Last month, he called devocalization
a "barbaric and inhumane procedure," but said he knew of no instances where it was done in Massachusetts.
She acknowledged the provision in the bill allowing for devocalization for medical reasons.
Haller said, devocalization for "convenience" - to quiet breeds known to bark a lot, and sometimes at the request of breeders - is opposed by the association.
Haller, who said she has never performed the procedure, nor seen it done, said devocalization is nearly always used as a last resort to neighborhood disputes when owners are given court orders to de-bark their dogs, or euthanize them.
Supporters of the bill, called "Logan's Law" after a show dog who was devocalized and then given up for adoption by a breeder, describe devocalization as a cruel, unnecessary and risky procedure that can lead to excessive scar tissue, difficult breathing, hemorrhage and anxiety.
They argue that devocalization is no worse than spaying or neutering, and prevents surrender of noisy dogs.
They note many devocalized dogs have been surrendered to shelters and that responsible ownership, not devocalization, is what prevents abandonment.
Medical conditions include congenital abnormalities, disease and injuries, and there is a provision in the bill that allows for devocalization in those cases.
Pierannunzi said devocalization is most often favored by breeders, especially those situated in residential areas; and people who show dogs.
Callahan, who pointed out that 200 Massachusetts veterinarians are in favor of passing the law, said devocalization would remove a dog's natural tendency to warn people about fires, humans in trouble, and render them unable to communicate that they are in physical distress.
CUTLINE: (1) Devocalization (1) Surgical risks of canine devocalization