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People Horrified By What Oregon Wants To Do To Dogs

Animal rights activists are outraged after an Oregon appeals court issued a controversial ruling on dogs.

The court ordered a couple to stop their Tibetan Mastiff dogs from barking through ‘debarking’ surgery. Labelled as ‘cruel’ and ‘unnecessary’ by such groups, the America Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) has also spoken out against the ruling, stating that the surgery is a “last resort” before euthanasia.

A long-standing feud between neighbors in rural Jackson County, southern Oregon, has resulted in a harsh ruling from a judge in an Oregon appeals court, who ordered a couple with several Tibetan Mastiffs to ‘debark’ their dogs. Debra and Dale Krein, neighbors to the seven dogs, sued couple Karen Szewc and John Updegraff in 2002 for enduring, what they’ve deemed as, years of incessant barking. The “dogs bark[ed] uncontrollably for long periods of time while [Ms. Szewc and Mr. Updegraff were] away from the residence,” court documents state.

After a jury awarded Mr. and Mrs. Krein $238,000 in damages, the Oregon Judge also informed Mrs. Szewc and Mr. Updergraff that all dogs on their property were to undergo “total devocalization” surgery. This cruel surgery, according to the AVMA, involves completely cutting the animals vocal chords, “decreasing the volume, pitch and intensity of the dog’s bark.” While the dogs’ owners have tried to appeal the decision, the Oregon Court of Appeals has upheld the judgement and refused to budge, stating in its 14-page ruling that the lower court had authority to impose the surgery because of the couple’s “persistent failure,” to stop the barking.

The AVMA went on to condemn the procedure, stating that the operation should only be used “as a final alternative to euthanasia,” after every other avenue of remediation has been tried. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has also strongly opposed the technique:

“The ASPCA does not support the use of surgical procedures that attempt to circumvent the behavioral issue while exposing pets to unnecessary discomfort and risk.”

The senior director for the Oregon chapter of Humane Society of the United States. Scott Beckstead, told reporters that the “ruling came as a complete shock,” particularly when there are other alternatives to deal with nuisance barking. Ms. Szewc was visibly upset by the ruling, telling newspapers that the pair “do not have the dogs to harass the neighbors,” but use them to guard their flock of sheep. During another dispute in 2005, Jackson County cited Ms. Szewc for violating code provision on public nuisance following complaints that her dogs were allowed to “bark frequently and at length.” Ms. Szewc highlighted that the usual provisions did not apply to her dogs because she owned 3.4-acres of land, where her dogs guarded sheep, goats and chickens. Farms usually fall under different regulations, therefore, Ms. Szewc was able to avoid charges. It is unclear whether the couple, who consider their Mastiffs’ as a part of their family, will attempt to overturn the judgement.

Mike Franell, the attorney of the Kreins, commented on the ruling, stating that the court reached the right decision after his “…clients have suffered well over 10 years of incessant barking.”

Source: Yahoo
Photo: YouTube

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