Controversial surgery stops dogs from barking - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Controversial surgery stops dogs from barking

Posted: Updated:

By Anna Marie Hartman - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - A controversial surgery stops dogs from barking forever.

In the surgery, referred to as debarking or bark softening, severs the dog's vocal cords.

Tony Gabrielli had his dog Buck debarked 11 years ago.

"There were a lot of squirrels and he would just bark and bark at them," Gabrielli said.

Neighbors complained and called the police.

"I bought the bark collar, bought spray," Gabrielli said, "and when he'd bark, I'd squirt him and it didn't phase him at all."

Giving up Buck was not an option for Gabrielli, so he took Buck to the vet to be debarked.

"I cried," Gabrielli said.  "I was really afraid to do it, but I didn't feel I had any other choice."

Gabrielli still gets choked up about it to this day.

"I was in the operating room when they did it.  It was awful for me," Gabrielli said.  "I'm thinking I need to apologize to him."

Some vets do not advocate debarking but are not always opposed to it.

"I do see cases where it is really the best option left for these people," one vet said.

Cutting a dog's vocal cords should always be an absolute last resort.  Barking is a dog's barrier to germs and their main form of communication.  If done improperly, scar tissue can form and dogs can have a bark that's louder and more annoying than the one they had before surgery.

Buck was able to shake it off and bounce back, minus his bark.

"Even three days later, he was as frisky as can be," Gabrielli said.

At the age of 14, or 98 in dog years, Buck has sired 22 litters.

Copyright 2010 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Locked and Loaded: Police find gun in woman's vagina

    Locked and Loaded: Police find gun in woman's vagina

    Dallas Archer, 19, was arrested Monday in Kingsport for driving on a suspended license. When officers searched Archer before booking her into jail, they made the discovery.More >>
    Dallas Archer, 19, was arrested Monday in Kingsport for driving on a suspended license. When officers searched Archer before booking her into jail, they made the discovery.More >>
  • breaking

    AMBER ALERT: Georgia officials believe suspects in Lenox area

    AMBER ALERT issued for missing Columbus toddler

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 10:42 PM EDT2014-04-24 02:42:24 GMT
    According to WTVA, an Amber Alert has been issued for a missing Lowndes County toddler. Lowndes County Chief Deputy Marc Miley says they are searching for 2-year-old Malia Harris of Columbus. OfficialsMore >>
    Georgia officials believe suspects in the Mississippi Amber Alert case may be in southwest Georgia. Cook County, GA investigators have been actively searching the Lenox area for the suspects. Officials confirmed a heavy presence of law enforcement in that area Wednesday night.More >>
  • April Mugshots

    April Mugshots

    Tuesday, April 22 2014 2:42 PM EDT2014-04-22 18:42:32 GMT
    Thomas Allen WinstonThomas Allen Winston
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
    The following are mugshots and charges of individuals arrested between April 1-4 by the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office.More >>
Powered by WorldNow