A dog lover from Gloucestershire is arguing that a lurcher puppy he wants to adopt should not be castrated. Peter Martin and his wife Tina want to give a home to nine-month-old Humbug, but a rescue charity says its policy is to castrate all dogs before adoption. Mr Martin, from Tetbury, disagrees and believes the dog should have a vasectomy instead. Greyhound Rescue West of England says a vasectomy is not a recognised procedure for dogs.
Rachel Grocott, chief executive of the Somerset-based charity, said: "There
is a huge problem in this country with there being too many dogs in need of good
homes. We are a rescue, rehoming and welfare charity and we cannot possibly
contribute to that problem. The only way of ensuring we don't contribute to that
problem is to castrate dogs to make sure that they cannot father puppies in the
future." Mr Martin, who says he has owned lurchers for 18 years, wants Humbug to have
a vasectomy rather than having the testicles removed completely.
He said: "Having his testicles affects the way other dogs relate to him and
the way he relates to other dogs, and it is not fair to mutilate animals on
ideological grounds pretending that it is something to do with medical
grounds. There are no good medical reasons for castrating a dog unless you can see
the symptoms first. I've made them an offer which they haven't responded to, to let us have
Humbug intact for four months, until an inspection, and if he has turned into an
aggressive sexual predator with testicular cancer by then, then fine, they can
"But if he hasn't then let's just give him the snip and not the chop." The British Veterinary Association says there is "merit in both arguments"
but that vasectomies are not routinely performed in dogs. President-elect Robin Hargreaves said: "Population control is the main reason
that many rehoming charities have a castration policy. A vasectomy is likely to
be a more expensive procedure and less reliable than castration."