Puppy Seized Due To Anti-Bark Collar

A puppy has been seized from a woman by an animal shelter because of a collar on her boyfriend’s dog. The woman took her own puppy to the shelter to be examined because he was not eating. The animal shelter manager then told the woman that she couldn’t take her puppy home because her boyfriend’s dog (who accompanied her to the shelter) was wearing an anti-bark collar that sprays citronella into his face when he barks.

The animal shelter manager stated that: “we believe that negative reinforcement is not humane, and it is stated in our contract.” He said that he could not be certain that the collar would not be used on the puppy. The puppy will be available for adoption after seeing a vet. The woman has filed a complaint with the state department of agriculture.

16 Responses to “Puppy Seized Due To Anti-Bark Collar”

  1. trucorgi says:

    If Daniel Mourlas of Save-A-Pet animal shelter believes that the training method being used on the OTHER dog is cruel, then he should have offered what he considers an effective method of training. Especially since experts disagree with him.
    Taken from “Shelby Marlo’s New Art of Dog Training”

    Citronella bark collars are not cruel. However, it is cruel to get rid of a dog because his incessant barking makes your or your neighbor’s lives miserable, It is also cruel to continually yell at and punish a dog that barks. When other attempts to quiet your dog fail, using a citronella bark collar is not an outrageous tactic. It is more humane to use a bark collar on your dog than it is to give him up, or worse, put him to sleep simply because he barks.
    Dogs for dummies
    There are many ways to stop a dog from barking. But the solution which offers the best battle against barking is the anti-barking citronella spray collar. The spray collar made a big step when a trainer recommended the collar on the television show Oprah. Since then the collar is in demand everywhere.

    It is a good alternative to the shock collar which is cruel and which should not be used without guidance from trainers.
    Dog friendly dog training by Andrea Arden
    Page: 181

    A wonderful training aid is the Aboistop collar. When your dog barks, the collar squirts a citronella spray in front of your dog’s nose. As the dog sniffs, he stops barking. The collar is extremely effective with most dogs.
    Citronella collars are an extremely useful and humane tool to stop unnecessary recreational or nuisance barking. They use a sensor that detects the vibration of the dog’s throat when he barks. They then emit a spray of citronella under the dog’s chin. Citronella is harmless and has been veterinarian approved. Citronella is an essential oil distilled from plants. Most people find it pleasant smelling; however, many dogs find it distracting. The citronella anti-barking collar was invented in France and is distributed in the United States by ABS (Animal Behavior Systems).

  2. straybaby says:

    wow. that’s a *bit* over the top! i’d like to see their anti-cruelty law that gives them the right to seize a pet that hasn’t been abused!

    While I’m not a huge fan of the collars, as part of a training program, they beat the heck out of many of the alternatives. So what we have here is a woman who takes her puppy to the vet because she’s concerned about it’s health and a boyfriend who is working on keeping his dog from being a nuisance? Is this what I’m reading?! When did this become a bad thing?!

  3. Compcat says:

    I think this article sort of left something out. The only reason they could take the puppy for something like this is if she adopted the puppy from them, and was violating the adoption contract. Enforcing an adoption contract is still pretty sticky, and in this case, the shelter doesn’t even have any proof of wrongdoing on the part of the actual adopter, unless the contract covered all animals in the household.

    Nice way to encourage adopters to hide problems. She should have taken this dog to her own veterinarian.

  4. petslave says:

    They better clarify their negative reinforcement definition–these collars are sold as the HUMANE alternative to shock collars (excuse me, electrostatic collars). Some of the vets offices I’ve been to sell them. Geez, I’d try to sue the h-ll out of them I they did that to me.

  5. Katie says:

    Petslave is right; they need to clarify the definition of “negative reinforcement”. The citronella collar causes no harm to dogs. One of the number one reasons dogs get dumped in shelters is because they are barkers and neighbors have complained. Rather than solve a problem - owner dumps the dog. Isn’t it better that this man took the resposibility for his barking dog and tried to remedy the problem as humanely as possible so that he could keep his pet. That is one less dog in the shelter waiting to be euthanized. Perhaps the shelter needs to rethink it’s so called policy.


