal shelters. The surgery often causes new health problems that require further treatment and additional surgeries, something many people are not willing to provide.
Rhode Island has the opportunity to be the 5th state with devocalization laws. Tell legislators to vote YES on SB 266.
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