opinion Elisa AllenDirector of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA).Friday 13 Jul 2018 12:00 pm
Kim Kardashian is known for her extravagant shopping sprees, but if news of her latest purchase is true – reportedly, she shelled out £10,000 on testicular implants for her dog Rocky to improve his self-esteem – she has gone too far, even by her standards.
Invented in the mid-90s, neuticles are false testicles for dogs (or cats, horses, or any other animals who can be neutered). In other words, theyre a form of plastic surgery for animals, which is misguided at best – and cruel at worst.
There are concerns that elective cosmetic surgeries may cause animals unnecessary stress and possibly lead to complications or other psychological reactions endangering their physical and emotional well-being.
When you consider that many animals become distressed when handled – even for routine procedures such as nail trimming – its clear that subjecting them to mutilations of any kind when theres no medical necessity for doing so cannot be justified.
This applies to frivolous cosmetic procedures just as much as it does to ear-cropping and tail-docking.
Our dogs love us regardless of the way we look. Why not extend the same kindness to them?
Of course, it would be great if people dedicated more money to helping animals. The sum that Kim forked out could have gone a long way towards helping to improve the lives of homeless dogs waiting for good homes in financially stretched animal shelters, providing animals whose guardians are on low incomes with much-needed veterinary care, or supporting spay/neuter programmes in her local community.
After all, dogs dont care about the concept of manliness – thats a human preoccupation, and we would do well to leave animals out of such vacuous pursuits.
Its worth noting that the only elective surgery that Kim and anyone else lucky enough to share their home with a dog should opt for is spaying or neutering.
Doing so prevents unwanted births – which is of the utmost importance, given the homeless animal crisis we currently face.
Approximately 6.5 million animals enter US shelters every year, and 1.5 million must be euthanised for lack of good homes. Countless others never make it to shelters and are left to die on the streets.
In the UK, too, around 3,000 dogs are euthanised every year because there are simply too many of them and not enough good homes to go around.
Desexing also has many health benefits: it eliminates females risk of uterine cancer and greatly reduces their risk of mammary cancer, and it prevents testicular cancer and reduces the risk of prostate cancer in males. Sterilised dogs are also much less likely to roam, fight, or bite.
Animal companions rely on their guardians to provide them with the best care possible, which includes rejecting potentially dangerous and, at the very least, uncomfortable cosmetic surgical procedures such as testicular implants.
In this day and age, given what we know about the benefits of neutering, its irresponsible to allow dogs to walk around with real testicles – and grotesque to parade them around with fake ones dangling behind them.
Helping animals means putting their interests first and taking steps to curb animal homelessness – not equipping them with ghastly fashion accessories.