  6. petslave says:

    since it’s a puppy, they will be able to adopt it out again easily & get twice as much money

    sorry that’s so negative, but i volunteered at small private shelters & there is a certain amount of judging which animals can be placed quickly & thus bring in more money for less outlay vs. ones the shelter will be ’stuck with’ for a longer time. Quickly adopted list - small dogs, kittens & puppies less than 3 months old, 6-toed cats, long haired cats, white cats (NOT black cats or dogs, NOT adult older animals).

    I used to joke that the group should breed & sell small dogs to support the rest of the shelter work since there was a backlog of 50 people waiting to adopt small dogs & no one wanted the big ones. That joke didn’t go over well, but it was true–we used to get some really nasty small dogs with terrible socialization, housebreaking & even major health problems that would get adopted in less than a day. Then we had the most lovable, sweet, gentle big dogs that got passed by for months.

  7. Purina Puke says:

    I have to agree with petslave about which animals get adopted quickly. I voluntered at a humane society for awhile and I saw a definite pattern close to what that.

    At the humane society I went to, puppies and kittens went first. Purebred looking animals went second. Cute animals especially small ones went third.

    Anything left over was hard to adopt out, especially the large dogs. The shelter was not exactly NICE to say the least. I ended up adopting a cat from it and she was such a mess I had to take her to a vet because she was crawling with different kinds of parasites.

    The shelter was full of animals covered in fleas, running with mice, a bunch of old cans of spoiled food, and the poor dogs with long hair were so matted whoever got THEM would have to shave them and regrow out the hair because it was ruined.

    Thankfully, recently not only did this shelter get funded, but they are also building a new one and it’s also getting funded. Another animal control also was also hired. Hopefully things will continue to improve.

  8. Deb says:

    Also a dog trainer, for 30+ years myself, I agree this is indeed wrong to take this womans puppy from her.
    Sure training methods have changed through the years as we’ve learned more about dogs and how they learn and why.
    This “is” a humane method.
    But one thing I did not read here from comments is how all this BSL going on, and this suppossedly cruel training method is not just absurd, it is a bid to try and take away our civil libertys. To own dogs of any breed and train them is my right. Whatever happened to the right to pursue happiness etc. etc. ?????
    Is this China or is it the USA?

  9. trucorgi says:

    Here’s the problem: She didn’t own the dog. Everyone should be aware that when you take Guardianship of an animal, you have no rights and no ownership. IMO when “animal rescue” people do this they send good people to the pet stores who otherwise try to offer a home to a rescue dog. This is very wrong on many levels.
    She signed a temporary GUARDIANSHIP agreement and planned to fully adopt the dog after it was spayed at 6 months.
    Even though the collar wasn’t on Chaos, and Albarran offered to GIVE Save-A-Pet the collar, Mourlas said he couldn’t be 100 percent sure it would not be used on the puppy.

  10. petslave says:

    Wow, interesting contract idea. Ours just said if you refused to have your pet spayed/neutered through the organization (or they could go to their own vet if they wanted to pay for it out of their pocket), then the pet could be reclaimed by the rescue group. For each adoption, we set up the spay/neuter appointment with the vet we used & the fee was included in the adoption fee, so it worked most of the time.

  11. Phyllis says:

    So, friends, you think this is bad? Over-zealous and crooked people (pet slave’s comments re: confiscation cause puppies are easier to place) abound in positions of authority.

    Child Protective Services in some (most?) states do this too. I personally know of a case where after the 48 hour hearing the judge said they could be returned to the mother at the discretion of the Social Worker with proof the natural father was not in the home (subsequently provided). The four syblings were kept in Confidential Foster Homes (more money for the county and the 3 foster moms involved) for 6 months. One “mom,” let her son hit the lonely little boy who was never allowed to call his mom, another “mom” had a drug addict teenage son in the home with the 15 year old sister, and the third “mom” led her charges in belittling, ridiculing, and emotionally abusing any of the girls that did not meet her standards. She turned sister against sister in order to gratify her craziness. (She also did not let them enter her living room except to clean it for her, did not give them juice but Kool-aid, inisisted the oldest sister be removed after picking on her incessantly, then led them in making fun of her after she was gone etc. etc.)

