Target: The New York State Senate
Goal: Ban devocalization of dogs and cats for human convenience.
Recently, a bill supported by assemblyman Ken Zebrowski that would ban the devocalization of dogs and cats for any non-medical purpose passed emphatically in the New York State Assembly by a vote of 121 to 5. While this small triumph bodes hopefully in the battle to control this inhumane practice of silencing pets for human convenience, it is only the first step. The bill must now pass through two senate committees and ultimately stand for a vote in the state senate in order to become law.
The practice of devocalizing dogs and cats involves an invasive surgery that cuts or removes the animal’s vocal cords. While the process itself is typically a relatively quick one, the after effects can be quite harmful for the animal, including acute, long-term respiratory afflictions. Furthermore, devocalization severely limits the animal’s ability to communicate naturally with other animals and even its owners. Most disturbingly, the practice of devocalizing dogs and cats is done almost solely for human convenience. However, as Zebrowski points out, there are other, more humane ways of training pets to curb excessive noise such as “training collars and behaviorists,” and that devocalization does not “address the reason for the excessive barking or noise.”
Zebrowski’s bill requires that all New York veterinarians complete documentation proving medical necessity for devocalization of each specific animal, and that the total number of devocalizations performed be reported to the state commissioner of education each year. Furthermore, it makes the devocalization of animals that are not at medical risk a class B misdemeanor, accompanied by fines or jail time for pet owners, and potential loss of license for veterinarians.
Many lobbies that stand to gain from devocalization of dogs and cats have attempted to weaken Zebrowski’s bill through amendments that may allow loopholes. Help support this crucial, humane legislation, and ensure that it passes through the New York State Senate without further amendments in order to protect dogs and cats from this cruel and selfish practice.
Dear members of the New York Senate,
The bill created by Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski to limit the devocalization of dogs and cats in New York is an important step in the humane treatment of domestic animals. The passing of this legislation in the State Assembly sets a precedent for the New York State Senate to follow. By making this bill into law, the Senate will work to protect the rights and well being of many dogs and cats, and ensure that the process of devocalization is performed only in the case of medical necessity.
Please help to limit the inhumane practice of devocalizing dogs and cats by passing bill SB 2271 as written, without further amendments, and thereby work to defend innocent pets from this cruel practice.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Christian Bier via Wikimedia Commons