Savannah's Paw Tracks

Autobiography of a Former Shelter Cat

Savannah’s Saturday Sounding Board…

Hiya! Savannah Here!

I am trying out an idea I had… to learn if you all would like to see this as an occasional feature on my blog. I have lots of time to ponder (VBP) stuff, like when I nap and when I sit staring out to my yard…stuff just floats through my mind.

I have my own perspectives (VBP) but I need to learn what others think.  I try to be a well grounded cat after all.

My outlook is always improved when I see Rumpy Dog and June Buggie bark and meow about impawtant issues related to all of us cats and dogs and well, all animals in general.

So, I had something brought to my attention by a follower and they asked if I would think about doing a post about it…so here it is.



First, I started to wonder what the actual “root” word meant and what the prefix “de” adds to it.  Here’s what I found: (thank Cod for Google!)

“…root words combine with prefixes to form new words. For example, the root -tract-, meaning “to pull,” can combine with a number of prefixes, including de- and re-. Detract means literally “to pull away” (de-, “away, off”) and retract means literally “to pull back” (re-, “again, back”).”

So humans use these ‘prefix’ thingys to make stuff like “de-clawing” and “de-vocalize” sound almost, well, I guess “OK”??

But really, why not just say what it really means…”pulling away a cat or dogs voice”…period. More clear, don’t ya think?

Which means of course, that our only means of communication is taken away…ergo (VBP) we have to find another way to communicate our fears, needs, etc…..which usually means ‘de-struction’ to get noticed or starting poor litter box habits, etc.

My follower who raised this topic received a request from to sign a petition to make “De-vocalization” of cats and dogs illegal, in the USA.

Here is what I learned from a little bit of quick research:

In most countries in the European Community it is illegal:  “The procedure is outlawed as a form of mutilation in the UK and all countries that have signed the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals. In theUSA, devocalization is illegal by state law in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, state of New Jersey and by city ordinance in Warwick, Rhode Island. Efforts to ban devocalization are underway in other states”…  click HERE to learn more

This is what is happening in the state of NY: click HERE to learn more

And in my home state of California, our Governor just signed into law a bill that makes it illegal for landlords to demand that prospective tenants MUST de-vocalize cats or dogs to rent a property which  allows pets.   Click HERE to learn more.

Finally, the Humane Society of the United States has provided this information about the brutal practice of “pulling away a cat or dog’s voice”…click HERE

I guess you can tell by now that I don’t think this is necessary, unless the animal’s life is at risk with cancer, etc.  The HSUS information is unpleasant to read, especially that part about after affects of this surgery.  There are many testimonials on the internet from pet owners who have rescued dogs and cats who have suffered this horrid surgery…their stories are hard to read, trust me.


I thank you for reading and commenting. And also, let me know if you would like to see Savannah’s Saturday Sounding Board become a periodic feature…it would be sporadic (VBP) as my thoughts come to me from stuff I read, hear Mom and Dad talk about…and from requests from my followers which prompted me to even try this.  My appreciation to my followers Mistletoe and Hitch for bringing this up.

They do not have a blog, but you can let them know if you appreciate having them raise this impawtant topic at


…and Hitch

Paw pats, Savannah

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46 thoughts on “Savannah’s Saturday Sounding Board…

  1. We hate the subject so much we had Jan make an anti-devocalization design for our store a long time ago. It’s cruel!

  2. OMC !
    I think that “De-vocalization” is the most crazy thing I ever heard about !!
    You never stop getting surprised what stupid things humans can come up with !!
    In Sweden is both De-vocalisation and De-clawing forbidden = YAY 🙂

    • We continue to be embarrassed that the USA is so behind to setting laws forbidding these procedures. Seems like most other countries, at least in Europe, have done so. We must all just keep on working over here to make it so.

  3. Devocalisation is a horrible thing to do. So is the de-clawing of cats.

    • It is not something my bipeds would ever think of…but unfortunately in at least the USA, states control it, vets still do it…we need to support more state, local controls to make it unlawful and only bipeds can do that so I posted about it. My bipeds will support state legislation to end it.

  4. We love the idea of your Saturday Sounding Board.

    Grandpa rescued a dog that had been devocalized once. Mommy always felt very sorry for Lucas. He was a beautiful show dog (which is why his person before did that to him), when he started getting old his person gave him away (which is how Grandpa ended up with him). He was a very sweet dog.

