Massachusetts Debarking Bill Now In Senate

Last week, House Bill 344, which seeks to ban the surgical devocalization of dogs, passed the...

Last week, House Bill 344, which seeks to ban the surgical devocalization of dogs, passed the Massachusetts House of Representatives. The bill is now under the consideration of the Senate Committee on Rules and Ethics. The American Kennel Club is concerned that, if enacted, this legislation will lead to the unnecessary euthanization of many animals.  We encourage all dog breeders and owners in Massachusetts to contact their Senator in the General Court and respectfully express your concerns with the HB 344.

Much misinformation exists about devocalization of dogs. This procedure, which is performed by a veterinarian using laser or biopsy technology, is safe and relatively non-invasive. It is an acceptable medical procedure that is often done as a "last resort" when all other methods of modifying a dog's behavior have failed. For many responsible dog owners, debarking is the only alternative to euthanizing or surrendering their canine companion to a local shelter when their pet's noisy behavior continually disturbs the community. The decision to debark a dog is one that is best left to the dog owner and his veterinarian.

The American Kennel Club is not the only organization concerned with HB 344.  The American Veterinary Medical Association condones the performance of devocalization procedures as a final alternative; and both the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association and the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners specifically oppose HB 344. 


WHAT YOU CAN DO:

Concerned Massachusetts residents are encouraged to contact their State Senators and respectfully express your concerns with HB 344. 

Click here to find your Massachusetts State Senator. 

Click here for information on Communicating Effectively with Your Legislators


For more information, contact the AKC’s Government Relations Department at (919) 816-3720, or e-mail doglaw@akc.org; or contact the Massachusetts Federation of Dog Clubs and Responsible Dog Owners at info@massfeddogs.org.