Petition Closed
Petitioning State Representative Robert DeLeo

Update: House Passes Landmark MA Bill To Stop Surgical Silencing Of Animals


Massachusetts House votes to ban most debarking surgeries in pets

Stay tuned for any action to get Massachusetts’ groundbreaking devocalization ban passed in the Senate too.

ALERT WRITER: Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets,

BACKGROUND: Dog breeders and the Mass. Veterinary Medical Assn. (MVMA) are successfully fighting legislation to stop devocalization -- cutting a dog or cat's vocal cords to stifle or remove their voice. An Act Prohibiting Devocalization, House Bill 344, has been stalled in committee for more than three months. Without immediate action, this humane bill will die.

Letter to
State Representative Robert DeLeo
Please ensure that House Bill 344, An Act Prohibiting Devocalization, passes this session. Special interests that profit from devocalization of dogs and cats want to dilute this humane legislation. I am counting on you to advocate for H.B. 344 -- minus any amendments that permit the surgical removal of an animal's voice.

Devocalization does not benefit animals, but it does pose grave risks for them. One little Pom choked to death after a prominent MVMA veterinarian devocalized her. Others suffer infection, aspiration pneumonia, or breathing difficulties. Some gag on food and water the rest of their lives.

House Bill 344 -- as written -- stops this unnecessary cruelty. It limits vocal cord surgery to three exclusively ethical situations: To treat disease, injury or congenital abnormality.

Shelter executives testify that devocalized dogs and cats are abandoned just like any others. Tissue regrowth is common, subjecting animals to stress, pain and repeat surgeries. Caretakers unable to pay ongoing costs further jeopardize animals with surrender or euthanasia.

Surgically silencing an animal for convenience or profit is an act of cruelty. Massachusetts can open the door for other states to introduce equally humane and responsible legislation. Please support this landmark bill to prohibit devocalization.

Thank you,