In 2008, a total of
88,770 purebred dogs were registered with the AKC that might have had
their ears cropped. Additionally, there are all the mixed breeds that
some think look "macho" with their cropped ears. Also there are
those breeds, not yet accepted by the AKC, that usually have their ears
From the above statistical data and from 2008 registration stats,
the magnanimity of permanent mutilation through cosmetic alteration is
The Problem is now of epidemic proportions!
It seems okay for the United States Congress to concern
themselves with the plights of 200 circus elephants, (who certainly do
deserve assistance), but why has the USA forgotten the plight of over
100,000 puppies, particularly since the number is certain to grow?
It is against the law to crop ears on dogs in so
many large and civilized countries like the UK, Scandinavia, Austria,
Germany, Israel, Singapore, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and is
not sanctioned in other places. Why are the veterinarians and kennel
club representatives in the United States so hesitant to act? They
continue to permit ear cropping and tail docking from so many purebred
Why have there not been more strict state and local laws to
protest this continuing inhumane animal cruelty? What can we all do, as
individuals, pet owners, dog breeders and exhibitors, professional dog
handlers, judges and all those connected with the business of working
with dogs, to come to the assistance of all of our canine friends, not
ONE of whom would ELECT (If they had free choice) to have their ears
chopped in half?
The purpose of this web site is to bring ear cropping
to the attention of all those interested in dog welfare and to provide
information about possible contacts that might assist with getting this
procedure stopped in the U.S.A.
Many of us have owned, raised and shown pure bred dogs and
have our own opinions about what is considered to be acceptable. Many
people seem determined that what we do to our own dogs is a matter of
choice (just as killing an unborn baby seems to be a matter of choice.)
However, we would hope to create a bit more of a humane attitude among
our dog-breeding colleagues so that they could admit that the forced
21st century mutilation of any animal is no longer necessary and is now
a matter of human ego status seeking! It provides no comfort nor is it
now needed to prevent ears being torn apart by boar hunts or ripped into by
We are providing information from the American
Kennel Club, the American Veterinary Medical Association, other canine
related organizations, the various breed clubs in the USA, and also
excerpts from published articles and books on this subject.
There are thousands of U.S. veterinarians making a
substantial living through cropping ears? Some clients will travel
across state lines in order to have this procedure done by 'expert'
hands. Can those who govern individual breed clubs dictate? Vets
already know the policies from breed clubs and what taking a firm stand
on this issue would cause. It would bring the practice of cropping ears
to a STOP. If the AVMA says they now oppose further ear crops by
licensed veterinarians, will the American Kennel Club now STOP allowing
any dogs to be in any of their dog shows or exibitions if their ears
have been cropped?
It would no longer matter what individuals thought or what
is in the written policies of the breed clubs. Unless, of course,
breeders wanted to continue to do illegal ear crops, puppy mill owners
want to keep on cropping ears when puppies are still babies (with
fingernail scissors and without any anesthetics), and others want to
continue plying the illegal drug trade by bringing anesthetics into
this country from outside sources (easily available from Vet supply
shops in Mexican border towns), or obtaining it from vets or doctors,
to perform crops, the inhumane practice could be stopped.
The Humane Society of the United States could put a stop to
this practice by stating a firm policy that the organization is opposed
to their members performing ear cropping and to all other forms of
cosmetic surgery if
senseless, inhumane and cruel! We could see it all stopped! A copy of a
letter from Mr. Caras, deceased President of the ASPCA, is included on
this Web site. This organization has been challenged to exert
influence to adhere to what the AKC says in its own policies: "dogs that
have been cosmetically altered may not be shown or exhibited in AKC
sanctioned events". The ASPCA tells us to "get the attention of
croppers and the AKC." However, the AKC ignores ear cropping by telling
us to revert back to the breed club individual standards, and some
breed clubs refuse to alter their standards, at least to provide
options, so that cropped or upright ears are not essential. There are no
regarding showing cropped ears! (see Breed Disqualifications click
Governor Schwarzenegger's native Austria has passed an
anti-cruelty law, one of Europe's harshest, that bans pet owners from
cropping their dogs' ears or tails, forces farmers to uncage their
chickens, and ensures that puppies and kittens no longer swelter in pet
shop windows. Violators are subject to fines of $2,420, and in cases of
extreme cruelty can be fined up to $18,160 and have their animals
seized by the authorities. Austria's new law also outlaws the use of
lions and other wild animals in circuses and makes it illegal to
restrain dogs with chains, choke collars or "invisible fences" that
administer mild electric shocks to confine animals.