    We would never do that to another living creature. We wonder how the people would like it if we did that to them. I mean it is very tiresome hearing them say NO all the time.

  5. We think it’s cruel. There is a reason God gave us all voices. De-barking is a lazy alternative to training your dog or to spending time with him.
    We didn’t read anyone else’s comments except for the OP Pack. We think we know who they’re talking about and couldn’t agree more.
    Having said that – I think it’s YOUR blog and you should talk about whatever you want to. Some topics are bound to be controversial, though, so go into it with open eyes!
    LOVE your tunnel! I want Mom to get us one!!!
    Play bows,

    • Thank you for your thoughts. I wanted to learn how others perceive this practice. It has been around, at least among dog owners, for a very long time. Personally, I have been surprised at the number of comments, from US bloggers who did not know about this practice. It is coming up in many states now where we are presented with opportunity to vote about allowing it to continue. Not my business how people vote, but hope I have created awareness of this at least. I knew Siberian breeders who de- barked their show dogs so they couldn’t vocalize whilst being shown. That was in the mid ’80’s, I was younger and it dumbfounded me. Sibes sing so beautifully.

      Rodgers Associates Sent from my iPad

  6. orientallily001 on said:

    What a horrible, horrible, HORRIBLE thing for any peep to do to any little kitty or doggy. Doctors who are willing to perform such atrocities should lose their licence! And peeps who are willing to do it to their babies should lose their right to have them. Cruel, cruel, CRUEL! It’s like something out of a Frankenstein movie.

    Nerissa from Nerissa’s Life

    • Even though so many find it so appalling, it still is done, at least here in the USA. I hope we can work to educate people better in how to train their dogs and work to manage any excessive barking…it can be done. As for cats, I did not even know anyone anywhere did this procedure on cats. But apparently, in the USA at least, landlords have demanded that cat owners “de-vocalize” their cats so as to not bother neighbors otherwise they have been able to turn that prospective renter away. In Calif, a law was just passed to make that illegal, for cats and dogs related to a landlord’s demand. I wonder if this is another form of “breed specific” laws being applied? Just occurred to me. paw pats, Savannah

    • hey Nerissa…do you see my comments show up in your blog page? I can never tell if they post or not and fret that you don’t know I read you all the time and leave comments. Let me know when you can, paw pats, Savvy

  7. First of all Savvy thanks for bringing this issue to everyone’s attention – I think it’s barbaric – as barbaric as declawing or tail docking. I wonder why we can’t just be loved for what we are without making us fit some “mold” humans feel we need to be crammed into to suit them? I just get very sad when I think about the whole thing……We are what we are. As for you having a “Sounding Board” as a semi-regular feature on your blog – I think you should do it about things you feel strongly about. If we don’t speak up – who will?

    Kitty Hugs, Sammy

    • Thanks Sammy,as always, you give me balance. And I do have some thoughts that I may share occasionally and hope to hear other’s opinions and perspectives as a way to broaden mine. I won’t always need a sounding board for topics about what some feel is animal cruelty. In fact, Mom and I were just wondering about the gene that makes some cats like or not like nip, valerian root, honeysuckle and silver vine…and then we wondered “do dogs have a potential addiction” for anything??? Just curious, will look into it. paw pats, Savannah

  8. It’s a very good idea to post about things which are important and need a publishing. I hate such freaks who are mutilating animals. The worst thing I saw in my village, was a guy who hacked off the wings of this Peacocks, that they wouldn’t fly over the fence. This twit is to stingy to built a safe area for the Peacocks and instead he is torturing these animals. Wish someone would hack off him somewhat too.

    • Birds do fly, don’t they Easy. I have heard of people who have birds for ‘pets’ who ‘trim’ their wings (parakeets, etc.) so they can’t fly. If the birds outside did not fly, what would I have to watch in the sky?

  9. I think your Sounding Board is a fantastic idea and would love to see it regularly. I am amazed at the types of rules and laws that you guys have. De-vocalization is definitely not something here in South Africa. The thought that one would have to do so in order to rent a property is absurd. I’m quite horrified by it all . We have had to put in laws against docking of tails and ears but de-vocalization, well, I’m stunned people would ever do it!

