Awareness to Pet Owners: “Debarking” your dog and other cruel animal that should be illegal, but aren’t


There are pets in 86.9 million (66 percent) American households as of 2023, according to Forbes. 65.1 million households own dogs, while 46.5 million households  own cats. The numbers are insane, and you would think that all of those pets are in happy, healthy, forever homes. The reality is that not every pet that is adopted or bought goes to a happy forever home. It is likely that these animals have gotten awful surgeries done on them. Surgeries like being debarked and being declawed. 

Debarking your dog or puppy is when you take your dog and make the decision to have their vocal cords taken out in order to soften or whisper their bark. It is an awful surgery that is still legal in most of the U.S. A small handful of states have banned the practice entirely, like Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey, and is only allowed in cases where it is medically necessary to have the dog’s bark softened according to Newsweek. Ohio, according to AnimalLaw, is “the only state that prohibits an owner from debarking dangerous dogs; if an owner violates this provision,” however, “the dog will be destroyed.”

 One of the biggest reasons for owners to debark their dogs to begin with, is excessive barking. In fact, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association, almost 13 percent of dog owners complain about their dog’s excessive barking. It’s a common problem that they complain about. There are many reasons that can be given to perform the action to begin with, like increased compliance with stringent noise ordinances in some communities (which if not followed correctly can lead to legal action and even eviction) just to name a few. Though there are pros to debarking your dog, there are just as many if not more consequences. Because a dog is stripped of their common way of communication, it’s probable that they will resort to biting instead, which can become a problem around new people, children, and even other pets and dogs. You could have problems with your dog fighting for territory, and almost any dog that bites in most states is considered dangerous and could be required to be euthanized. (A real example of a debarked dog: @MissTeresaJack on YouTube Shorts – “I’m fighting for justice for my dog Watson!”

Cat owners of course do not see many of the same problems as dog owners. Regardless, there is still a cruel surgery that can be done on cats too. Declawing your cat or kitten is when you take your cat and have their claws completely taken out, as well as the ability to regrow their claws. According to The Paw Project, about 25 percent – 43 percent of cats in all American homes are declawed. 

The biggest reason that people declaw their cat is because many veterinarians market and recommend it to their clients without specifying and disclosing the details of what happens during the procedure. Imagine that your fingers are cut down to the first or second (middle) knuckle as that is similar to how much vets take out when declawing a cat. Out of the 50 U.S states, only two bans and/or illegalized the practice of declawing your cat; New York as of 2019, and Maryland as of 2022. This problem has been relevant for as long or longer than that of debarking your dog, yet only recently is starting to be banned in certain states. What’s worse is that declawed cats are actually less likely to be adopted and can lead to euthanasia in animal shelters that are unable to hold animals indefinitely. There is a much more humane way to declaw a cat called laser declawing. What happens here is that the toes of the cat undergo less trauma with a laser, nerve endings are “sealed” off to cause less pain, and less bleeding occurs, according to

These are just two of the many horrible things that can be done to pets and best friends. There is no excuse to essentially commit a form of animal abuse towards your best friend and even family member. For those who want a cat, do your research and be aware of how harmful certain actions can be. As for those getting a dog and even a puppy, be aware that there is a lot of work that goes into it, and there are no excuses for wanting to silence your dog or even chaining them outside. Finally, for those who are not pet owners, support your local animal shelters, donating food, toys, money, and even in some cases, adopting a furry friend of your own. You’ll never know who you’ll meet at the adoption center.