In the US, unless and until it becomes illegal to crop ears
and dock tails, with the continued 'sanctioning' from the AKC, the
practices will continue. Perhaps it is time to act on the suggestion
from the former President of the ASPCA to "strike effectively!"
While ear cropping is considered to be, by far, the more cruel of the
mutilation/amputation processes, if it takes legislation to stop tail
docking in order to put a stop to ear cropping, then so be it! The
challenge for all of us is to contact our federal legislators, state
and local elected officials, and canine related groups to set an
example and let them know that we consider this to be a cruel procedure
that has to be
Those of you living in countries where these practices are
already illegal could help via e-mails, faxes, letters and phone calls.
Letters to the editors, to the media, to the daily columnists and to
canine publications would help. Included on this site is a complete list of breed data from
breed clubs, recognized by the American Kennel Club, that crop dogs'
ears. (A list is provided for breeds that dock tails and those marked
with an (*) are subjected to surgery at both ends...ears and tails!) We
have included addresses of
organizations and individuals that merit being contacted with
the expectation that some action be taken.
Some dogs that normally would have been subjected to having
their ears cropped are now being shown with natural ears. If their ears
have to stand on their own for AKC, they still can be shown under CFI
or FCI breed standards in international shows, now being held in
America (see IABCA).
In the past several years, a natural eared Boxer has been shown to BIS,
a Great Dane was in the top 10 with natural ears, several Miniature
Pinschers have obtained their championships, and more Boston Terriers
are going into the Non- Sporting Group without having their whole ears
chopped in half because someone thought their heads looked more slim
and trim with cropped ears! With the popularity of the Brussels "Jill"
in the film As Good As It Gets and her natural ears,
some breeders of that toy variety are now refusing to crop. There's an
exceptional breeder exhibitor and judge who has quit ear cropping, and
tail docking, with all of her Affenpinschers. They are also being
shown... and winning...with FULL TAILS.
natural-eared Brussels Griffon
from the movie As Good As It Gets
We need to compliment and encourage judges who recognize and
give wins to dogs before them with natural ears, or with full tails, or
both! Obviously, we do not want the overall quality of the whole dog to
be compromised, but we also do not need to continue to try to make a
champion out of a 'pet' that could not get an AKC point until its ears
got cropped. If ears are too large, too heavy, too poorly placed on a
head, or a whole lot of other problems, it should not suffice to be
to just cut ears half off and then state, "Now we have a show dog. Oh,
Here are Collies with
ears weighted, to help them fold.
Dog owners, it seems,
aren't content to leave natural ears
alone. This photo of a collie with manipulated ears shows weighted ear
results. When will we decide not to make dogs into our ego-centric,
of what looks good? Watch Dog Getting Ear Cropped click here!
Veterinarians need to stop greeting new puppy owners with
the words "You better be getting those ears cropped! It will be too
late if you put it off much longer!" Here is a new owner, with their
prized addition to the family, being told they HAVE to have the ears
cropped because that's the way it's done with that breed! Too many
puppy owners come back crying when they see the effects of what they
have paid high prices to have done to their young puppies. Many dogs
have gone head crazy, had ear infections, developed lifelong seizures,
and also appear to be aware that you really do not love them. Cropping
ears is not an act of love! *AKC and/or AVMA need to make
available a video on cosmetic alterations, procedures and results.