Letter to the Editor

Debarked dogs also require proper attention

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

To the editor:

In response to the column "Debarking dogs" by veterinarian Dr. John Koch: I read your newspaper online as I have friends and family in the area. The problems Koch noted about debarking happen with a small percentage of debarks, and most often occur with vets who have less experience at debarking than those who specialize.

In our state, we have several vets that specialize in debarking, and they are so busy, it is often two weeks before you can get an appointment.

I have three dogs. Two are debarked. Although I would prefer not to debark, it is not fair to my neighbors to have to listen to my playful, happy dogs barking.

Debarked dogs are not silent, just much quieter. In addition, with the new technology of laser surgery, the risk of excessive scar tissue is greatly reduced, which also affected my decision.

If the dog is barking out of boredom, frustration or loneliness because the owners are too busy, lazy or unwilling to work on the housebreaking issue, the humane answer should be to find the dog a new home where it will be appreciated.

CARLA RITCHIE

Sumner, Wash.