Monday, October 30, 2006

Testicle Wars:
the Battle for Control of Your Dog's Balls

Plenty of dog owners are oblivious to the whole thing. Others, (ahem) particularly the gentlemen, prefer to squeeze their eyes shut and hope it will all go away. But skirmish lines formed long ago and it looks like the City of Tacoma, Washington, may be the next battlefield in the Testicle Wars.

I'm talking about the battle for control of your dog's balls. The move to force law-abiding dog owners with well-managed pets and workmates to surgically sterilize them.

The concept that the government can invade your home and decide which, if any, of your dogs get to keep their gonads, and which ones don't.

Can a bunch of strangers sitting on your city council determine that your blameless dog must undergo an invasive veterinary procedure which sends a part of your personal property to the garbage can?

Could this be just a minor snip-snip for ol' Rover? (And by the way, before you sign on to that particular theory, know that despite the bedtime story that mandatory spay-neuter advocates spin, the longterm effects of gonadectomies on dogs are not necessarily beneficial. Not by a long shot.)

Or is this an assault on the constitutionally guaranteed property rights of an estimated 45% of the U. S. electorate?

We the People

Turns out that the U. S. Constitution is gonzo about protecting property rights. The Fifth Amendment (which would be part of the Bill of Rights, guys) reads, in part:
No person shall be . . .deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

Then there's the 14th Amendment, which reads, in part: No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. . .

Like I said, completely gonzo when it comes to property. Talk about a core value. Right?

Ditching our constitutional rights

Meet Democratic Tacoma City Councilmember Julie Anderson.

She's the sponsor of the proposal to require all dogs (and cats) in Tacoma to be sterilized.

How did Julie use her recent media event opportunity? She tossed out a civil liberty, based on the U. S. Bill of Rights, like a used piece of Kleenex.

 [My proposal] basically states that having an unaltered animal is no longer a right or something you can just do.

That was her quote.

Blink. Owning a dog, without submitting it to surgical sterilization, is something I "just can't do" any more? Its "no longer a right"?

Hell you say.

Indicating that she's "sensitive to the property rights issues", Councilwoman Anderson nevertheless came down squarely on the side of PeTA and the Humane Society of the United States. Both are animal rights organizations that want to end domestic animal ownership. Wayne Pacelle, currently the CEO of the Humane Society of the United States, phrased it:

"One generation and out. We have no problems with the extinction of domestic animals. They are creations of human selective breeding."

 There's something about Julie

Here's Julie's pedigree, lifted from the City of Tacoma website:
Political Strategist for Planned Parenthood Votes! Washington
Executive Director of the YWCA of Pierce County
District Manager for the Dome District Neighborhood Business
District Executive Director of Faith Homes
Campaign Manager for Tacoma United For Fairness
Board of Directors of City Club Tacoma
PTA Board
American Leadership Forum fellow

  Tacoma United for Fairness? Do those fine people know how gung-ho Julie is about sending civil liberties to the trash heap and mandating $300 or so's worth of surgery for everyone's dog?

Who's going to pay for all of that surgery, anyway? What's the plan, Julie?

How are retirees and people with a limited income supposed to come up with the do-re-mi? Will cash-strapped dog owners, fearful of being caught with unauthorized testicles on the premises, try a "do-it-yourself" solution?

Its been known to happen, Julie.

And what if the surgery has an, uh, unhappy outcome? Assuming that ol' Rover even survives the anesthesia, will the City of Tacoma bear the expenses?

Oh, and during your networking sessions with the other fellows of the American Leadership Forum, did you let slip that many studies indicate that mandatory spay-neuter doesn't achieve the stated goal of reducing shelter populations? No?

Julie Anderson is up for re-election in 2007. She can be reached at and I, for one, will be writing to point out the error of her ways.

Love me, love me, love me. . .I'm a liberal

What is so freaking Democratic, liberal and progressive about kissing off our civil rights? I am just not getting this. I don't think Phil Ochs would have, either.

