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Debarking Animal Cruelty Cases

Debarking is a surgery performed on dogs that removes their ability to bark loudly. The procedure, which cuts into the vocal cords while the dog is under general anesthesia, is fairly simple and rarely has complications. Yet many believe that debarking dogs is not only unnecessary but also inhumane, that it does not fix underlying problems causing the dog to bark, and that it is simply cruel to take away the ability of a dog to vocalize.

The surgery used in debarking dogs is fairly straightforward. After the dog is anesthetized, a veterinary surgeon either reaches in through the mouth of the dog or makes a small incision in the larynx. Using a laser or surgical tools, the surgeon then cuts part of the vocal folds off, then closes the wound. Primary risks of the surgery include infection, bleeding and pain. Some dogs also may re-grow their vocal folds, regaining their ability to bark after a few months. Others may grow excessive scar tissue over the incision, leading to a need for additional surgery.

People usually opt for debarking dogs when the animals chronically or habitually bark. A loud barking animal can certainly be a nuisance to owners and neighbors, especially if the problem is consistent. It is quite easy to see why frustrated owners search for a way to silence their noisy pooch permanently, especially if the animal does not respond to behavioral training or tends to bark constantly when left alone.

Opponents of debarking dogs insist that the surgery is inhumane, and takes away from the dog exhibiting natural behavior. Dogs bark to give warning or express needs, and concerned pet lovers feel that debarking a dog may lead to its needs being ignored by owners. Also, debarking does not remove the ability to make any sounds, so the large booming bark may be replaced by an equally irritating perpetual rasping gasp.

In some cases, when neighbors complain to authorities or the situation is unlivable, owners may be unsure of what to do other than have their dog debarked. Other solutions, such as sound-activated shock collars or muzzles seem equally cruel. Some owners may even choose to kill or abandon their pets instead of dealing with the problem. Yet therapists and dog trainers insist that most barking problems are fixable with proper training.

Some vets refuse to perform debarking procedures on the grounds that the surgery does not fix the problem and may cause continual pain for the animal. Yet others insist that the surgery is preferable to the animal being mistreated, abandoned or killed because of its problem, and will agree to conduct the surgery. Debarking dogs is truly a controversial issue in the animal community for both owners and doctors. While the frustration of owners unable or unwilling to train their pets out of bad barking habits is understandable, many experts question the suitability of owning a pet which you cannot properly take care of.

West Palm Beach Animal Cruelty Defense Attorney

Few law firms in Florida have as much experience-or as much success-defending people charged with animal cruelty or neglect, as the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A. in West Palm Beach. Andrew Stine has handled some of the biggest animal cases in Florida and has never lost a case.

Contact us today to schedule a free initial consultation.

Examples of animal cases include:

  • Animal cruelty involving dogs, cats, horses, and parakeets that were malnourished, poorly maintained, or abused
  • Dog-fighting cases involving pit bulls
  • Cock-fighting cases

In Florida, animal cruelty can be charged as anything from a civil infraction up to a felony. Those charges, as well as fines, add up when a person is charged with cruelty or neglect to a group of animals. Lawyer Andrew Stine won a test Florida case that established if a person is charged with animal neglect of a group of animals (such as 100 dogs or 25 horses), the person can only be charged with one crime.

Animal Cruelty Defense

Defense in animal cases usually involves a thorough investigation and expert testimony from veterinarians and other animal owners as to what the community standard is for taking care of animals. At the law firm of Andrew D. Stine, P.A., we go beyond this basic defense strategy to help our clients avoid fines and other costs associated with the crime.

Our law firm has an exceptional track record of getting many animal cruelty charges dismissed prior to trial. Andrew Stine is also experienced in clearing arrest records through the expungement process. If your record has been cleared and you are asked on a job application or apartment lease if you have been charged with a misdemeanor or felony, you can confidently answer, “no.”

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