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Contraceptive pill for dogs unveiled

December 2, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
A new contraceptive drug for dogs was unveiled Thursday. Called Chem Spay, its creators say three chewable tablets will sterilize a female dog.In the U.S. 4 to 6 million dogs are euthanized every year due to uncontrolled population growth.

"My hope is to stop the killing of dogs. To eradicate rabie and save lives both human and animals all over the world," said Loretta Mayer, the chief scientific officer with Senestech, which developed the drugs.

After six years of research with 270 dogs, Mayer said she has developed a small chewable tablet that can sterilize young female dogs. The active ingredient is VCD, an industrial chemical that allegedly shrinks the ovaries without side effects. Just three to four chews did the trick in 20 percent of the dogs in her study.

"We have not seen any side effects at this dose level whatsoever," she said.

But taking the VCD to market and making it affordable worldwide will cost millions of dollars, which is why Alex Pacheco, cofounder of Peta and founder of 600 Million Stray Dogs Need You, is urging the public to donate to research.

"We're trying to raise the money from donations to get it through the process and keep it a non-profit pill," said Pacheco.

Not everyone is convinced the Chem Spray chewables will work and would like to see more scientific research.

"We wish them the best of luck. I think our intentions are all in the right place, all in the same place. What I'm challenged with is what we feel are kind of a misrepresentation of how far along it is," said Joice Briggs with Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs.


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