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I checked and this discussion has already been started on this site. I read a few comments. I could not read the complete discussion. I decided to raise this discussion again in this group because I believe every member will be sympathic. I believe it is noteworthy that debarking has been banned in the UK because this procedure is deemed as mutilation. From my research very few vets debark dogs in the USA and there are steps in place to also ban this procedure. Unfortunately Australia continues to lag way behind and never learns from the mistakes of other countries. We are supposed to be a country of animal lovers. I continue to seriously question this. 

I am seeing first hand the dreadful consequences of this barbaric, mutilating procedure performed by a vet for the convenience of an English Setter breeder. This is happening to my sweet Hammer. The consequences of this barbaric procedure could end Hammer's life. If you knew Hammer, he has an incredible temperament, he is a total gentleman, all he asks is for you to love him. When Hammer came to me on 22 November 2006 he was traumatised because his voice had been taken away from him.

Hammer became a Grand Champion for his previous owners.

I have attached a recent photo of Hammer, taken 2 days after his 10th Birthday, not a good photo but this photo shows his complete devotion to me, lying beside my computer chair, which he is doing right at this very moment. I feel humbled and privileged that this beautiful English Setter loves me so much and I hope we can get him through the trauma he is suffering. He is coughing up blood. He is struggling to breathe. He does not deserve to continue to suffer this way.

It is my opinion that debarking is a barbaric and mutilating procedure and this procedure should be banned in every country in this world. I am going to do what I can to ban this procedure in Australia. I am usually a flexible person but in this instance I will not consider any reason for debarking any dog. The problem is with the human. The problem is not with the dog.

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Dear Catherine and your four Setters

I wish there were more humans in Australia who felt the same way you do and others in this group. In Australia debarking is viewed by many as being a "step up" from "euthanasia", the latter when performed for convenience is nothing other than murder. Tail docking has been banned in Australia but debarking is still being performed even though the adverse consequences can terminate a dog's life and in the meantime the dog suffers severe emotional distress and then physical distress. Tail docking does not cause this level of suffering. Unfortunately Hammer has improved a little but he is still coughing and there is still blood in his cough and nasal passages. Hammer does not deserve to suffer this way. No dog deserves to suffer this way. Your licks and hugs and best wishes mean a very great deal to me, and to Hammer and his family.xxxx

Hi, like Catherine I have more than one english , three actually, but had to join this group to add my two pennies. I came over from the Uk to Vic 3 years ago and was astonished to find that de-barking goes on here. I was at a show and thought a dog in a crate behind me was having a fit of some kind as he was making the most awful noises, yes, he had been de-barked and that was him trying to get some attention. Can not tell you how shocked I was. As Beau said, English are not a noisy breed, my boys bark when playing or to come in but never constantly as some other breeds, so why do people do this?? Hammer looks a lovely boy, may you have many good times to come xx


Hi Shirley

I wish more Aussie breeders and non-breeders felt the same way as you and Catherine and everyone else who has commented on this topic. I have contacted RSPCA Qld, Dogs Vic, Dogs Qld and read the QLD legislation Animal Care and Protection Act 2001. My local State MP is helping me with other issues so I feel the best approach is to contact him about debarking and add this onto the list!  Hammer is not faring too well. The vet has determined that the problem is definitely his larynx and the problem has been caused by his debarking, most likely the build up of scar tissue resulting in a tumour on his larynx. I have a very bad feeling that if Hammer has to undergo surgery, he will not survive. He has improved a little but he is still coughing and the nasal discharge is becoming worse and the mucous from his runny nose is again showing blood. The vet has not given Hammer drugs and has used a combination of Chinese herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture and a cough mixture. The last time Hammer received acupuncture one needle came out near his front paw and bled. The vet said this showed that there was a blockage in the meridian line to Hammer's throat. Hopefully we can manage Hammer's problem naturally without the need to undertake surgery. Thank you for your kind and good wishes for Hammer. XXXX

I sent the vet treating Hammer an email and I left a phone message for him to contact me about what we could do to help Hammer and I did not hear from him. I can only assume this means that there is nothing that he considers can be done to help Hammer. This is supported by the information I have researched on the internet. I cannot stand by and watch Hammer suffer and die without helping him. After more internet research I came across 2 natural products which are supposed to reduce scar tissue and tumours and are safe for dogs. I am also giving Hammer a natural product which is specific for healing the upper and lower respiratory systems. In addition to this Hammer eats a natural diet with natural supplements. Hammer also knows how much I love him. I uploaded this video of Hammer on YouTube today Debarking A Dog - Video 1 of my English Setter "Hammer". I hope I can connect with more people throughout Australia who are opposed to debarking. If you watch this video you will see Hammer wagging his tail constantly, as English Setters do. 

Hugs to Hammer and to you for being so devoted to him.  I hope these natural products will help Hammer and please keep us updated as to his progress.  He is so lucky to have you in his life ...and perhaps his message to the world is the one you have put on YOU TUBE to share with the world and Australia....to stop this cruel procedure from happening ever again to any dog.  God Bless you both with many happy years .

Thank for your kind words, Sherry. After a comment made I decided to restrict this video to links I publish and so far this group has the only link. Initially I replied to this comment which stated: There is absolutely no proof whatsoever that this "cough" is caused by bark softening. In 30+ years in dogs, this sounds like a cough related to kennel cough or a cardiac issue. Claiming a dog was traumatized by this procedure is nothing short of anthropomorphizing.

