Tetbury dog lover Peter Martin slates Greyhound Rescue West of England’s castration rule
A DOG lover from Tetbury has launched a scathing attack on a dog rescue charity for insisting a nine-month-old puppy be castrated.
Peter Martin and his wife Tina had hoped to re-home lurcher puppy Humbug from the charity Greyhound Rescue West of England (GRWE) but had asked that the dog be given a vasectomy rather than being castrated.
Although Mr Martin argued castration can have a number of negative impacts of a dog’s health – including impeding growth and increasing risk of prostate cancer – the charity refused.
Mr Martin said he had his wife were “really shocked” by the charity’s attitude.
“We are well aware there are too many dogs in the world and never suggested for a minute that he shouldn't be sterilised,” he said.
“However, we were appalled not just by their lack of real knowledge about how to care for dogs but also by the stubborn, bureaucratic way they reacted to what was a perfectly reasonable suggestion.
Mr and Mrs Martin – who have owned dogs for the past 18 years – said they had offered to pay for the procedure and have cited a 2007 report by Laura Sanborn of Rutgers University which found castration can significantly increase risk of bone cancer if carried out before the dog is one year old.
The report also found, while castration eliminates risk of testicular cancer, it also quadruples risk of prostate cancer, triples risk of obesity, as well as increasing the risk that the dog will suffer from heart diseases.
In a statement on its website GRWE said it was “saddened” by Mr Martin’s campaign and that it was it usual policy to castrate rescue dogs.
“This policy is primarily to ensure that dogs cannot father puppies so that rescue dogs are not further contributing to the huge issue of abandoned dogs in this country - thousands of whom are destroyed every year,” it read.
It added experts had confirmed castration would protect Humbug from testicular cancer as well as sexual behaviour, while vasectomy was a “less reliable” procedure.
“We reassure all of our supporters, volunteers and re-homers that we continue to act in the best interests of needy dogs,” it added.
Mr Martin said he was planning to start a petition to ask the government to remove a legal exception to the Animal Welfare Act 2006 which allows castration of dogs.
“We have nothing against dog rescue charities, they do a great job, generally,” he said.
“However, we feel GRWE handled this process really badly.
“We’ve always had happy dogs and they’ve always had their testicles.”