An Important Message From Animal Advocates of Western NY, NYS Humane Association and Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets
LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE? ACT NOW! Urge Senator Tony Avella to REJECT Amendments Or His Bill S4647 Will HURT Animals!
WHEREVER YOU LIVE, HELP THIS WAY: Post the link to this page on social media
Thanks to calls from caring New Yorkers, State Sen. Tony Avella removed his name from a sham devocalization “ban" and introduced a different devocalization bill (S4647). In its current form, S4647 is good legislation. BUT…
The NYS Senate has a history of OPPOSING GOOD devocalizationbans. A sly way to do that is by adding loopholes. These sneaky amendments are crafted to trick you into supporting a devocalization law that’s good for veterinary and breeding profits but BAD for animals. And they can be added to S4647 at any time. You can prevent that. Here's how.
TAKE 1 MINUTE, MAKE THIS CALL DURING BUSINESS HOURS
Call the office of Sen. Tony Avella at (518) 455-2210. Politely say: “Senate bill S4647 must NOT be amended. I’d rather have NO devocalization law than one that allows surgery to stifle dogs’ and cats’ voices for ANY reason.”
Don’t just leave a voice mail. Call till you speak with someone.
Don’t debate. Just say your piece politely and calmly.
Don't just email. Do that too if you want but NOT instead of this call.
Don't be fooled. Scroll down to learn about destructive amendments beforeyou call.
AMENDMENTS THAT HURT ANIMALS ARE RARELY OBVIOUS. HERE ARE SEVEN. These and other sneaky provisions can be added at any time--and will HURT MORE animals than having no law—unless you persuade Sen. Avella to say NO to amendments.
1) "Allowable as a Last Resort/Final Alternative to Euthanasia" is Unenforceable, Baseless and Encourages Devocalization. Why?
Vets can't possibly know--and some won't ask--if devocalization is a last resort or a first one. Clients are unlikely to tell their vet that they don't provide the exercise, companionship and mental stimulation dogs (AND cats) require--and will ask for by barking/meowing if deprived. Even receipts from a trainer don't mean the advice was followed. Training takes time and effort. Having an animal’s vocal cords cut is easy for lazy owners, profitable for vets. Only the animal suffers.
Devocalized animals are euthanized and surrendered despite--some because of--their altered voices. Shelters and concerned vets say rehoming is the humane "final alternative." Many are now "no kill," and all responsible shelters work with animals to resolve behavior issues.
Some dog AND cat breeds are more talkative than others. "Final alternative" allows their vocal cords to be cut for the benefit of people who buy, adopt or breed them despite this genetic predisposition.
"Final alternative" encourages devocalization by legitimizing this act of cruelty as acceptable under the law. Should vets amputate dogs' and cats' legs for jumping on the sofa? Devocalization ("bark softening," "voice reduction") is just as cruel and far more lethal!
2) "Allowable for Medical Necessity" is a Loophole UNLESS Defined As “to treat a PHYSICAL illness, disease or injury or correct a congenital abnormality causing or which may reasonably cause the animal physical harm or pain.”
The above is the current wording of S4647 and should NOT be changed because:
"Medically necessary (or beneficial)" without the qualifier is open to interpretation, enabling vets to perform elective voice-altering surgery without any restriction.
Removing the word “physical” lets vets claim the animal has a so-called “behavioral” illness. That's absurd: Barking/meowing are not pathology. They're communication that only becomes problematic when an owner doesn't provide responsible care--or keeps too many animals. Even anxiety-triggered vocalization can be managed humanely with medication and behavior modification under the guidance of a veterinary behaviorist!
3) Substituting "Pet" or "Companion Animal" for "Dogs and Cats” is a Loopholethat leaves dogs and cats used for breeding, sport or animal testing with NO protection. These animals—devocalized so they'll be quiet in kennels or the show ring—are not considered pets.
4) Banning Devocalization But Allowing "Bark Softening,” “Voice Reduction” Or Other Euphemism is a Loophole. Why?They're the same thing!
No matter what you call it, the soft tissue of the vocal apparatus must be cutto alter the voice. That's dangerous regardless of the surgical route, through the open mouth or an incision in the neck, the amount of tissue cut or the instrument used, even laser.
Lifelong misery or horrific death are common consequences no matter how voice-altering surgery is done or the vet's skill. Scar tissue in the throat can't be prevented, and can cause impaired breathing and swallowing, which may be fatal;persistent coughing and gagging; and chronic inflammation, causing the animal lifelong misery.
Damage to the larynx, another risk, can cause food, liquids, even vomit to be inhaled into the lungs.
5) Applying the Law Only to Breeders is a Loophole. Under this proposal, only people who breed animals would not be allowed to have them devocalized. BUT…
There is no certain way to identify breeders who wish to skirt the law by claiming they're “just” pet owners—breeders aren't licensed.
Worse, this proposal would encourage more devocalization by legitimizing it as an acceptable option for pet owners under the law.
6) Applying the Law Only to Puppy Mills is a Loophole. Puppy mills are just a small segment of those who have animals devocalized. A law this narrow would leavenearlyALL dogs and cats UNPROTECTED
7) Applying the Law Only to Landlords is a Loophole. This legislation simply prohibits landlords from requiring devocalization. Like most empty laws, it sounds good at first blush. BUT…
Lease requirements are an insignificant cause of devocalization. The real reason dogs and cats are subjected to voice-altering surgery is for the benefit of irresponsible pet owners, whether in apartments or single-family houses; breeders who like to profit from but not hear their many animals; and research labs that test on dogs and cats. Landlord-only laws do NOT protect these animals.
The recourse for landlords is to disallow all pets. So what would this law accomplish? Nothing--except reduce the likelihood that lawmakers will pass a real devocalization ban in the future.