We are really shaking our heads at this one … an Oregon Court recently ruled that Karen Szewc and John Updegraff must DEBARK their Tibetan and Pyrenean Mastiffs – like remove their vocal chords – because their neighbors are tired of hearing the dogs bark. WHAT!? But barking is how dogs communicate!
For the owners of the property, the dogs are a means to protect their sheep from predators, like cougars and bears. “We do not have the dogs to harass the neighbors,” property owner, Karen Szwec told Oregon Live. After a four-day trial in April 2015, a jury ruled that property owners, Karen and John had to pay the Kreins $238,000.
But for the Kreins, who have lived next to Karen and John for more than 20 years, the money wasn’t enough and didn’t solve the problem of the barking. The barking apparently, forced the Kreins to “turn up the volume of their TV to watch shows.” (WHAT?!?!?!?!?!) Now, simply because of normal canine behavior at no fault of their own, the dogs will have to have their vocal cords removed. We honestly can’t even wrap our heads around how insane this is.
This isn’t a procedure to take lightly. In fact, six states have outlawed debarking operations, also known as devocalization, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association. Devocalization is cruel and unnecessary, especially considering the Oregon Supreme Court has ruled in 2014 that animals as sentient beings capable of being seen in the court of law as victims.
If you don’t agree that the dogs should have their vocal cords removed, make your voice heard! Sign this petition to the Oregon Courts to let them know you don’t agree with this decision. After signing, please then forward the petition within your network!
For tips on what to do if your dog barks incessantly when you leave the house, check out these tips. Thankfully, there are many non-violent options to help lessen your dog’s anxiety, creating a more peaceful environment for everyone involved.
Image source: Change.org