Think "bark softening" is no big deal? Listen to these dogs.
Meet them in this video. Then click on these links to read their stories: Lady, Porter, Lola, Duke and Stella. You can also read about Jaxon, the tiny dog who couldn't cry for help after being abandoned in an empty house, and Santi, who spent his first year of life in a research laboratory, devocalized so his cries of distress wouldn't bother the researchers.
They're among the scores of dogs and cats discarded after being devocalized. Lady was surrendered to a shelter twice after her vocal cords were cut to make her a "quiet" pet.
Their surgically altered voices are typical of devocalized animals.
Some are hoarse like chain smokers. Others are shrill and screechy.
Lola often sounds like a bird whistling and chirping; Lady, like a seal.
Duke's attempts to bark are deeply disturbing.
Stella was rendered forever mute.
Many devocalized animals cough and gag persistently. They risk choking to death, and because their ability to pant is impaired, they could suffer heatstroke even when it's not hot. Others inhale food and liquid, including vomit, into their lungs--which, in turn, could cause fatal pneumonia.
Some will need costly surgery to remove post-devocalization scar tissue from their airways as Porter and Stella did. It's not always a permanent fix. The tissue often re-forms, exposing animals to more risks, more stress, more pain.