Joe Trippi, one of the Democratic Party's most visible strategic planners, benchmarked the progressive sell out of dog owners and alignment with the animal rights movement when he became Best Friends Animal Sanctuary's hired gun. So much for scruples, huh?

Coming soon to a municipality near you

Previous columns covered mandatory spay-neuter requirements in Albuquerque, New Mexico (with Democratic Mayor Chavez announcing his intention to promote the requirement statewide) and Los Angeles County, California.

The Golden State is a particularly tough place for dogs that retain all the parts they were born with--prime animal rights extremist organization PeTA lists quite a few California locations, including Belmont, Clearlake and San Mateo. Berkeley, Sacramento and Riverside County had mandatory sterilization proposals on the table this year. San Francisco--that beautiful city by the bay and bastion of liberal thinking--links mandatory sterilization with negative profiling for some miserable dogs and dog owners.

Yup. There are plenty of places in the Golden State where the presence of doggy gonads is going to cause major problems. But don't rest easy because you don't live in California.

Here's a little sampling of the shape of things to come across the country: Bloomington, and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and Buncombe County, North Carolina, have forced sterilization requirements. Austin, and San Antonio, Texas recently saw a mandatory spay-neuter proposal. Indianapolis, Indiana, too. So did the entire State of Virginia.

In New York City dogs that wind up at city shelters must be sterilized before they are returned to their owners. No matter how or why they got there.

Aurora and Denver, Colorado are so-called "no birth" cities.

The above is NOT a complete list of places that will try to force you to neuter your dog. There are more. You can run, but you can't hide. The Testicle Wars are coming to you, wherever you live.

Which side are you on, boys, which side are you on?

Which side are you on? A recent survey from My Dog Votes indicates that dog owners are more than ready to switch parties in local and state elections in order to save their dogs. Well, count me in! No way will I support a party that will force me to sterilize my dog, or that is willing to toss my property rights into the garbage. No freaking way.


Anonymous said...

Who the freak is Julie to dictate to me - a DEMOCRAT - how I should own or keep my dog, cat or bird. As a responsible pet owner, I am outraged at her position, as a Democart, I am insulted. Julie - how much money did PETA or HSUS donate to your campaign? If Democrats are now taking their marching orders from the likes of Ingrid Newkirk, I'd say it's time to switch parties.

SookeyCapote said...

You're absolutely right about mandatory spaying and castration being a violation of Constitutionally guaranteed property rights. Nice that you included New York City's requirement for any dog who winds up for any reason in a shelter to be spayed or castrated before his owner can take him/her back. It's a really bad joke, because with nearly all New Yorkers living in apartment housing, dogs are almost always taken out on leashes. It's really rare for a dog to be carelessly lost and wind up in a shelter here. Instead, the few dogs who do wind up temporarily in a city shelter are dogs rescued from house fires, traffic accidents, or sudden owner illness,
in other words, no fault of the owner. But as if the trauma of a house fire, traffic accident, or
illness weren't enough for the owner, he can't have his dog back unless he lets the (mostly very
inexperienced) shelter vets spay or
castrate the dog. Owner doesn't even get to choose the vet.

And for what? To prevent overbreeding? Hardly anyone in New
York City has the room or time for
breeding dogs or cats. In fact, most dog and virtually all cat owners spay or castrate their pets voluntarily for their own convenience.

But for the few of us dog owners whose dogs are high-risk for any
surgery or who think there's a point to keeping those hormones,
we have to live in terror that our dogs will someday be "rescued" and
mutilated, possibly even killed by
a city shelter.

SookeyCapote, New York, NY

Anonymous said...

