Logan's Law: Massachusetts is the First State to Protect ALL Its Dogs and Cats From Devocalization
Logan was devocalized, then given to a rescue group. Though he tried to bark,
he could only rasp and wheeze, cough and retch until the day he died.
On July 21, 2010, Logan’s Law took effect, making Massachusetts the first in the US with an enforceable law that protects all dogs and cats statewide from the horror of devocalization--the cutting of vocal cords to stifle the animal's voice.
Logan's Law was sponsored by Coalition to Protect and Rescue Pets and endorsed by animal shelters, rescue groups and concerned veterinarians throughout Massachusetts.
However, the state's powerful veterinary and dog breeding associations, which have a financial interest in devocalization, fought this humane legislation.
They and their lobbyists attempted to kill it outright or with loopholes that would allow and legitimize the cruelty Logan's Law was filed to prohibit.
Incredibly, a vet whose patient choked to death after she devocalized him came to the Statehouse to testify against the ban. She hoped to protect her "right" to cut patients' vocal cords for owners who don't want to hear them.
Thanks to the determined efforts of ordinary people who worked without staff, lobbyists or funds--motivated only by their concern for animals--the Massachusetts Senate passed Logan's Law unanimously, the House, 155-1.
ABOUT LOGAN'S LAW
What it prohibits
Vocal cord surgery performed on dogs and cats for any reason except to treat a physical illness, injury or birth defect causing the animal medical harm
Sale of devocalized animals, many of whom are medically compromised as a result of the procedure, without prior written notice to the buyer
What it allows Vocal cord surgery to treat physical illness, injury or birth defects Penalties Both the person who ordered the devocalization and the person who performed it face fines and/or imprisonment; convicted offenders also may be required to undergo humane education.
LIVE IN MASSACHUSETTS? HOW TO PROTECT ANIMALS AND YOURSELF If you suspect a dog or cat was devocalized, contact local law enforcement or Animal Control; remind them devocalization is now illegal in Massachusetts. Ask them to obtain veterinary records and videotape the animal vocalizing. Be sure to follow up! Without your voice, animals have none.
If the animal you purchased on or after July 21, 2010 was devocalized, and the seller didn’t inform you prior to the sale, contact law enforcement, the Attorney General and, if you wish, an attorney to represent you. Remind them that in Massachusetts, failure to disclose devocalization prior to the sale of a dog or cat is illegal, even if the procedure was performed before the law took effect.
Complications of devocalization that may compromise your pet’s health—or result in death—are very expensive to treat. Removing scar tissue from the airway can cost $2,000 or more, and may need to be repeated.
Don’t give up your pet. Instead, make the person who had him or her devocalized pay! Under this provision of the law, you can take your case to court--which could award you triple the amount it cost to treat your animal's devocalization-related medical problems.
HOW TO RECOGNIZE A DEVOCALIZED DOG OR CAT Without disclosure by the person who had an animal devocalized or the vet who performed it, the only way to know for sure is to look at the animal's throat under sedation. But there are hallmark signs that may indicate a dog or cat has been devocalized.