by Ruth Steinberger
Won’t you help? Every dollar donated before the end of April will be matched. Double your gift by giving today.
The PETCO Foundation has provided a generous $25,000 challenge grant to raise the remaining funds needed to continue this research.
- Worldwide an estimated 375 million dogs, or over three quarters of all dogs born, are unwanted.
- Over 90 percent of unwanted dogs are in developing nations with no animal welfare laws; they are despised as vermin.
- The average life of a street dog is two years; most have one to two litters of puppies.
- In developing nations, rabies kills tens of thousands of people; dogs are the vector in over 98 percent of cases.
- Out of fear, collections and dog killings are common. Methods of killing include clubbing, drowning, electrocution or intentional starvation. Internationally more dogs are killed by each of these methods than are killed by humane euthanasia.
- Many of these same developing nations have comprehensive rabies vaccination programs that reach an estimated five million dogs each year.
- Conversely, NGO’s supply fewer than 200,000 sterilizations each year.
- A rabies vaccine with a chemical sterilent could reach over fifteen times the number of female dogs currently spayed and could do so using distribution systems already used for rabies vaccines alone.
What if a chemical sterilent for dogs could piggyback onto a rabies vaccine? Millions of tragedies could be prevented.
Promising research on a rabies vaccine with an immunocontraceptive for dogs is underway at the US CDC. It has halted over 80 percent of litters in trials so far. Yet due to a shortage of funds the research that is needed to seek USDA approval and a manufacturer is halted.