An unlicensed veterinary surgeon and his assistant in Chengdu, China are under investigation by police after local townspeople lodged complaints that operations to slice the vocal chords of dogs were being performed on an outdoor table in a local flower and bird market.
As shocking images of the man, identified only as Zeng and his assistant performing the operations on dogs for owners who wanted to keep their dogs from barking went viral on social media, animal advocates questioned the credentials of the man as well as the hygiene involved in performing the surgical procedure known as “debarking.” The photos spread across social media Weibo outraged internet users.
“You can’t just pull out its teeth if a dog likes to bite,” one reader stated.
According to the Metro, the operation itself only takes five minutes costing the pet owner between 50 and 100 yuan (US$7.60-15.20) for each dog. The procedure involves reaching into the dog’s throat while the animal’s mouth is held open using a string tied to its teeth. The vocal chords are then cut; leaving the dog with a hoarse or muted bark. The dogs were sedated with an injection in one of their legs.
In one instance, Zeng used the same set of surgical tools on at least ten of the dogs. He claimed to have learned the “skill” at a pet store he had previously been employed. One pet owner stated she was satisfied with the operation and would rather have had her dog’s vocal chords pulled out than having to constantly hear the dog bark or having to give her pet away. None of the pet owners who said they were satisfied with the procedure expressed interest in actually training their dogs.
Chinese regulations state that anyone who performs medical procedures on an animal must have a licence. Zeng’s tools have been confiscated and an investigation has been launched.
(Photos of dogs losing their vocal chords screenshots via AsiaWire)
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Little boy told that he can choose any pet at shelter – he picks a huge, elderly cat who had just lost his home. Heartwarming story here!