Court orders family to have dogs’ vocal cords cut

(WSVN) - An Oregon family must now have the vocal cords of their six beloved dogs cut in order to satisfy a court order.

According to Fox News, the case began when Debra and Dale Krein said the barking from Karen Szewc and John Updegraff’s Tibetan and Pyrenean Mastiffs was so bad that the Kreins’ kids did not want to come home from school.

Fox News reports the barking originally began in 2002, but it wasn’t until 2012 when a suit was filed.

The two families had been neighbors for nearly 20 years.

After a jury ruled in favor of the Kreins in 2015, Szewc and Updegraff were ordered to pay the Kreins $238,000 and to have their dogs undergo devocalization. An appeals court upheld that ruling Wednesday.

Szewc and Updegraff run their Liongate Farm, saying their dogs are what kept their livestock safe and, according to the Washington Post, they were instead subject to farming ordinances. However, in 2006, a local hearings officer said the size and profits from the couple’s farm were too small to fall under farm use laws. In 2015, the Associated Press reported that Tibetan mastiffs weren’t a breed designed to guard livestock.

Szewc and Updegraff have not decided whether to appeal the court the court’s latest order. According to the Oregonian, the surgery still allows dogs to make a quiet bark or squeak, but opponents of the procedure call it “cruel and unnecessary.”

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