The MSPCA-Angell opposes cosmetic and other non-beneficial surgeries, which are defined as surgeries that are not intended to prevent, alleviate, or cure a medical condition, but rather to alter the animal according to owner preference.
These include surgeries intended to alter an animal’s appearance, such as ear cropping and tail docking in dogs, or to disguise a real or perceived imperfection.
Non-beneficial surgeries also include those that are intended to alter an animal’s natural behavior, such as devocalization of dogs and declawing of cats. The MSPCA-Angell believes that although there may be some natural behaviors that can be disruptive, inconvenient, or even destructive, a responsible pet owner will adjust to these natural characteristics and behaviors and will provide socialization and training so as to maintain a comfortable relationship that is beneficial to the animal and the owner.
It is understood that surgical procedures normally considered cosmetic or non-beneficial, such as ear cropping, tail docking, or declawing, may be performed for valid medical reasons due to an injury or malignancy.
Therefore, the MSPCA-Angell will:
- prohibit cosmetic and other non-beneficial surgeries from being performed in our medical facilities.
- educate the public regarding the reasons cosmetic and other non-beneficial surgery should not be done on animals.
- consult with pet owners and offer alternatives to those who are seeking cosmetic and other non-beneficial surgeries for their animal.