Those who crop should ask their vet if they can take a video of the procedure. Breeders should have films to show all prospective puppy owners. Ear cropping doesn’t seem to be taught in most of the American veterinary colleges. These students may go through years of training and graduate not knowing how to crop ears, unless they start practicing with a vet that already crops ears. There are many vets in this country who refuse to crop ears, sometimes whole communities are without a vet that crops.

The majority of those vets who do crop do an unsatisfactory job! They seem to have three patterns: small, medium, large and those determine the amount to slice off the ears. Some don’t take the one portion just chopped off and lay it over onto the other ear so that they get the ears cropped evenly. They have little concept of head sizes and shapes, whether to elongate, to shorten, to broaden… Too many ears will either drop back over due to being too long or will sit there is short stubs that cause a freakish look for the rest of that dog’s life, and will inhibit the dog’s interactions with other dogs.

Dogs communicate with each other using, among other methods, ears and tails, and ear cropping and tail docking affects these communication signals. Ear placements and tail presence are as much a part of a dog’s ability to react to each other as are their eye contacts.

Far worse are those puppy mill owners who just crop ears on baby puppies, whether pure breeds or mongrels. Their results fill pet stores!

All humane and animal activists need to try to initiate actions that will cause a halt to ear cropping in the USA.

Our task would be helped immeasurably if there were an agency that looked after animal welfare. The Michael Vick dogfighting trial (with several cropped-eared pit bulls seized and now rehabilitated) put animal cruelty in the spotlight. Animal abuse is everyone’s problem, including ear cropping. We would like to propose an organization called Animal Protective Services, similar to Child Protective Services. A federal and/or state Animal Protective Services agency devoted to animals would discourage ear cropping, tail docking, and all sorts of mutilation. The Animal Protective Services organization would promote natural ears and help educate the dog-owning public about how to help natural ears stand, much as we have done. Write your state and local government officials, and your representatives in Congress!

Until we have an active Animal Protective Services, will continue to help all who care about animal welfare to take action.

We have tried to provide names and locations, as available, to quote sources, and to cross reference to other animal areas. With aid from activists, breeders, pet owners, readers, humane friends of canines, legislators and other elected officials, concerned veterinarians, journalists, media experts, photographers, writers, teachers in classrooms, foreign canine colleagues and consultants, we can conquer this practice, state by state if necessary. It is no longer acceptable to pass the buck!