Ban Devocalization of Dogs and Cats

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

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  1. J Davidson says:

    They don’t give their consent for any type of operation as we do, and this, like the declawing of cats, is another barbarity towards sentient, living beings that must be abolished now.

  2. Sue Griffiths says:

    Are there people sitting in a little room thinking up this stuff. What can we do next to harm and degrade animals and horrify animal lovers?

  3. Jennifer C. says:

    I signed and I tweeted! I am a dog owner and I am horrified! This is VERY wrong!

  4. People who do this to their pets shouldn’t have pets to begin with. Anyone who loves their furry companion wouldn’t want such a terrible thing inflicted upon them.

  5. All the other horrific things that are done to animals make this absolutely abominable…is there no end to this treatment??? How can one even contemplate taking away someone’s voice!!!

  6. Cecily Colloby. says:

    Devocalize the owner,not the animal -and then ban these idiots from ever keeping animals again!!!

    • i agree if you want to do something to your pet ,then the same must apply to the owner no bark ,no talk simple ,how dare they take the only way they can connect to anyone or anything

    • KatWrangler says:

      If ONLY we could! Let these inhumane buttheads know what it’s like to feel the way they treat “lesser beings”!

      Animals have so much more true emotion and feeling than most people I know.

      • mine are toy poodles , one7yr oldI bred and a 6yrold rescue i have more love shown me then my children give even to the rescue girl bringing me dog treats to bed so i have food ,just love them

  7. I’m probably going to get trounced for this, but due to personal experience, I’m not so sure this is as evil as most think. My beloved cat lost his voice to a virus when he was young, and seemed none the worse for it. We managed to work out the communication just fine, and I was even attuned to his hoarse call when he was out. He was my favorite cat.

    I think of owners who stand to loose their pet if it makes too much noise and the neighbors complain. I also suspect the pain is no more that a sore throat. No one this thread is going to believe I’m an animal lover, but I am. Everyone has their rights, and everyone has their story.

    • Eugenie Kapp says:

      I can understand if an animal loses it’s voice due to a virus and there’s nothing you can do but to silenc an animal for convenience is wrong whichever you turn it. Would you silence a child that laughs or speaks to loudly because irritable, petty neigbours with issues complain? All dogs bark to communicate, notify others when there is someone there that doesn’t belong or protect their territory. Dogs that bark excessively usually have another problem, when you are referring to dogs that these neigbours complain about are you referring to dogs that are cooped up in a small yard and never get a walk and are going out of their minds with frustration and boredom or dogs that are left alone by their owners and don’t have a companion of their own kind or maybe dogs that are being abused and bark excessively out of fear. The owners of these dogs should address and fix the underlying problem or not have animals not, without their consent enforce a painful, unnecessary surgery. And you say it just feels like a sore throat? If you still have your vocal cods how would you know? There are many people that strongly disagree with your views and feel you shouldn’t be voicing them, would you consider this a valid enough reason to have your vocal cords forcefully removed?

  8. First of all cyd peace,would you like to volunteer for this procedure to tell us if “it’s no more than a sore throat “? I had my tonsils and adenoids operation aged 4 years old and I can remember that hurt and bled like hell! So much so that I was the only one not to get ice-cream.It left me with a deviated septum and my voice still gets hoarse very easily.I also have thyroid problems and had a huge goitre in my neck which caused me to have pressure/choking problems. How you can be so blase about letting a beloved pet go through that amazes me. Try to imagine the frustration YOU would feel if you could not speak ever again because someone decided for you that you lost your voice….you don’t sound like an animal lover to me.

  9. It is unbelievable that humans dare to take off the voice of dogs and cats because it suits them.
    Then buy a stuffed dog or cat so there is no noise at all.
    Where are your feelings ??? animals are sentient beings; they feel, suffer, rejoice, play, eat and so on; they are not a toy.
    Where is your consciousness, we are in a magnificent world with lots of animals that help us in our everyday life.

  10. KatWrangler says:

    Animals have so much more true emotion and feelings than most people I know. To take away thir main form of communication is criminal, and just plain inhumane.

    I’ll never understand why people have cats,dogs/pets, and then change them into something the animals are not. I agree with Alicia – get a plushy to abuse.

    The ONLY surgury performed on pets should be spaying or neutering. NO de-barking, declawing, de-anything.

  11. Absolutely dispicable! How dare these people think they have the right to do this to animals! The human species just wants to bully an all thed control others all the time! How would people like it if this were done to them!

  12. Marianne Christensen says:

    I live in Denmark, and in my country there has never been such thing as the cruel and horrible practises of declawing or devocalisation of cats and dogs.
    I really don’ t understand why such cruel things can be allowed at all!
    Wich wicked minded/spiteful people thought of this? And a pet owner who truly loves his/her dog/cat, would never let their cat or dog be exposed to such a cruel thing, that both harm and destroyes their animal from being able to communicate properly. When I had dogs, I had no problem to teach and learn them not to bark all the time by positive strengthening methods, and they were also talking out on long walks and activated and stimulated, so they where not bored.
    People who this to a cat or a dog, shouldn’ t be allowed to have a pet.
    Word from a owner with a happy cat, who can say miaow all that she wants.
    If there starts a fire in a house, were the dog can’ t bark, it wont be able to warn the people in the house, if fx. happens at night time, where everyone is at sleep. People have been saved thanks to their dogs barking and warning, where the houses caugth on fire.

  13. Marianne Christensen says:

    I ment, who *do* this to…..

    My cat also never schratches on anything besides her own chair, and on and old carpet, where she is allowed to schratch, and she schrathces on the carpet allot, when she shows she is happy and in a good mood and playfull 😉 🙂

  14. Marianne Christensen says:

    But in these kinds of matter and issues it’ s like almost only i America, were people also are allowed to have different excotic animals as pets like: alligators, deadly snakes, tigers, lions, lepards, monkeys and bears fx., were many of these poor animals often suffers in their captivity.

  15. Myrna Burdick says:

    We have 5 dogs – and no we do not like to hear them bark.
    Our dogs are only outside when we are home and when
    they bark we have them come in the house. When in
    the house they bark to alert us that someone is at
    the front door.

    Barking is their means of communication with owners
    and to ward other animals off. If you have never
    heard the awful sound a de-barked dog makes, it
    sounds like someone with an extreme case of
    laryngitis trying to communicate.

    If an owner does not want to hear their dog barking and
    is not willing to bring them in, then, spend the money
    to try deterrants or don’t get a dog.

  16. Cheryl Murray says:

    Gladly signed. This is just too much.

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