Julie should be fired from her "Planned Parenthood" job.. as a former exeutive with this fine organization who ran FIVE clinics I remember well our motto CHOICE!!! PP supports it for people but I guess Julie just doesn't think any person should be able to make up their mind about CHOICE for their pet.. she wants to do it for them NO WAY Ms. Julie..
As a breeder and dog show judge, I will fight this one all the way to the Supreme Court.
I also had a dog die on the table while being "neutered" for this "health". Perhaps Julie would like to pay that bill. There is no way she could even repay my anguish and guilt over that situation.She will be getting as letter from me..

Anonymous said...

You wrote:
Oh, and during your networking sessions with the other fellows of the American Leadership Forum, did you let slip that many studies indicate that mandatory spay-neuter doesn't achieve the stated goal of reducing shelter populations?

Of course it doesn't reduce shelter populations! When shelter populations get reduced, the shelters just import dogs from Peurto Rico or Beruit. Nobody wants reduced shelter populations.


Anonymous said...

Additional information from a veterinarian:


Politically correct conventional wisdom is not
necessarily biologically correct. Also, old wives
tales regarding testicles and behavioral matters are
often just that.

The only true justifications for castrating dogs are
1) aggressive behavior toward other dogs in the same
household, and 2) perianal adenoma in old dogs.

Aggression to other dogs in situations outside the
house is pretty normal dog behavior. Appropriate
behavior. Since your dog will be on lead or inside a
secure fence at all times, there should be no problem
with dogs outside your household. However, if male
house mates fight, and both need to stay with you,
castration of one or both may solve the aggression
problems. If you fault your dog for being aggressive
to acquaintances while being walked on lead, you
should not. He is guarding you. That simple. Honorable
behavior. If you fault your dog for aggression in a
'dog park' where he is running free, or on the beach,
or in the woods, well shame on you; you're the one at
fault for risking his life in such an uncontrolled
situation. Dogs that can manage such encounters
without aggression are fine, but you cannot
automatically expect a dog to have friendly relations
with animals from outside his own 'pack'. It goes
against his whole evolution.

Perianal adenomas, benign but messy tumors in old dogs
may be treated by castration.

In terms of your dog's health, two overriding concerns
are present. Castration at an early age will cause the
dog to become overly tall, as the growth plates in the
long bones will not close at the appropriate time;
additionally, the dog will lack breadth of chest. The
combination of these two factors sets the stage for
your dog to have painful orthopedic problems. The OFA
has published articles on this subject. An early age
means below 1 year in small and medium sized dogs, and
below 2 to 2.5 years in large and giant breeds.

The statement that your dog will not automatically
gain weight is rubbish. Removing sexual hormones will
change his metabolism and make your dog more sluggish,
resulting almost inevitably in weight gain. Also,
muscle tone will decline after castration, and the
classic result of this is a fat dog in poor muscle
tone that ends up having a cruciate ligament rupture
in the knee. Can you avoid the consequences to weight
and condition? Sure in the ideal world it's possible,
but in the real world, the overwhelming proportion of
owners do not succeed in this endeavor.

The second concern regarding your dog's health is
highly malignant prostate cancer. Virtually all
malignant prostatic tumors in dogs occur in castrated
dogs. Castrating your dog puts him at risk for one of
the worst cancers he can get. While you remove the
very slight risk of testicular cancer in castrated
dogs, that's a small matter; the incidence of
testicular cancer is so minimal. Also, almost all
testicular cancers in dogs are benign. If we find a
testicular tumor, we normally remove the testicle with
the mass and leave the remaining one intact. The
relative incidence and severity of the tumors of the
prostate relative to tumors of the testicle makes the
decision to keep your dog intact a virtual no-brainer.
The information on the incidence prostatic
malignancies was obtained through a very large study
of the records at veterinary colleges. These findings
have been published for several years.*

Infection or inflammation of the prostate may occur in
intact male dogs that are chronically exposed to
bitches in heat. These are often worrisome to owners
who seem to confuse prostatitis with the more serious
prostate cancer. Prostatic infections are easily
treated, and not, per se, a reason for castration.

