It has been a dilemma all over the world for as long as anyone can remember; how to gain control over the tragic pet overpopulation crisis. Obviously the ultimate answer is for everyone to spay and neuter their pets, but that is not going to happen in the near future.
It turns out there are people behind the scenes who are dedicated to finding a meaningful solution in the meantime. The Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs was founded in 2000 by several Doctors as a program of Auburn University and became a nonprofit organization in 2006. Their mission is to expedite the successful introduction of methods used to non-surgically sterilize dogs and cats, and to support the distribution and promotion of these products that will humanely control cat and dog populations worldwide.
Efforts to non-surgically control reproduction in pets originally began around 1960, when oral contraceptives became widely available for women. Since that time scientists and others have gathered at events such as ACCD’s 4th Annual Symposium to share information and plan for the future. Among the representatives involved are those from universities, animal welfare organizations, foundations, companies and government agencies from 25 countries.
According to ACCD: The ideal contraceptive product would rapidly induce permanent sterilization in a single dose, eliminate fertility and provide beneficial non-reproductive effects. It would be effective in dogs and cats of both sexes and all ages (at least 8 weeks and above), and would be safe and easy to administer. However, it is much more likely that products that will be developed will meet some but not all of these criteria. Our intent is not to replace spay/neuter, but to increase the “tools” available to veterinarians and pet population control programs to achieve their goals, extending reach and conserving resources.
Approaches such as a one year or longer permanent sterilization in cats and/or dogs has been approved in the US and abroad. A surgical sterilant for male dogs is approved in the US, Mexico, Bolivia, Panama, and Colombia. Another non-surgical sterilant for male dogs is approved in Brazil, and a contraceptive implant for male dogs lasting 6 or 12 months is approved in Australia, New Zealand and the European Union.
Until people do begin to routinely spay and neuter their pets and become more committed owners, the efforts by ACDD and their partners will continue to be vital to the welfare world. There is also much you can do to help them in their quest.
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