OREGON — The Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled a couple in Oregon must get rid of their dogs or have the dogs’ vocal cords cut.
The couple was sued by neighbors, who say, they’ve dealt with non-stop barking for 15 years.
These are the dogs an Oregon Court of Appeals has ruled must stop barking.
The court ordered the owners to either get rid of their five dogs or have them “debarked.”
It’s a surgical procedure that involves cutting the animal’s vocal chords.
Animal rights advocates are howling.
“I’m really perplexed why a judge would make a dog pay for the owners’ responsibility in this case,” Sharon Harmon, with the Oregon Humane Society, said.
The ruling comes after years of litigation between two neighbors.
The dog owners say the canines are necessary to keep their sheep safe from cougars, coyotes and bears.
The neighbors, who are nearly surrounded by the dog owners’ land, say the barking has been incessant for 15 years and they can’t even sell their property because of the noise.
Michael Franell is the attorney who brought the lawsuit.
“My clients did not ask to have the dogs debarked…they asked to have to dogs removed from the property,” Franell said. “The defendants were the ones who volunteered to have them debarked as an alternative to having them removed from the property.”
But the dog owners deny that.
They say they had one dog debarked seven years ago as a result of a court order, and lost six lambs to a cougar.
They’re now considering appealing this ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court.
According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, debarking is banned in six states under certain circumstances.