A veterinarian in Toronto, Ontario is in trouble with animal rights activists for circumcising male puppies. Peter Skinner, who has run his practice for seven years, says there is high demand for the procedure, which is usually performed on Dobermans.
"It makes sense, really, since the dogs are in here to have their ears and tails cropped, to do this at the same time." When asked why pet owners would choose to have this done, Peter sites cleanliness as a major factor. "The dogs are always licking themselves, and you never know where their mouths have been. Often, the build-up of saliva will cause infections in uncircumcised males." Peter also speculates that pet owners prefer to have dogs that look like themselves. "You see that all the time," he says.
Peter takes me aside and shows some foreskins kept in a jar. As I look on quizzically he laughs, "God, you can put anything in a jar and people will find it fascinating. Like you've never seen a dog's foreskin?"
When asked if there were any problems, he hints that on occasion some German Shepards have become aggressive towards the circumcised Dobermans. "Otherwise everything is tip top."
A further bonus is that none of Peter's circumcised patients have ever contracted Aids. "That's got to be saying something right there," he says proudly, "considering the majority are very promiscuous, often bisexual and never consider protection."
For their part, the activists argue that the dogs have no choice in the matter, and the procedure is a barbaric practice that should be outlawed. On the other hand, they are thrilled to have something to campaign against and very much enjoy the opportunity to make new signs.