So, the bottom line is:
1. Never castrate your dog because it is
Politically Correct
2. Only castrate your dog if his home life is at
risk due to dog-to-dog
aggression, or if, at the age of 11 years or so,
he develops a perianal adenoma.

Mary C. Wakeman, D.V.M.
©2003 for BREEDERVET

Anonymous said...

what a pity you get so worked up about something you know nothing about. The Tacoma shelter has to put to sleep approximately 3 dogs or cats every single hour it is open. All they are trying to do is to put a temporary law on the books to try to get the dog/cat population down to where it is controllable - then they will repeal it. And no one every said you can't have an intact animal, you simply have to pay a little more, or, better yet, keep your dog from being picked up by animal control, which, if you are even close to being a responsible dog owner, shouldn't be too hard to do.

BlueDogState said...

Oh, my. My, my, my.

Anonymous writes:

All they are trying to do is to put a temporary law on the books to try to get the dog/cat population down to where it is controllable - then they will repeal it.

Are you saying this is supposed to be an experiment?

That's a comforting thought.

And no one every said you can't have an intact animal

Which part of “This basically states that having an unaltered animal is no longer a right or something you can just do,” she said" are you having a problem with?

you simply have to pay a little more, or, better yet, keep your dog from being picked up by animal control

Wrong again. Tacoma already has significant licensing differential costs, and a leash law linked to mandatory sterilization, and surprise, surprise, there are still complaints about the shelter population.

Strong-arming good dog owners into surgically sterilizing their pets has little or no impact on shelter populations. As licensing costs go up, especially when linked to onerous other requirements, compliance actually goes DOWN.

Will Tacoma also invest in an "anti-pet Gestapo" going door-to-door searching for illicit gonads?

Cause that don't work:

Or will they choose to get serious about a proactive, voluntary spay-neuter and education program?

And leave the ability of law-abiding dog owners to make veterinary care decisions about their dogs --not to mention their constitutional rights --alone?

Anonymous said...

Can I put some excerpts from this on my web site? I would be happy to email you what I would like to use and give you the link. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Can I put excerpts from this on my web site? I would be happy to email you what I would like to use and give you the link for your approval. Thanks!

BlueDogState said...

You are certainly welcome to quote articles from Blue Dog State. Please just link back here so that people can refer to the source for further information if they want to.

thanks for asking!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for finally voicing what people on the streets of Tacoma have been saying since the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled the Frunz v. City of Tacoma case was frivolous

What is that you say? That the City Council tried to take away your CIVIL LIBERTIES. That's right friends in Seattle and Tacoma.

Your council of educated idiots, wanted take away your rights.

Facts of the case: TPD cops barge into Frunz's home unannounced, guns drawn, handcuff the owner for one hour, find out she actually owns the house (imagine that), and then says: "Never mind" and leaves.

The entire city council should be recalled.

Why you ask? Because they took a fricken oath of office to protect the constitution of the United States and the State of Washington. Look it up!

Catcher; Councilwoman Anderson's ex-spouse was one of the cops in this case. So, I ask, did she influence this appeal for her ex-spouse?

I suggest she and her cronies study the constitution and resign from office!

Watch your balls out there, she and the council will snap them too.

FUBAR in North Tacoma; Democrat

Anonymous said...

You note: "Having an unaltered animal is no longer a right or something you can just do." - Julie Anderson (Tacoma City Council)

This woman can't even keep a man with balls in her house without having them leave. She has to replace her spouse with phony made up stories of NOW having a pet (dog).

This is the biggest joke printed in the a long time. A good ploy to get people to THINK you like dogs and improve your tarnished, image.

Vote No Anderson - Pet owners united for justice (North Tacoma AKC assoication)

Anonymous said...

Blue Dog, Did you know Ms. Julie is an applicant for the Pierce County Auditor's vacant position? She would now monitor all your dog licensing if selected. North end dog owners are united to not have her selected as Queen of dog licensing for Tacoma, Pierce County. Mark N. Tacoma.