If anyone stands to gain financially from AB 1634, California’s mandatory spay-neuter bill, it’s Gregg Miller. The Missouri-based inventor has sold nearly a quarter-million pairs of Neuticles since late 1995. These are prosthetic testicles used to replace the real thing, mainly in dogs.
The neuticles serve no medical purpose, but have caught on as a cosmetic fad among owners of neutered dogs.
But while he stands to profit from the bill if it passes, Miller said he is still against the bill.
“If anyone knows testicles, after 13 years, I know testicles,” Miller said. “If you neuter at four months, you’re going to have some sickly, puny dogs running around California.”
Levine said that others have brought up objections to the requirement in the bill that animals be spayed or neutered by four months. He plans to change the limit to six months, even though the California Veterinary Medical Association co-sponsored the bill and signed off on the four-month limit.
“I think we can safely leave the medical opinions up to the veterinarians who sponsored the bill,” Levine said. “The opponents bring this up to try to kill the bill.”
Neutering dogs before they are a year old compromises their immune system and cuts down their size and muscle mass, Miller maintains–much as the procedure did to eunuchs in another time and place, he added.
But in the event that demand increases, Miller is ready. He outsources the actual manufacturing of his products to a trio of makers of human implants, one each in California, Missouri and Utah. These manufacturers have the capacity to offer him more production, he said.
“I could have 50,000 pairs ready in no time at all,” Miller said.
About one-fifth of Neuticles sales are in California, he said. About 4,400 veterinarians in the state have received instruction on how to install them.
If his past pet ownership is any indication, Miller is not a fan of “sickly, puny dogs.” He created Neuticles in the mid-1990s on behalf of Buck, his late bloodhound, who tipped the scales at 194 pounds. Buck had a habit of running away in search of females. He had Buck snipped in order to save him from wandering off for good, then gave him a fake pair to help him maintain his appearance and self-esteem.
The product took off so well that it became a business, now selling over 20,000 pairs a year. He now sells them in several different sizes, ranging from cats and small dogs to big dogs and bulls. He’s even made Neuticles for prairie dogs, water buffalo, a rhesus monkey in Pocahontas, Ark., and lab rats at Louisiana State University.
A pair of Neuticles can run anywhere from $94 to over $900, based on size and model. They come in three varieties: NeuticlesOriginal are made from rigid polypropylene, NeuticlesNatural are formed from soft silicon, and NeuticlesUltraplus are made from textured silicon designed to give a more natural look and to prevent scar tissue from forming.