Toccoa, Georgia – Remember late last year when a high school teacher in Stephens Co brought two cats to class and had students hold them down while he neutered them? The community rallied behind the teacher’s actions and the pound director seemed very apologetic about doing his job with regard to issuing a summons for two misdemeanor counts of animal cruelty. The message was clear: Toccoa is the place to play vet and get away with it, if you feel so inclined.
Another Stephens Co resident apparently felt so inclined and reportedly performed a do-it-yourself castration on her dog this month. Stephens County Sheriff Randy Shirley met with a judge and determined no criminal charges would be brought because the owner’s employment history includes work in the medical field. She reportedly made some effort to reduce the pain experienced by the dog as well as to minimize risk of infection. The article doesn’t provide any specifics but maybe she gave the dog an aspirin and washed her hands before cutting the dog open, I don’t know. The sheriff also found:
There is no direct evidence supporting the dog felt any particular level of pain during or after the procedure.
Translation: dogs can’t talk and cutting out testicles isn’t painful, probably.
But don’t try this at home:
However, Shirley says that while there may not be enough probable cause for a criminal charge in this particular case, he would like to remind everyone that this is not a procedure that just anyone should undertake.
Right. You should at least be a file clerk in a hospital or something. Then just strap your pets down and start cutting because it’s anything goes in Stephens Co I guess.
There is no mention of local animal control being involved in this investigation. Maybe they’ve given up any pretense of doing their jobs. And like the cat case, there is no mention of rabies vaccination and whether the state’s rabies law has been violated by these Vet for a Day yahoos.
How long before the dangerous precedent that has been set by local authorities results in someone attempting an at-home spay on some poor pet? Why isn’t AC acting as the voice of reason here and working to protect pets from harm in Stephens Co? Where is the area veterinary association to condemn these failures in the strongest possible terms and explain why pets should never be castrated by people who haven’t been to vet school?
(Thank you Teresa for sending me this story.)