District attorney suggested dog owner remove his pet’s vocal chords

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A North Carolina dog owner was appalled after the assistant district attorney in Graham County proposed he remove the vocal chords of his dog in exchange for dropping barking noise violation charges.

Michael Eddings, according to Newsweek, the owner of Leo, a seven-year-old Great Pyrenees, is facing noise charges because of his dog barking. The surgical procedure known as devocalization has been considered inhumane by animal welfare organizations.

Eddings has been fined more than $750 for noise violations and legal fees. He explained that Leo’s barks travels because he is a huge dog and weighs 120 pounds. Eddings contends there are other dogs in the neighborhood that bark, and he is being singled out.

The surgery presents with risks including infection, airway swelling, coughing, pneumonia and gagging. In addition, animal behaviorists cite dogs often experience more physical threats, frustration and stress after losing their ability to bark.

When Newsweek reached out to Graham County District Attorney Ashley Welch about the suggestion to debark the dog, she confirmed, whether the statements were in jest or serious, the suggestion was inappropriate,

Devocalization is banned in the United Kingdom and is banned or limited in Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio, California and Rhode Island.

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