Maryland Becomes the Second State With a REAL Devocalization Ban Thanks to Grassroots Activists Like You!
It started with Massachusetts, which in 2010 became the first state with a real law banning devocalization—the cutting of vocal cords to stifle barking or meowing. On April 14, 2014, Gov. Martin O’Malley signed the law that made Maryland the second.
Unlike the empty laws in other states, these two protect all their dogs and cats from vocal cord surgery cruelly used as behavior intervention.
The grassroots advocacy group Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets, which led the campaigns that passed both the Massachusetts and Maryland laws, thanks:
► Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley for not yielding to veto pressure from lobbies with a financial interest in devocalization. ► Delegate Ben Kramer, who introduced this important humane legislation. The Delegate adopted our suggestions for strengthening his original bill. And he fought to ensure it passed in that form when opponents tried to dilute it. We're sure that Zeus, the dog he adopted, is proud of him! We are too. Del. Kramer is a genuine advocate for humane treatment of animals. ► The Maryland State Legislature, which took a principled stand for animals, responding to the concerns of humane constituents over pro-devocalization lobbyists. ► Holly Cheever, DVM, point person for the HSVMA, which stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets in opposition to loopholes. Holly is a veterinarian who not only heals animals, she protects them through her activism. ► And all of YOU who acted on our email alerts, FB posts and Tweets. Powerful lobbies that profit from this cruel elective surgery worked to defeat the law. They hoped to kill it outright or worse, with sneaky loopholes. You stopped them by using your voice to speak for dogs and cats.
Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets does NOT accept financial donations. We encourage you to give to your local, volunteer-fueled animal shelter or humane society instead.
And the victories in Maryland and Massachusetts prove it doesn't take a big name or money to pass good animal laws.
It takes ACTION--calls to elected officials, not signatures on petitions. AWARENESS--to defeat sneaky loopholes, which hurt animals more than if there were no law. And old-fashioned HARD WORK!
WHY BAN DEVOCALIZATION?
1) ANIMALS FACE LIFE-THREATENING RISKS: Vocal cord surgery, the ONLY way to alter the voice, poses serious, potentially fatal risks regardless of the vet's skill, the amount of tissue removed or how the procedure is performed, through the animal's open mouth ("bark softening") or an incision in the neck. Persistent coughing and gagging; chronic throat inflammation; impaired breathing; inhalation of food and liquids into the lungs; and death from choking, heatstroke or aspiration pneumonia are among the horrific outcomes of this needless surgery. Scroll down to hear Vets Speak Out about devocalization.
2) THERE IS NO BENEFIT FOR ANIMALS, not even the claimed "secure home." Devocalized dogs and cats are surrendered and convenience-euthanized like any other. What really keeps animals out of shelters? People who care for, train and supervise them responsibly--and who make a lifetime commitment to them. Scroll down to hear Shelters Speak Out about devocalization.
3) IT DISCOURAGES RESPONSIBLE STEWARDSHIP OF ANIMALS, which is necessary to manage all behavior, including barking and meowing. Devocalization is easier for the owner, profitable for the vet. Only the animal suffers.
4) IT PUTS PEOPLE AT RISK TOO by removing or diminishing vocal nuances that animals use to communicate different meanings. Few people can read animal body language, especially when the animal is not their own. Imagine a child running up to pet a devocalized dog in the park--not knowing his wagging tail is a sign of agitation and his muffled, strange sounds mean "get away or I'll bite."