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Activists decry Oregon court ruling to ‘debark’ dogs

KEITH COFFMAN: ‘A ruling by an Oregon appeals court upholding an order that a couple muffle their continuously barking dogs through “debarking” surgery stirred outrage among animal rights groups on Thursday, which called the procedure cruel and unnecessary… Devocalization surgery entails cutting an animal’s vocal cords “to decrease the volume, pitch and intensity of the dog’s bark,” according to literature provided by the American Veterinary Medical Association, or AVMA. The group called the procedure “debarking”… The case stems from a long-standing feud between neighbors in rural Jackson County in southern Oregon. Debra and Dale Krein sued in 2012 after enduring years of what they deemed incessant barking by several Tibetan Mastiff dogs owned by their neighbors, Karen Szewc and John Updegraff, court documents showed. A jury awarded the Kreins $238,000, and the presiding judge ordered all the dogs on the property to undergo “total devocalization” surgery… Scott Beckstead, senior director for the Oregon chapter of the Humane Society of the United States, said there were other remedies to deal with nuisance barking, including sprays. “This ruling came as a complete shock to us,” Beckstead said’. SOURCE…

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