Judge Orders Return of Testicles to Neutered Dog

By Maria Castillo

A federal judge in New York has ruled that a Brooklyn dog, neutered against his will in January, may reclaim his testicles from the veterinary clinic where they were surgically removed. Following the operation, the clinic preserved the two testes in a refrigerator pending the outcome of a lawsuit over their fate.

In a 19-page decision released Wednesday, Judge Sharon Rosencrantz argued that the dog’s “ownership stake in its testicles” was far greater than the proprietary claims made for them by the dog’s owners.

“The canine scrotum is not a zip-lock bag to be opened and emptied of its gonads as if they were wrinkled grapes left uneaten in a child’s lunch box,” Judge Rosencrantz wrote. “The reasons given for plundering a dog’s scrotum would seem to apply equally well to the human scrotum: namely that such neutering, by reducing testosterone, would help control 1) overpopulation, 2) inappropriate mounting of other dogs or people, 3) urine marking in the yard and on toilet seats, and 4) aggression: physical, financial, territorial. Yet, despite such reasons, we do not condone the neutering of men.”

The dog’s owners, Tim and Amanda Filbert, had irritated Judge Rosencrantz by maintaining, in a letter to the court, that “our dog’s nuts are ours to keep or dispose of as we wish — if it were our desire to salt them and serve them with cashews in a cabbage salad at a neighborhood potluck, we should have the right to do so.”

The dog’s lawyer, Gerald Foley of the Canine Civil Liberties Union, harshly criticized the Filberts, saying, “Such people ought to be spayed and neutered before bedtime today, denying them any chance of reproducing and possibly dragging the human species back to the Pleistocene era.”