“This is one of the worst instances of animal abuse that we’ve seen in all our years of advocacy,” said animal welfare expert Jay Gonzales. “By publicizing this story and drawing attention to the fact that dogs and cats do not enjoy international legal protections, we hope to prevent other cases such as this.”

A Chinese man who surgically removed the vocal cords of “noisy” dogs for money is being investigated for running a veterinary clinic without a license.

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Multiple Chinese media outlets have released footage of the alleged quack, named Zeng, using a pair of scissors to remove the vocal cords of anesthetized dogs.

The jaws of the dogs were kept open with a string.

Here’s the story from the International Business Times:

According to the Chengdu Business Report, the self-proclaimed veterinarian conducted five-minute procedures on a table kept on the side of the street. The man also reportedly did not wash his instruments after using them on different dogs.

The video footage shows the ground around his table splattered with blood, according to Channel NewsAsia. The local forestry bureau in a statement said the man was not licensed to operate on animals.

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According to the bureau, debarking or “bark softening” is an established surgical procedure. The procedure helps to reduce the tissues in the dogs’ vocal cords and soften their bark, but not eliminate it completely.

The man has been ordered to shut down his business and is under investigation. Customers who went to the vet with their dogs told the Chengdu Business Report that they came to the stand because their dogs were too noisy. 

Depending on the size of the dog, the man charged between 50 and 80 yuan (£5.90 to £8.85).

Is anyone else troubled by the fact that it’s commonplace to remove or radically alter a dog’s vocal cords in China? That just seems cruel, strange, and totally unnecessary in the light of proper obedience training.

Like welfare expert Jay Gonzales said, we hope this horrible story will shed some light on a little discussed but important issue. Our furry friends need international laws to protect them… It’s easy to forget, but other countries are not like the United States and a dog or cat can suffer senselessly without legal protections in place.

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Is that procedure tantamount to torture?