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On Tuesday, April 25, a New York Senate committee will consider a ban on “debarking” – a veterinary practice also known as bark softening – unless the procedure is medically necessary to treat an injury, illness, or congenital defect.

The AKC opposes Senate Bill 142, which would restrict the rights of responsible dog owners to make viable, safe decisions on behalf of their pets in conjunction with their veterinarians.  It also could force some owners to relinquish their dogs to shelters as opposed to keeping them in their home.

New York residents are strongly encouraged to contact the Senate Agriculture Committee TODAY to express your concerns with Senate Bill 142 (Scroll down for contact information). 

Talking Points:

There is much misinformation about the veterinary surgical procedure of debarking. Debarking is a viable veterinary procedure that may allow a dog owner to keep a dog in its loving home when its noisy behavior continually disrupts the community, rather than to be forced to euthanize or surrender the dog to a shelter.

Debarking should only be performed by a qualified veterinarian after behavioral efforts to correct a dog’s excessive barking have failed. As with other veterinary medical decisions, the decision to debark a dog is best left to individual owners and their veterinarians.

Visit the key issue page in the AKC Government Relations Legislative Action Center for more information, AKC’s official position on this issue, as well as other talking points.

Committee Contact Information:

Below is the contact information for the committee.  If you are a constituent, be sure to mention that when contacting their office:

Sen. Michelle Hinchey (Chair – Kingston)

Sen. George Borello (Ranking Member- Jamestown)

Sen. Pamela Helming (Geneva)

Sen. John Mannion (Syracuse)

Sen. Rachel May (Syracuse)

Sen. Jessica Ramos (East Elmhurst)

Sen. Kevin Thomas (Garden City)

Sen. Mark Walczyk (Watertown)

Sen. Lea Webb (Binghamton)

AKC Government Relations (AKC GR) will continue to closely monitor this legislation and provide updates as they become available. For questions or more information, contact AKC GR at