A dog owner has slammed the North Carolina assistant district attorney’s “inhumane” and “crazy” suggestion that he should have his pet’s vocal cords surgically removed to precent it from barking.

Michael Eddings says the shocking proposal was made by the Graham County District Attorney's Office during a court appearance on Tuesday (May 31), according to WLOS-TV.

Eddings’s neighbours have made multiple noise complaints about his eight-stone Pyrenean Mountain Dog, Leo.

"He said that if you have the vocal cords removed surgically, they would drop all charges," Eddings said. "It's crazy… it is inhumane.”

Catie Cryar, a spokesperson from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), agrees with him, telling Newsweek that the debarking procedure is "cruel and unnecessary," because it robs dogs of their way to communicate.

The operation is not only cruel, but it’s potentially dangerous. Side effects of the procedure include swelling in the throat that can cause choking and respiratory infections.

Losing the ability to bark can also do serious psychological harm to the dog.

PETA said: “Because this procedure is unnecessary and inherently cruel, many veterinarians condemn it and refuse to perform it."

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The debarking operation is banned in the UK, and all countries that have signed the European Convention for the Protection of Pet Animals.

It’s also outlawed in a number of US states.

Eddings admits that Leo’s barking can carry for long distances, as he’s a sizeable nine-stone dog with powerful lungs, but he’s not the only noisy dog in his neighbourhood.

"I have a neighbour that has three or four dogs that bark," he said. "And my neighbour across the street has dogs that bark. So, I think singling us out for one dog is a little ridiculous."

He told WLOS-TV that he has been hit with noise violation citations totalling over $750 (almost £600).

“We’re willing to negotiate,” Eddings said. “We’ll put up a fence, things like that, but I’m not going to put on a barking collar and I’m not going to have surgery.”

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