Barking Bothering Your Neighbors? Mass. Says Too Bad

Jeanne Sager

devocalized dogIt's been a few weeks since Massachusetts became the first state to officially ban the devocalization of dogs.

And guess what?

Your neighbor's dog is still annoying.

But she hasn't been brutalized.

Dubbed Logan's Law, the ban on cutting vocal cords on dogs or cats to suppress their voice was named for Logan, a show dog whose cords were cut by his owner before he was abandoned.

According to one of its main champions, the Animal Law Coalition:

"More typically, surgical devocalizing or silencing is a cruel, inhumane act done for the convenience of the owner. It does not address the problem causing the barking such as stress, fear, loneliness, frustration, illness, injury, poor socialization, lack of training, and instead is akin to cutting the vocal chords of a noisy child. "

If the sound of it isn't gruesome enough for you, here's some food for thought: devocalization may make your neighborhood quieter. But it also makes it more dangerous.

Dogs who can't vocalize can't growl when they're feeling threatened -- giving no warning that they might lash out at your bratty kid.

Nor are they able to bark at real intruders in the neighborhood -- be it a person or a bear or rabid fox.

Unable to vocalize their stress, a devocalized dog may also be more likely to turn aggressive as it's his only means of communicating.

Having a dog who seemingly barks at air, the answer here is pretty simple: bring them inside. Pay attention to them!

The minute someone shows her a little love, my dog is too busy trying to French kiss us (a whole other problem) to actually bark.

As for your neighbors, that one's pretty simple too. If they're barking constantly, check your local zoning for the noise ordinance. Keep watch on the dog to see if it's being ignored to the point of abuse. If it is, make some calls.

Dogs don't bark just to annoy you. They're asking for your help.

Would you support a version of Logan's Law in your state?


Image via Animal Law Coalition

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