Apr 14, 2012 1:02 AM by Drew Trafton
BILLINGS- The process of spaying and neutering pets is essential when it comes to controlling population in the United States.
But according to the American Pet Products Association, only 10% of animals that find their way to animal shelters have not been sterilized.
The reason: many pet owners cannot afford the $150 (estimate) procedure for their pets.
And for one unfortunate lab/ pit bull mix in Billings, that meant a botched attempt at a home neutering procedure.
Rocky was turned in to a veterinary clinic Tuesday night by a couple claiming to have found the adult dog in their yard.
The clinic tried to stop profuse bleeding coming from the dog, but ended up taking it to the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter the next day.
The staff decided to perform emergency surgery on Rocky when they saw the dog's condition.
During the operation, shelter employees were shocked at what they discovered.
"It initially looked like somebody had surgically removed the testicles on that dog themselves," said executive director of the YVAS, Chris Anderson. "As we started to do more surgery, we realized that we probably... we found a rubber band... and that maybe they had actually tried to band the testicles on an adult male dog. And the dog, literally, chewed it's testicles off."
However, Rocky, who the staff named after fictional cinematic boxer Rocky Balboa for his survival skills, was not quite off the ropes.
Another surgery was required on Thursday after the dog began bleeding again.
Anderson says that based on the wounds and spread of infection, Rocky would not have made it long on his own.
"A couple of days out like this and he definitely would have been very, very compromised," said Anderson.
However, Rocky is now expected to make a full recovery-and this champ will hopefully have a bright future ahead.
If his owner does not step forward to claim him within 72 hours, Rocky will be available for adoption.
In the unlikely event the owner does step forward, that person will most likely be staring down a formal charge of animal cruelty.
If you recognize Rocky's true identity or owner from the video or pictures above, you are asked to call Billings Animal Control.
"(He's a) Nice, nice dog," said Anderson. "He has been so grateful. He's never offered a growl or a bite in all the work we've done with him. And so, I feel really confident we can get him a great home and that's where I'd like to see him go."
As far as providing a safe neutering procedure for pet owners struggling financially, Anderson says there are solutions which do not require people to assume the role of pet surgeon.
"It's, it's needless, you don't have to do that," said Anderson. "Here in Billings there are several different clinics available. They're low cost spay and neuter clinics for people who can't afford to get into a vet."
In fact, on April 21st and 22nd, the Yellowstone Valley Animal Shelter will be providing one of two weekend spay and neuter clinics it offers every year.
The clinic will be held at MetraPark.
You can schedule an appointment by calling the Yellowstone Animal Control Shelter.