    • oh, do you have laws against docking tails now? Even if it is to make a dog “breed worthy” like boxers,Dobies, etc? That would be pawsome. Mom and Dad were in the dog show world for like 7 years with their Siberians. They left for many reasons, one was that they no longer believed in altering a dog from how it is born just to make it “look like” the breed standard. They wanted the breed standards changed to conform to how the dogs are born. Not popular, anywhere in the world related to show dogs.

  10. spittythekitty on said:

    This is horrible and we think it should not happen. However, we have to be honest–we do not read posts about mistreatment of animals, and we only skimmed this one.

    The Human contributes money to organizations that promote animal welfare, and we try to help out with “chip-ins” and the like, but that’s all she can do. She has a highly stressful job where she deals with a lot of sad stuff, and she blogs for fun. It’s not that she does not care; it’s that she gets so upset reading this stuff that it defeats the purpose of blogging for her.

    So, when she sees that one of our furiends is writing about a serious issue, especially one that involves cruelty to animals, we just skip it for the day.

    But YES, if you want to write about these important things, you should. I admire people and kitties who bring these things to light.

    • I, we, appreciate you human’s preference to not read this post, or others like it that raise questions about how dogs and cats are treated. Thank you Spitty and the human for being so straightforward with me. I know my Mom won’t read dog or cat stories, books, if the animal dies at the end, even if the story is about a good life. I am happy you are still my bestest furriend in the Bay Area…and WHAT ABOUT THOSE GIANTS!!! woo hoo

  11. We’ve never heard of such a thing as devocalization. How horrible! It makes no sense whatsoever! We had a neighbor dog that barked constantly but it was his owners fault for not training him, not his fault for doing what came naturally. The whole thought of this is just so sad it makes us very unhappy.

  12. Totally an insane idea. We know someone who routinely debarks her dogs – cruelty in our opinion.

    Great idea for a regular post, Savannah. Go for it.

    Woos – Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

    • Oh Cod! That person should not be allowed to have a dog ever! Mom heard a debarked Sibe at a dog show years ago and she was aghast that anyone would steal a Sibe’s beautiful voice.

      Rodgers Associates Sent from my iPad

    • Actually, having napped on this, I would say something a tad different from my first response to you. My thought really is “why would someone have dogs at all knowing that, unless they are a relatively barkless breed such as Basenji’s, they will and do make noise, use their ‘voices’, to communicate with their Guardians”. So less about that particular person ought not to be ‘allowed’ to have dogs, rather “why do they have them at all”…that has confused me overnight so I thought I would meow it back to you. Have a good Easy Sunday, Savannah

  13. Golly that is terrible. Whee cannot imagine having our squeak stolen. It would be unbearable. How would whee call for help or food or show whee are cross or scared or happy?!

    The little hoomans in our family are pretty noisy but hoomans wouldn’t steal their squeak and whee wouldn’t want thrm to. If hoomans couldn’t squeak then they couldn’t say nice things to us!

    Why would hoomans be so cruel? Luckily whee have never heard of this in the UK before so hopefully this barbaric practise isn’t to widespread.

    Nibbles, Nutty, Buddy & Basil

  14. Charlotte on said:

    You have brought up a subject that has one answer-it is mutilation! Thank you Savannah for posting something so important-nose kisses sweet girl.

  15. This is simply horrible. We are all made exactly as we are supposed to be! Humans, if they feel the need to mutilate, should stick with their own kind, i.e. needless plastic surgery. Leave the animals ALONE.

    Sylvester suffers because of his de-clawing (he arrived that way)–Mommy can’t imagine an animal not being able to express itself vocally.

    It’s good to be made aware of things, even if they are unpleasant. Who knows, maybe one day we could help.

    • I think many of us humans may have an opportunity to help across the USA as it appears this practice is getting attention in several states just in the last 2 years. We all need to be aware of bills going through our state legislatures that make this illegal. Unfortunately the Vet Associ of America does not yet fully support banning it. I don’t know why, but some suggest it is because they are paid a great deal for doing this, not my data, just read it on the ‘net. paw pats, Savvy

  16. WTF!!!! I’d never heard of this procedure!!! How long has this been going on? Is this some sort of Yuppie thing so they can own animals w/o the responsibility of listening to them bark or meow?? Maybe they think they can teach the animals to text when they want something. Seems like once a week an owner’s life is saves by a meowing or barking animals warning of them of a fire or worse. I. am. appalled. And so are my peeps.

