Barking mad

Judge rules in favor of debarking dogs

Rebekah Williams, Staff Writer

Over and over again, a common complaint in any neighborhood is dogs who bark too much. One couple has taken the noise complaint to a much higher level- judicial court.

Oregon couple, Dale and Debra Krein, sued their neighbors, Karen Szewc and John Updegraff, for the constant barking coming from the six dogs who live on the Szewc/Updegraff farm. Since 2002, the Kreins claimed they suffered through relentless barking. By 2012, the Kreins decided to take the situation from all bark and no bite to no bark and all bite.

The Krein’s filed a lawsuit, and in 2015, the Krein’s received $238,000 in compensation for the incessant noise, and Judge Timothy Gerking ordered the dogs to be debarked.

Debarking is a surgical procedure that cuts out varying parts of a dog’s vocal cords. The surgery comes with many complications including bleeding, swelling (blocking the airway) and infection. Some cases aren’t always successful and a normal bark can return after several months.

Sczewc and Updegraff said they were shocked by the court’s decision and claimed their dogs barking were necessary to the farm. 

Many other arguments about the debarking of dogs have been lost in a court, with only six states prohibiting the procedure without medical consent.