Debarking should never be an option

The county has granted Mr. McDuffee the right to have several of his dogs debarked; they say it's humane but most vets and animal welfare agents disagree. Please also contact:

Hello Morrison County Board of Commissioners,


  This is a 2nd petition from Puppy Passions Rescue & Transport in regards to Mr. Gary McDuffee and your granting him a permit to house 600 dogs. As though having 600 dogs isn’t bad enough, it’s been reported that he also has been granted the right to have several of them debarked which according to the American Humane Society strongly discourages this operation and according to an article I found,  “the surgery is rarely performed at the University of Minnesota’s small-animal clinic, said an official for the university’s veterinary college.”  Whether the procedure is done humanely or not, ethically it’s not right; anymore than it would be to have similar surgery performed on a neighbor’s child because the child cries a lot or plays too loudly outdoors.  Barking you see, isn’t just a noise causing behavior; it’s also vital to a dog, in order for them to communicate with each other.  A dog’s bark is also a defense mechanism that tells other dogs or animals to leave that animal alone or there’ll be consequences to pay; when a dog is debarked, they are also unable to growl which many times is enough to get another animal to back down and let that dog be.  Without this warning signal, you are setting these animals up for conflict that will likely lead to injury or worse.  Granted, Mr. McDuffee states that only those animals that will be outside will be subjected to debarking and that this number will be small; however, I ask you, how many animals does it take to cause suffering or pain? The answer is “just one.” I realize that in this day and age, too many communities still see animals as property, in the eyes of the law but it’s time to move beyond this sort of thinking and into a new era where animals are viewed as sentient beings capable of pain, suffering, love and all the other emotions that humans are supposedly capable of showing.  No one would allow a single child to be put under this sort of surgery just to muffle them and I do not see the difference between a human child’s rights and another specie’s rights.  Puppy Passions is highly against the debarking procedure for any reason at all. 



Mike Sexton

Vice President,

Puppy Passions Rescue & Transport

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