    When the parent complained to CPS and the children’s lawyer, she was redirected, told she was exaggerating etc. When she wrote a letter it was ignored etc.

    The natural mother (a church going devoted mom) was pregnant. She was told they would not file for custody of her baby. Well, they did! But by this time the judge was maybe beginning to see that something was weird about the whole set up, so he allowed them to have jurisdiction, but the baby was left in the the mother’s care. (Maybe because she was breastfeeding?) The family had many problems stemming from this experience! If I did not have first hand knowledge I would never have believed the whole crazy story had I heard it.

    WE ALL NEED TO STAND UP FOR THE RIGHT! I am glad this story made it to the news so pressure can be brought to bear. Where can we write directly to comment on this high-handed behavior and hopefully have this lady get her puppy back, and KEEP THIS FROM HAPPENING AT THIS PLACE AGAIN?

  12. kaefamily says:

    I was told to use the shock collar to stop our lit’ doggie’s incessant barking. I was totally against that idea for it reminded of the mistreatment of mental patients few decades ago. I went for the spray collar instead. Our 6 year old terrier mutt is getting better. Still, I will be taking him to doggie’s training school.

  13. Grav_ says:

    Let Bill Buy It is an consumer product test segment on a local (though not to me) TV station. He seemed to have good luck with the Bark Free:


  14. no bark collars says:

    True enough, the use of dog collars such as no bark collars that are effective, humane and safe for controlling unwanted barking can be beneficial to your pet dogs.

  15. Brandon says:

    In personal opinion anti-bark shock dog collars are humane when needed. I have a Miniature Pinscher dog, if you don’t know what that is, think of a small dog that is slow to learn, barks all day and cannot stand being alone. I have been a avid dog lover and have owned 4 dogs in my life time, one at a time. All of my previous dogs were wonders to train and obedient as hell. After i got my last dog, the min pin, i needed to reconsider ever having another dog. My dog Kyle, barks all day long at everything and anything and the worst part is it doesn’t stop. So i tried everything from bark training courses, to citronella, and finally the shock collar. First problem solution, citronella, my dog doesn’t mind it, in fact he licks the citronella off the floor after it sprays, go figure the dog that likes to eat oranges wouldn’t mind citronella. So that didn’t help… I then moved to the bark collar, it worked for a few days until he got used to it and didnt mind the shock, hes like the energizer bunny… keeps going and going and going. So finally in a last resort, after all else failed and the police leaving 2 notices on my door step that neighbors were complaining, i had to have him debarked. I think my circumstances may have been extreme, however i do not believe it is inhumane to use a shock collar. My philosophy is what ever is necessary to keep your animal in a safe and loving home, even if it means minor discomfort to the pet. If i had to give him u to the pound because of his barking, i’m sure that would have much more devastating effects on the dog then having a slight jolt or cords cut. I love my dog and he loves me, i know this because as much as we have both been through, we still sleep in the same bed and he still licks me every morning to wake up. Thats love.

  16. Rorschach says:

    I had a Siberian Husky previously, and he had a really bad barking/howling problem. I tried everything to alleviate its stress level, making sure it’s got plenty of excercise, turning on the tv/radio, etc., being home as much as I can (I was a student then so had more home time) but to no avail. He barks almost as soon as I leave the house no matter the duration, and my neighbors’ patience were wearing thin. I consulted the trainer and she recommended the shock collar, and the result was instant. I was able to keep the dog and he lived out his life with me.

    I can definitely understand how it can be seen as cruel and certainly uncomfortable. But it is a minor shock– I know because I tried it on myself :D. My dog’s reaction is generally scratching at the spot of irritation. BUT with that said, the shock collar should not be seen as a lazyman’s solution. You cannot just strap a collar on the dog and leave it home alone all day without giving it adequate excercise, obedience training, and attention to release all the pent-up energy. What these collars offer is the ability to correct the dog consistently without you being there. And by not barking, it stops the dog’s stress level from elevating.

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