Formally known as a ventriculocordectomy, devocalizing animals involves surgically altering the pets so that they can no longer make loud noises by removing some or most of the animal’s vocal chords through either the mouth or larynx. Animal rights activists are understandably up in arms over the practice. They’re pressing the American Veterinary Medical Association to ban the practice.
But the AVMA website clearly states that the practice “should only be performed by qualified, licensed veterinarians as a final alternative after behavioral modification efforts to correct excessive vocalization have failed.”
I’ve never heard of the practice, and quite frankly, it’s shocking that this even exists. I was no fan of our dog’s incessant, powerful bark, but it was part of who he was, and it warned me more than a handful of times of pending danger. I distinctly recall the time he was barking his brains out in the kitchen, while while I was upstairs working in my office. I could take it no more, so I stormed downstairs, flung open the door, and was prepared to bark right back at him, when I was caught up short.
There he stood, his spine ramrod straight, barking at the gas stove. I had accidentally left the burner on high. Luckily, there was no pan on top.
Instead of yelling at him, I gave him a huge hug. “Good boy, Bear.”