Champion Bulldog at Center of Pennsylvania Neuter Case

Dog days arrived in Northumberland County Court as a little black-and-white show dog dozed through arguments by his breeder and his present owner over whether he remains an "intact" puppy producer or retires from breeding a castrated champion.

A second veterinarian's opinion will decide if Duffy — a 5-year-old French bulldog known as Champion Rock 'n' Roll Use Your Illusion in the dog-show world and worth an estimated $10,000 — is neutered or continues lucrative stud services, Northumberland County Judge Charles H. Saylor ruled Wednesday.

"He's a valuable breeding dog," Karen Robertson, of Paxinos, Duffy's breeder and original owner, testified.

At fees of $1,000 for stud service plus $3,000 for each puppy produced, Robertson said she has earned about $73,000 in the three years she has bred Duffy.

Unable to give the dog enough attention, Robertson testified that she agreed to give him to Susan Serovich, of Kulpmont, in October. But she said that was on condition he be kept intact, and available for breeding, for two or three years.

Serovich said she agreed only to allow Duffy to be bred one more time and then he would be retired. She testified that a veterinarian recommended neutering the dog.

Dr. Patricia Kitchen testified by telephone that she recommended that Duffy be neutered because Serovich said he would not be used for breeding.

Kitchen said castration would make Duffy less aggressive, though the judge noted that the 22-pound dog had been quietly napping a few feet from his bench for 45 minutes.

Saylor ordered the parties to seek a second veterinarian's opinion on whether Duffy needs to be neutered for his well-being.

If not, Saylor ruled that while Serovich is Duffy's rightful owner, Robertson has rights to breed him for "as long as the dog is able and it's not compromising the dog's health and comfort."