Lancaster County District Attorney's Office

Breeder Pleads Guilty for Having Dogs 'Debarked,' Faces 2 Years Probation for Animal Cruelty

Did you know that most vets will not perform Devocalization (also known as vocal cordectomy and when performed on dogs is commonly known as debarking), a surgical procedure performed on dogs and cats, where tissue is removed from the animal's vocal cords to permanently reduce the volume of its vocalizations? It is put into the same category as de-clawing, cropping ears and docking tails in the vet community. However, debarking is far worse than cropping ears. 

In the United States, devocalization is illegal in MassachusettsNew Jersey, and Warwick, Rhode Island. Yet why are we talking about this at all? 

A kennel owner and breeder will serve two years of probation and surrender almost all of her dogs to the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals after pleading guilty to six animal cruelty charges in Lancaster County Court.

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According to, Annie Beiler had been charged with 14 counts of animal cruelty and one count of neglect after 15 dogs were seized from her Quarryville property in May 2018. Three of the 15 dogs taken from Beiler's property had been illegally debarked, according to a criminal complaint filed by the SPCA officer. 

Fox43 also reported, 

"Annie Beiler is also prohibited from owning, possessing or having any dogs in her control or custody, and also may not perform any work involving the care of dogs, according to the Lancaster County District Attorney's Office."

The criminal complaint states that Beiler paid a former Iowa veterinarian $60 per dog to perform the procedure. 

Does the punishment fit the crime?

Watch this video to see why this is deemed as animal cruelty. 

Two years probation for having your dogs debarked? I don't think this is enough!

Legislation to ban devocalization of dogs and cats in New York State is underway. Hopefully, other states will follow their lead.

"Debarking is an illegal operation in which a pipe-like object is forced down a dog's throat multiple times, damaging the animal's vocal cords, according to the PSPCA," reports Fox43 in their story.

This same woman improperly docked the tails of her Doberman pinscher puppies by putting rubber bands on their tails which got infected and required veterinary treatment.

Clearly, medical care was required under multiple circumstances and humane law enforcement had to step in and visit this breeder's home. Thank goodness they did and took immediate action.

A Pennsylvania SPCA officer confirmed that one of the dogs debarked was an adult Siberian husky, while the other two were adult Doberman pinschers.

What do you think? Are two years enough? Please leave a comment below. 

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