FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CN) - Basketball pro Udonis Haslem of the Miami Heat claims in a Florida lawsuit that his family watch dog Juice was castrated without permission, costing him "hundreds of thousands of dollars or more" in income lost from semen sales and breeding.
Three-time NBA champion Haslem claims in court that Juice, a dog that guarded his mansion while he was playing on the road, swallowed a rope and was taken to Murbur Inc.'s veterinary hospital in Cooper City, Fla. this past May.
The hospital successfully performed surgery that saved the dog from potentially fatal medical complications. But it also removed the animal's testicles "without consent and medical necessity," Haslem alleges.
The NBA veteran says the castration derailed his plans to breed the dog and harvest its seed.
The lawsuit, uploaded Wednesday in Broward County court, describes Juice as a show-quality Cane Corso, an Italian molosser. According to the complaint, semen samples from a high-end Cane Corso breeding male sell for $2,500 each, and can fetch as much as $10,000 for a champion bloodline.
"For a typical Cane Corso breeding male, semen is collected for five to seven years of the dog's life, and some breeders place the sperm in cryobanks for future breedings when the dog passes," the lawsuit reads.
According to the complaint, some top-of-the-line show dogs "are in such demand, semen is collected from them daily."
The pricetag for a pure-bred Cane Corso puppy can exceed $2,000.
Haslem, the Miami Heat's all-time leading rebounder, says that aside from missing out on breeding revenue, he lost a valued watch dog, as the neutered Juice is now too tame to serve in that capacity.
He says he had paid $30,000 to have Juice trained as a guard dog by a well-known canine specialist, so he could feel his family would be safe at home during his road trips with the Heat. NBC Miami reported that in 2013, Haslem's home was burglarized.
Haslem is seeking damages for negligence. The NBA vet has played for the Miami Heat his entire 15-year pro career.
Murbur Inc. dba LeadER has not responded to a request for comment.
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