    • Mom met a Siberian at a dog show when she and Dad were showing their Sibes back in 1982 who had been “de-barked” so it wouldn’t make its woo arwoo noise during judging…amazing. We were not aware it was sometimes made mandatory for a cat even in order to be able to rent a property in many states in USA. I suppose it may be because some cat types, such as Siamese breed or mixes, have such distinctive and sometimes loud meows??? This was news to us about cats. sigh

  17. ande123 on said:

    We did not know that there were laws to take cats voices away. That is just HORRIBLE almost as bad as declawing. How could any vet do that to an animal at all. We are so glad that you spoke out on this subject. We certainly are against it for sure. Have a great day.

    • Actually, we hope there will be more laws making it not possible to take away cat and dog voices. Many vets in the USA do not even question an owner’s decision to have this done, just as with the de-clawing of cats. The vet just does it. Not sure why, unless the evil root money is involved??? Just a thought, not sure

  18. mistletoeandhitch on said:

    Dear Savannah, thank you so much for tackling this subject. I hadn’t realized how widespread it was until I received that request to sign that petition. Once I did a little research I couldn’t not sign the petition. Mistletoe and Hitch, along with the twins are very vocal. They talk to me and I can’t imagine them being silenced. It is amazing the different vocalizations one cat can make. Or how loud they can be. When Hitch was stuck in the top of a pine tree it was his voice that saved him. The fact that everyone one the block was looking around for the cat that was crying at the top of his lungs would have gotten him help if we hadn’t already been at the bottom of the tree trying to coax him down. And the additional calls to the fire department probably help in getting them to rescue this one loud mouth cat. Now that I’m aware of devocalization I find I wonder about some of the animals I read about. Whisper is a limbo kitty in The Blog of Otis. I wonder if Whisper had his voice stolen? I’m sure there are other reasons a cat would not have a strong voice, but from now on I’ll think about it when I meet a furbaby that has trouble singing out.

    I look forward to reading all your followers thoughts on this subject. It’s been a pleasure to find people who consider their four legged family a privilege and not a right. Thanks again.
    Dorothy, Mistletoe and Hitch

  19. Juneau & Sunny on said:

    We think this is a very serious topic and this is where we should sound off on it. Woo are very pawpular and therefore able to reach lotsa peoples & furpals. Both of these are very cruel and unnecessary… unless medically needed.

    • why thank woo so much for coming by to comment. I think this is so impawtant. Mom has been at dog show long ago and someone had a Sibe de-barked, made her cry to hear it could no longer sing a Sibe song…I will keep talking about this, play bows and purrs, Savannah

  20. Savannah what a great topic!! Seriously I can’t imagine declawing or devocalizing ANY animal!!!
    I think it is a form of control & in a sense animal abuse!!!
    Declawing a cat is equal to ripping out humans’ fingernails….I can’t imagine how painful that would be.
    Devocalizing is inhumane!! If I had an animal with Cancer in their voicebox or throat I would gently send them to Rainbow Bridge rather than devocalize them on top of all the surgery/chemo…
    There is NO reason to declaw or devocalize a 4 legged!! What is the point of having 4 leggeds if they can’t speak for themselves??
    Thinking of NYLABLUE unable to ‘eeoww’ in her throaty little way brings tears to my eyes!! I think of all my cats & 2 dogs & I loved their barking & meowing….humans need to stop brutalizing animals. PERIOD!!
    Sherri-Ellen & Nylablue too..

    • so true Sherri Ellen and Nylablue. I have yet to understand de-vocalizing dogs as I have heard a de-barked Siberian once at a dog show…it made me cry as their voices are so pretty. Even those yappy beagles who lived up the street from us in our last home, how awful to not hear them baying. Can’t imagine not having heard my cats’ voices all these years, they are each so unique…if the European Community can do something about it, I don’t know why we cannot across the USA.

  21. It is something that should be shouted from the rooftops Savannah so please add your voice to it (along with de-clawing cats, when you get a moment) .

    • we hate them all, even the docking of dog’s tails, ears, etc. I know Sparkle did a big post not long ago, and even was a finalist for the Peties’ Awards, on declawing so I may not do that one for a while. Any suggestions are always welcome

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