I’m Howling With Joy Over New Dog Bark Law

Nicole Fabian-Weber

dog near fence
Don't debark me.
A few years ago, I lived next door to a couple who had a (very loud) barking dog. Mind you, I lived in an apartment, and the walls were paper thin, so every time the dog barked, it was like he was sitting in my living room with me while I watched Bad Girls Club PBS. Now, not only was the dog's barking annoying, it actually made my dog -- and every other dog in the complex -- start barking, too. In short, it was a living hell.

The poor parents of the dog didn't know what to do. They couldn't get their dog to stop barking, and they had officially become the bane of the apartment building's existence. It had to suck to be them.

That said, I was still horrified when I had a chance encounter with the "mom" at the mailbox one evening, and she mentioned getting her pup "debarked."

"Debarked?" I thought. How cruel! Why did you even get a dog, lady? That should be illegal. Well, actually, it is in a few states. But Rhode Island will soon be another one! Awesome!

But, why isn't this just illegal period? Like, why are there still states that allow this treatment? Listen, people, if you're interested in buying a dog, here's a little tip: They bark. Dogs are a little bit like kids -- you can't just get all the cutesy cuddles and fun fetch games without any of the noise or poop. Train your dog or deal with it. Don't spend thousands of dollars on surgery that most vets think is cruel, and as The New York Times reports, I'm not alone in thinking this.

Critics of the debarking procedure say it is outdated and inhumane, one that destroys an animal's central means of communication merely for the owner's convenience. Many veterinarians refuse to do the surgery on ethical grounds. Those who do rarely advertise it.

Destroying their central means of communication? That's so mean! Imagine if you couldn't talk. That would be the pits. You wouldn't be able to tell someone you need more water in your dish or simply say, "I love you."

I actually like hearing my dog bark (most of the time). I think it's cute, and it makes me happy when I put the key in the door when I get home from work and I hear his little voice. He's just saying, "Hi. Nice to see ya." I mean, come on. Who wouldn't want that? Besides my neighbors?

What do you think of debarking dogs?


Image via ascappatura/Flickr

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