Devocalization Ban Passes the NYS Assembly... A Much Harder Fight is Ahead in the Senate
On March 5, 2013, a bill banning devocalization of dogs and cats passed the NYS Assembly 138-8 with breakneck speed, just six weeks after it was introduced.
Advocacy sponsors of the legislation--Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets, Animal Advocates of Western New York and New York State Humane Association--worked diligently, educating lawmakers about this issue and mobilizing their constituents.
This astounding vote is testament to all of you who took action and to the commitment of Assemblyman Ken Zebrowski, the bill's legislative sponsor.
The Proposed Devocalization Ban Still Needs Your Advocacy
The companion Senate bill S2271, sponsored by Sen. Mark Grisanti, now must pass through two committees and a floor vote. And the New York State Veterinary Medical Society and the AKC--with members who profit from devocalization--are fighting it tenaciously, just as they did last year. In 2012, the bill died without ever leaving the Senate Agriculture Committee.
One way to kill a bill is to stall it in committee. Another is to vote it down on the floor.
A more insidious way to kill this humane legislation is by adding loopholes like a "last resort/final alternative" exemption...or applying the law only to a narrow segment of the population, such as landlords or breeders. That would leave the overwhelming majority of dogs and cats vulnerable to vocal cord mutilation.
"Final alternative" is obviously unenforceable. Worse, it would elevate this act of cruelty to a socially as well as legally acceptable option. The result? Even more dogs and cats would be subjected to vocal cord mutilation for the "crime" of communicating.
Here's the truth: All types of people are having dogs and cats devocalized, not just breeders. And landlords are an insignificant reason; the few who would require behavior-masking surgery have another recourse, disallow all pets.
The bottom line is that no one is forced to cut healthy vocal cord tissue OR kill a healthy animal for unwanted barking or meowing. There are many effective, humane and far more responsible solutions for those willing to pursue them, with rehoming a kinder "final alternative."
Read about other loopholes. What You Can--and Must--Do Now to End This Cruelty
Click here to learn how you can help move S2271 forward--without amendments!--so it can become a law that will protect all dogs and cats in NYS from being subjected to the misery of devocalization.
Online petitions don't influence lawmakers. FB posts expressing sympathy won't end devocalization. Contacting your lawmakers directly, preferably by phone, is your best shot at protecting dogs and cats from vocal cord mutilation.
Because we hire and fire lawmakers with our vote, we not only have the right to express our concerns. We have the power. Let's all pledge to use it!