New methods of pet ‘pampering’ include fake testicles and facials
People and their pets often end up resembling each other, but image-obsessed Americans are taking that age-old relationship a step further, treating their four-legged friends to everything from spa facials to testicle implants.
In a nation of surgically enhanced human breasts, teeth and skin, perhaps it was just a matter of time before the beauty stakes were raised for pooches and cats.
One end of the spectrum features dogs like Hops, a Maltese terrier who recently was given a blueberry facial, followed by a blow dry, and tooth brushing with chicken-flavored paste, at Manhattan’s Downtown Doghouse spa.
Groomer Ani Corless described this as the new normal for lapdogs.
“These are man-made breeds and they require maintenance,” she said.
Mid-facial, Hops ejected a tiny puddle of vomit, but otherwise did seem to enjoy the attention.
More extreme — and painful — makeovers are also gaining ground.
New York Republican lawmaker Nicole Malliotakis says animals are subjected to tattoos, earrings, nose rings, chin rings, tummy tucks, even facelifts.
Owner of two Chihuahuas called Peanut and Olympia, Malliotakis has proposed a law to ban cosmetic alterations to pets in New York state, calling this “a form of animal cruelty.”
“I would never think of putting my dog through any of these procedures,” she told AFP.
But Gregg Miller, founder of a company called Neuticles, says Malliotakis is “nuts” and exaggerating the problem.
Nuts might be a favorite word for Miller, whose company outside Kansas City leads the world in manufacturing fake animal testicles.
Created from the same silicone used to enlarge women’s breasts, Neuticles fill the space left when a pet is neutered.
“We’ve Neuticled well over 500,000 pets in the United States and all over the world — dogs, cats, horses bulls, monkeys, rats, water buffalo,” Miller said.
Prices range between $119 for the XSmall pair and $599 for the XXLarge with attached epididymis.
Miller got the idea back in 1993 when he wanted to help his bloodhound Buck overcome post-neutering blues.
“We know, they know, they’re missing,” he said, citing dogs’ loving relationships with their private parts. “With Neuticles, they don’t know anything is gone.”
Vets and even animal rights campaigners like Malliotakis say fake testicles — typically inserted right when the real ones come out — are not cruel.
“I’ve done it on my own dogs and I think it’s wonderful,” Maryland veterinarian Flavia DelMastro told AFP.
She doesn’t believe a neutered dog cares about losing its testicles. However, replacing that missing weight is beneficial for healing, “especially for big dogs, because when you remove those large testicles you still have a big scrotum.”
One prominent fan of Neuticles is the flesh-baring, reality TV siren Kim Kardashian, whose dog Rocky reportedly underwent the exchange.
However, Tazi Phillips, at the California-based magazine and charity GlobalAnimal.org, says “ridiculous” Neuticles are part of a trend of anthropomorphism gone wild.
She cited implants to make floppy ears stand straight, declawing to prevent scratching, and tooth removal to stop destructive chewing.
Some owners of dogs like Dobermans practice ear and tail cropping to make their animals conform to the ideal shape of their breed. Then there are human vanity procedures, like tattoos, piercings, liposuction and rhinoplasty.
“A lot of this has happened as pets have become less property and more family members,” Phillips said.
Advocates of cosmetic tinkering say the Hollywood treatment is just a way to show pets love.
The National Association of Professional Creative Groomers website, http://thenapcg.com/, features eye-popping examples of dogs shaved and dyed to look like football fans, Halloween ghouls and what appear to be canine versions of over-the-top pop singer Lady Gaga.
“Is it abuse?” the NAPCG asks. “We at the NAPCG believe that animals are not embarrassed by their appearance… If we tell our pets that they are beautiful and treat them as such, they will respond positively to this type of positive feedback.”
According to the American Pet Products Association, nearly $53 billion will be spent on pets in 2012. The biggest portion goes on food, but the “pet services” category, which includes grooming, is estimated to be worth $4.11 billion and rising.
Miller concedes he’s in a strange business. “If you’d told me 20 years ago that I’d be selling dog testicles today I’d have told you you’re nuts.”
But he refuses to accept the criticism. “If someone wants their dog to have testicles so he retains his God-given look, what’s wrong with that?”
DelMastro said the line between what is fun and cruel should be drawn at where pain comes in.
“You have to think about the animals,” she said. “If you want a nose ring, then put it on yourself.”
**Many pets gain wait after being neutered or spayed, if there were hormones available to help them with their weight or health I’d be all for it! And if you want to have a little fun and dress your pets in a costume of an event or holiday or a coat when it is is cold… great!! Skin treatments if your dog has a need for dry skin, bites, rashes, etc are a sign of good pet parenting.
But ear and tail cropping, tattoos, piercings like earrings, nose rings and chin rings, liposuction and rhinoplasty, implanting neuticles, plastic surgery like tummy tucks, facelifts etc. unless after an accident or deformity, dying animals fur and treatments using toxic chemicals are all ‘crazy’ and more harmful and painful for the pet than anything positive it could provide. Wake-up people… there are animals and people everywhere in need that could use some help. Donate your money instead of torturing your pets and animals!! JOMP**
May 22, 2012 - Posted by justonemorepet | Animal or Pet Related Stories, animals, Chihuahua, Dogs, Dogs, Just One More Pet, Pet Abuse, Pets | cats and dogs, dogs and cats, Neuticles, pet grooming, pet owners gone wild, pet-pampering
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Save a Life…Adopt Just One More…Pet!
Everyday we read or hear another story about pets and other animals being abandoned in record numbers while at the same time we regularly hear about crazy new rules and laws being passed limiting the amount of pets that people may have, even down to one or two… or worse yet, none.
Nobody is promoting hoarding pets or animals, but at a time when there are more pets and animals of all types being abandoned or being taken to shelters already bursting at the seams, there is nothing crazier than legislating away the ability of willing adoptive families to take in just one more pet!!
Our goal is to raise awareness and help find homes for all pets and animals that need one by helping to match them with loving families and positive situations. Our goal is also to help fight the trend of unfavorable legislation and rules in an attempt to stop unnecessary Euthenization!!
“All over the world, major universities are researching the therapeutic value of pets in our society and the number of hospitals, nursing homes, prisons and mental institutions which are employing full-time pet therapists and animals is increasing daily.” ~ Betty White, American Actress, Animal Activist, and Author of Pet Love
So if you have the room in your home and the love in your heart… Adopt Just One More Pet or consider becoming a Foster parent for pets… Also check out: Little Critter: Just One More Pet
Photos By: Marion Algier – The UCLA Shutterbug
There is always room for Just One More Pet. So if you have room in your home and room in your heart… Adopt Just One More! If you live in an area that promotes unreasonable limitations on pets… fight the good fight and help change the rules and legislation…
Save the Life of Just One More…Animal!
Recent and Seasonal Shots
As I have been fighting Cancer… A battle I am gratefully winning, my furkids have not left my side. They have been a large part of my recovery!! Ask Marion
Photos by the UCLA Shutterbug are protected by copyright, Please email at JustOneMorePet@gmail.com or find us on twitter @JustOneMorePet for permission to duplicate for commerical purposes or to purchase photos.
If you can adopt or foster just one more pet, you could be saving a life, while adding joy to your own! Our shelters are over-flowing… Please join the fight to make them all ‘NO-Kill’ facilities.
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If You Were Stranded On An Island…A recent national survey revealed just how much Americans love their companion animals. When respondents were asked whether they’d like to spend life stranded on a deserted island with either their spouse or their pet, over 60% said they would prefer their dog or cat for companionship!
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