Maryland law bans surgery that silences dogs and cats

By Jeremy Bauer-Wolf | Maryland Reporter

Pet owners may cherish their furry companions, but not their incessant bark or shrill meow. In some cases, owners actually seek to have their cat or dog’s vocal cords surgically removed.

Gov. Martin O’Malley gave his signature to unsung legislation that outlaws this practice, one that the bill’s advocates said is inhumane and often frustrating for the animal.

Licensed veterinarians may still operate on a pet’s vocal cords to alleviate pain from an illness.

Paralyzing or a removing a pet’s vocal cords is often authorized by pet owners who struggle with training a noisy dog or cat, according to Jen Swanson, executive director for the Baltimore Humane Society.

“But it’s a needless practice,” Swanson said. “Essentially it’s elective surgery.”

at Maryland Reporter.

Rob Port is the editor of, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.