The reason I replied is because there is proof, i.e. a veterinary diagnosis. Hammer's cough is not related to kennel cough or a cardiac issue. Hammer has a strong heart determined from many veterinary examinations and blood tests. If Hammer had kennel cough, Hobson and Rose would have caught it. Hammer's blood tests also do not reveal an infection.

This woman is so engrossed in her own arrogance she thinks she knows everything about Hammer. I have been down this path for many years in my search for Beau and I am not going to expose myself to humans with this attitude again. So, I deleted my comment and restricted the video.

Re anthropomorphisation, I believe the ignorance of humans who do not understand that animals possess sophisticated emotions and intelligence is the primary reason for animal abuse and cruelty.

Even though I have restricted this video, I sent 4 videos of Hammer to the Chief Inspector of RSPCA Queensland. I hope he will listen to me.

Speaking of anthropomorphisation, this is a photo of a wild bird who has formed a special friendship with me. She is sitting on the grooming box supervising my grooming of Hammer, Hobson and Rose. (They are all in dire need of another groom again). This bird loves me, as I love her. If a wild bird can speak to and love a human, don't you think a dog who is man's best friend can do this? Also there is a lot I could tell you about this wild bird which humans like this woman would never believe.

Just have to know what sort of bird this is?  Remarkable looking.  Afraid I also believe that animals have emotions and feelings......saw it really big time when my Dad passed away....his Pebbles right before went out onto the porch and just howled and howled like a wolf would do....Dad said he had never known him to do that before.  We had no idea how close Dad was but his Pebbles did...even the Hospice nurse was amazed.  Pebbles also grieved for my Dad but being here with us did help as we were always his second home when my Dad traveled.  Just keep doing what you know to be right and best for Hammer.  Hope he is doing better.


Hi Sherry

Sam is a white-faced heron. He/she "dropped out of the sky" on 1 October 2008 the day after my Arabian horse, Khomet's birthday when he would have turned 18yo if he had not died earlier that year. Sam has been with me ever since and has rarely missed a day. She does not come to me for food. She comes to me for friendship and because of her recent behaviour I believe she loves me, even though I am a human and she is a wild bird. Sam has brought her mate to meet me many times. It is beautiful watching them fly above me virtually wing tip to wing tip and they talk to me. Over the last 3 years I have learned a lot about "heron talk". This is a photo of Sam who crouched down on the sharp stones in the courtyard to comfort me when I was sitting on the back steps sobbing my heart out as I was reading the contents of an FOI application I made regarding Khomet's death. I do not believe anyone could honestly deny that Sam had connected with my grief. Who knows maybe Khomet sent Sam to me?? There is much about life that us mere humans do not understand.

Because I appreciate the concern shown for Hammer I wanted to let you know that Hammer appears to be showing signs of improvement despite the visit to the emergency animal hospital last weekend. I have been giving Hammer natural products since end March. Anyone who has used natural products would know that they can take a while to work, if they are going to work at all, and symptoms can become worse before improvement begins. This is the cycle Hammer has followed. His nasal discharge became much worse, his cough showed no sign of improvement though he did stop coughing up blood and then he developed a yellow discharge from both eyes. However now both his nasal and eye discharges have virtually cleared up and he is not coughing to the extent he was, though he still does have a bad cough. 

I have attached a photo of Hammer and Hobson, both needing a brush, a groom and a bath, but both still alive, beautiful and happy. They were keeping me company this morning while I was collecting the fallen branches from the strong winds we have experienced.

Dear Hobson has been seriously ill and has lost so much weight his skin is hanging in holds in his chest area. Hopefully it will not be long before his health is restored.

Sending wishes that both Hobson and Hammer continue to improve.  Time can heal but it sometimes seems impossibly long.  Thanks for updating us on Hammer and how he is doing on the natural medicines.....sounds encouraging .  Hang in there!

Probably I jinxed myself by daring to say something positive about Hammer's progress but if we do not have hope, what is left? Unfortunately the visit to the animal emergency hospital the other week is linked to what has been done to Hammer by de-barking him because of symptoms he is now displaying. I feel so upset for Hammer. Also I wrote to the Chief Inspector of RSPCA QLD on 23 May and sent him 4 short videos of Hammer showing the consequences of his being de-barked. I worded my letter positively and compassionately. The Chief Inspector did not possess the basic manners to even acknowledge my letter. It is no wonder so many responsible pet owners have become disillusioned with the RSPCA in Australia. I have made some genuine friends in this internet community and I know you care about Hammer and every dog and animal. Please pray for Hammer. He is such a good, gentle, loving boy.

Oh Suzan we could not say that life is easy for you, having to go through this very sad and painful time for your beautiful Hammer and I really wish this new treatement will help him to cope with this horrible crualty. 

Regarding your letter to the RSPCA QLD, you definitly have done the right thing, people should be made aware of all the horrible effects of de-barking and not think that it is only a way to prevent a dog to bark. You have not received any acknowledgement so far, please Suzan do not stop here with this person, send the letter back and back again until someone will answer to you. In order to avoid problems it is easy to ignore a letter, but more difficult to ignore a letter sent every month ... You are a great fighter Suzan, I really admire you and I know one day you will be successful. Congratulations for your hard work, and in between let's hope Hammer will soon benefit from his natural treatment. What happened to Hobson? Hope it is not too bad. All the very best to you and your beautiful boys.




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