According to USA Today, Banfield ( a group of Animal hospitals) is refusing to dock tails,crop ears, or allow devocalization of a dog's bark.
USA Today reports this quote from Banfield:
"After thoughtful consideration and reviewing medical research, we have determined it is in the best interest of the pets we treat, as well as the overall practice, to discontinue performing these unnecessary cosmetic procedures," says Karen Faunt, vice president for medical quality advancement. "It is our hope that this new medical protocol will help reduce, and eventually eliminate, these cosmetic procedures altogether."
The hospitals will continue to carry out the surgeries on pets for which it is medically necessary, she says." end quote~
The procedures have been controversial for sometime, and the shift in attitudes will hopefully take away these standards. The AKC is not happy about the trend, but there is an increasing amount of pet owners who do not like to see their pets bandaged due to the procedures, and would gladly stop them if their dogs could still win in the ring.
Ear cropping and tail docking originally started due to practical need. The tails were docked to protect hunting dogs as they ran through brush. The ear docking came from the need to prevent dogs ear from injuries whose primary work was protection. Long ears were easily infected in fights with wild animals.
from Merry Murphy Pet Sitters, "trusted pet care for when you are away"