# 2920 A Dog’s Life

Q. Can one neuter a male pet dog by using a non-Jewish veterinarian?
A. On question 2658 regarding spaying a female cat we wrote; “Talmud (Baba Metzia 90b) quotes a debate if the prohibition of castration applies to Gentiles also. Poskim disagree as to what the Halacha is. Beis Shmuel (E.H. 5: 16) mentions that the Rambam, Rosh, Rashbo and Hagohos Maimonis, maintain that a Gentile is not included in the prohibition of sirus (castration). While the Smag and the Hagahot Oshri opine that castration is part of the Seven Noahide Mitzvos, that Gentiles are obliged to follow.
Beis Shmuel (ibid,) maintains that in doubt one should be stringent and prohibit non-Jews. However, Aruch Hashulchan (E,H, 5: 26 ) and others are lenient.
Since we are ordained in command of “You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person,” (Vayikra 19: 14). Shulchan Aruch (E. H. 5: 14) rules that it is prohibited to tell a non-Jew to castrate an animal, and if it was done we penalize the Jewish owner and force him to sell his animal to someone else so that he does not benefit from the sin.
Rema (ibid.) permits, if the non-Jew who bought the animal, instructs another Gentile to castrate the animal. Beis Shmuel explains that the reason it is permitted is that this constitutes a double “lifnei iver,” and there is no prohibition of having someone help someone else commit a sin.
However, even if non-Jews are not included in this commandment, a Jew is not allowed to ask a non-Jew to do what he himself may not do. We are are familiar with this Rabbinical prohibition in Hilchos Shabbos as “Amira Leakum,” and it applies to other prohibitions. Nevertheless, there are those who allow a double amira le’akum, as in our case. (Sho’eil U’meishiv 3: 1: 229, Chasam Sofer C.M. 185).
It has been quoted that the Chazon Ish permitted one to sell their animal to Gentile and instruct him to have another non-Jew castrate the animal. The Jew would then buy the animal back. There is a disagreement in contemporary Poskim whether it applies only to animals utilized for commercial purposes or even for private pets.
According to the above, spaying a pet may be permitted when one asks a Gentile to take the cat to a non-Jewish vet, to have it spayed.
Shevet Halevy (6: 204) maintains that on the onset, one should avoid telling a non-Jew to spay a cat unless in need. It would seem that, the above double instruction, would be permitted even lekatchila.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is that one should preferable maintain our traditional ways and when possible abstain from owing any pets. However in need it may be permitted.”
In regard to our question on question 2657 we wrote: From the Torah text (Vayikro 22; 24) regarding korbonos, it would seem that the prohibition of castration applies only to male animals.
Poskim disagree regarding female animals if the prohibition is only Rabbinical (Rambam – H. Issurei Biah 16: 11, Shulchan Aruch E.H. 5: 11, Taz ibid. 6, Aruch Hashulchan ibid. 22, and others) or if it is even a Biblical proscription. (Hagra E.H. 5: 25 – 26).
Therefore, the Rov pointed out that the heterim mentioned above, may only apply to the spaying of female animals which is Rabbinical , and not to the Biblical prohibition of castration of males, which should be avoided.
Horav Shlomo Miller’s Shlit’a opinion is to follow the opinion of the Mishna Berura.
Rabbi A. Bartfeld as advised by Horav Shlomo Miller and Horav Aharon Miller Shlit’a

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