This may be one of the ugliest and most unpleasant stories I’ve written about, but it’s necessary because it speaks to an ongoing problem in the pet community.
According to the SPCA and PETA, a practice known as “home neutering” has been taking hold in the domestic pet community.
Back in late October, the Saskatchewan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (in Canada) spoke out against what it saw as a rash of cases involving pet owners neutering their dogs with elastic bands.
“This is not an acceptable practice in dogs,” Kaley Pugh, the society’s manager of protection services, said. “They really do suffer a lot when you do this to them.”
In the province of Saskatchewan, officials found five cases of home neutering with dogs developing what could best be termed “serious complications” from forced testicular strangulation.
The injuries to the dogs were described as “horrific” and the SPCA described plans of prosecuting owners through Canada’s Animal Protection Act and the Criminal Code of Canada.
So-called “elastrator bands” have been used to neuter livestock for some time now, but some unfortunately dim pet owners have apparently taken to using the rubber band devices to neuter their dogs because they couldn’t afford to pay for a veterinarian to do it properly.
It should be obvious to any caring pet owner or human being as to why this procedure is flat-out wrong. It is incredibly cruel, but apparently there are still questions in the minds of some pet owners as to its legality.
Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice-president of PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department, makes no bones about it: “I want people to understand that this is illegal. And to make sure there are no copycat cases.”
There Are Cases In The U.S. As Well
There have also been cases of home neutering around the United States, with notable cases from Montana and elsewhere making the news. According to reports, a golden retriever puppy in Maryland was a victim as well. There is also at least one case detailed in the incredibly depressing Animal Abuse Case database.
The reality is that people do all sorts of sickening and stupid things to their pets. Home neutering is vile and wrong on so many levels, yet it persists among pet owners who should quite frankly not be pet owners. Owning and loving a pet is not something you enter into lightly and neutering a pet is not something you simply do yourself.
While we focus on older dogs here for the most part, it’s important to remember that we are all part of a larger community of animal lovers. When an animal is hurting, we are hurting. And when we hear about disgusting practices used by disgusting pet owners to cruelly and stupidly harm their dogs, we get angry.
A final word of advice: if you’re considering using a rubber band or “elastrator” on your dog for home neutering; do me a favor and try it out on yourself first!