Massachusetts is one of the first states to pass a law banning surgery that removes the vocal cords of dogs and cats. Dog breeders often perform surgery on dogs to keep them quiet, but animal advocates claim that such mutilation is cruel.

“To take the voice of an animal would be the equivalent of taking a person’s voice or a person’s ability to communicate,” said Brian Adams, spokesman for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA).

The next time your cat howls in the middle of the night, remember that at least in Massachusetts, it’s illegal to surgically remove your cat’s vocal cords. You can, hover, still fantasize about having a cat that’s quiet most of the time.

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