Santi's Story: Devocalized So His Cries Wouldn't Bother Researchers
Santi lived his first year of life in a laboratory that tests on animals. Instead of a home, he had a cage. Instead of being loved, he was just a number to his
He was released in August 2013.
But along with the ID tattooed on his ear, this young beagle bears another
permanent scar: cut vocal cords.
Santi was devocalized (trivialized as "bark softening") to keep his
cries from disturbing researchers. This cruel convenience surgery is done to cats too. And it is always dangerous regardless of the vet's skill, the amount of tissue cut and the surgical route, through the animal's open mouth or an incision in the neck.
Santi's adopter, April, says he is
emotionally resilient; despite the horrors he
endured, he loves people as well as the other two canine
members of his family.
But he continues to suffer the
physical damage caused by voice-altering surgery. He has difficulty panting to cool himself, putting him at risk for heatstroke. And April says she has to watch him very carefully, to prevent him from choking to death on his food.
These are among the consequences of scar tissue that develops in the throat after devocalization.
"Santi has gone through hell at the hands of humans," April says.
Humans who didn't want to hear the anguish they caused.
Cutting vocal cord tissue to alter a dog's or cat's voice is never for the animal's benefit.
Hear what devocalized animals--including a liberated research Beagle--sound like in this video: