Petition Closed
Petitioning Rhode Island State Senate

Ban Dog and Cat Devocalization in Rhode Island

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.

Photo Credit: greeblie

Letter to
Rhode Island State Senate
Recently the City of Warwick passed an ordinance banning the devocalization of dogs and cats unless there was a documented medical necessity. This follows the lead of East Providence, a city with a devocalization ordinance already in the books.

The reality of devocalization is that it does more harm than good. The procedure is often performed for the convenience of the owner rather than being medically necessary. 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.

A growing number of veterinarians condemn the surgical procedure of devocalization. The surgery often causes new health problems that require further treatment and additional surgeries.

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.

Currently four states, the United Kingdom and some European countries have laws regulating devocalization. Rhode Island has the opportunity to join this elite group by passing SB 0266.

As your constituent, I respectfully request that you vote YES on SB 0266.

Thank you,