"I'm all for neutering and spaying," says Dexter Blanch. "But in some cases, it is a health risk for the dog. In other cases, the pet owner is squeamish about putting the dog through surgery. And then there are people who plan one day to breed their pet."
That's why Blanch, 51, introduced the Pet Anti Breeding System – or PABS, as he calls it – a polypropylene belt with an eight-buckle locking system and a washable mesh pad for female dogs.
The device allows the pooch to do all its natural bodily functions, except one, of course.
The PABS slogan: "When the heat is on, lock it, and stop it."
"The dogs can urinate and defecate," Blanch says. "But they can't copulate or impregnate."
Amorous canines won't get hurt trying to penetrate the PABS sheathing, Blanch claims.
It remains to be seen how pet owners will embrace this device, as it has been on the market for less than two months. Experts preach caution.
"For the majority of animals, spaying and neutering remains the most beneficial option," says Dr. Kathleen Makolinski, director of veterinary outreach at the ASPCA.
Still, several animal breeders and a veterinarian offer testimonials on the PABS for Pets Web site.
The chastity belt does have one obvious downside, at least for the squeamish. The reusable pad needs to be cleaned.
While a female dog is in heat – a period of 21 days for many breeds – a pet owner would be required to rinse out the mesh area. Blanch figures that's no different than picking up after your animal companion.
"I love my dogs," Blanch says. "But when they're in heat, you can't keep them inside because it's messy. And you can't keep them outside, because when they get in that way they'll chew through any fence to get out."
Ironically, a freak injury led Blanch to his invention. He was shot by one of his beagles two years ago in a hunting accident, leaving him with an 8-inch wound.
"I nearly had to face the amputation of an arm," he says.
In no way did the shooting sour his feelings for his dogs, he says.
"I had a lot of time when I was recuperating to think of a product to help pets and pet owners. I think it's just a shame that millions of dogs have to be destroyed every year, because of overpopulation."
Presently, the product is just for dogs. But Blanch says he was contacted by a man in Turkey who wants to know if he can develop a chastity belt for camels.
Such plans, however, are not in the works ... at least at the moment.