The Pros and Cons of the Dog Sterilization Pill

dog sterilization pillIs it possible that the solution to the overpopulation of companion animals could be found in a simple, low cost pill? 600 Million Stray Dogs Need Your Help believes it is not only possible, but very close to becoming a reality. An estimated 4 million animals are killed every year in shelters across the US. That’s about 1 every 8 seconds. (This estimate is according to the HSUS (Humane Society of the United States. The HSUS admits that there is no real system in place to accurately record the numbers so this can only be a rough estimate.)

Without a doubt, most shelter animal rescuers believe that a national spay/neuter program readily available to all pet owners is the single leading resolution to the killing that takes place in animal shelters from an overabundance of homeless animals and not enough adoptive homes. Some see the advancement of surgical procedures, the evolution of sterilization mobile vans and the nationwide promotion of the advantages to spaying/neutering your pet as the key reason why we only kill 4 million animals now as opposed to the 70’s when we were killing 12-20 million.  (Note that the HSUS also claims the number of households owning pets has increased during this time from 67 million in the 70’s to 135 million currently.)

So the development of a pill that would chemically sterilize female dogs and that would be free to low income pet owners or provided at a low cost to restricted income pet owners might very well be the answer to our prayers.

But nothing is ever that easy, is it?  Let’s examine some of the pros and cons of the DSP (Dog Sterilization Pill):

Pros:

  1. DSP would make targeting difficult-to-reach communities and feral populations of cats and dogs much easier.  According to Alex Pacheco, the founder of 600 Million Strays, the DSP will be in biscuit form and so even large communities of stray or feral dogs could be sterilized in a short period of time. There is also no risk to a dog eating too many of these biscuits. It cannot harm the dog no matter how many she eats.
  2. DSP would be far more cost effective for not only pet owners but for shelters, animal rescuers, feral colony managers and veterinarians.  It would also be self-administered thereby reducing the cost of transporting to the vet as well as paying vet fees.
  3. Eliminates the risk to the dogs while under anaesthesia during surgical procedures.
  4. There are no known side affects. The DSP is perfectly safe to dogs and does not affect humans.  It is also environmentally safe since the drug neutralizes immediately after targeting the dog’s organs and is quickly eliminated by way of the dog’s own natural means.
  5. Once the DSP is readily available to any and all who need it, the number of puppy litters being produced and dumped at local shelters should be reduced immediately.  With fewer litters of dogs being dumped, shelters would have more room to take in more cats and cat litters without having to kill for space.  That is until the CSP version is available. 

Cons:

  1. DSP would not control cases of cases of ovarian or testicular cancers, or decrease the chance of mammary tumors the way surgical sterilization does. In fact, the DSP makes no claims at all to having any long term benefits to a dog’s health other than the sterilization of the female dog.
  2. DSP would not reduce aggression, marking and roaming.  Only female dogs are receiving this sterilization so male dogs would be still be intact with all of their inherent instincts.  
  3. Obtaining approval from the FDA, the estimate cost is 5 million a year for 6 years and that is only the canine version of the DSP.  The feline pill would have to undergo the same strenuous testing that the canine version has gone through and then also be put through the FDA for approval.  That’s a lot of money coming from who knows where?
  4. Since the DSP has not even begun the FDA approval process yet, we are at least 6 years away from even being close to having access to it.  That makes the DSP a hope and prayer for someday maybe but it is not an immediate solution. Between now and then, some 24 million dogs and cats will still die in shelters and that number is a conservative estimate. 
  5. The DSP will not overcome the ignorance of people.  Be it sterilization by pill or by surgery, there are still going to be people who believe it is against God’s Nature to sterilize their pets.  There are still going to be people who say “I wanted my children to experience the joys of witnessing our pet give birth to a litter of pups” that we can neither keep or find homes for so will have to drop them off at the shelter the moment they are weaned. 

In conclusion, despite the DSP being an exciting breakthrough in the sterilization of female dogs, it is still too far away from being made available to the public to be considered a viable alternative to the current overpopulation crisis we are dealing with.

However, until it is available, animal rescuers and advocates owe it to the animals to continue to promote not only the advantages of spaying/neutering companion animals but also to support and if possible, develop locally the No Cost/Low Cost Spay Neuter programs that are slowly becoming more and more successful at controlling the growth of homeless pets.

We also owe it the animals to support 600 Million Strays Need Your Help by raising awareness of this emerging technology and assisting in raising funds for the FDA approval process. 

  9 comments for “The Pros and Cons of the Dog Sterilization Pill

  1. willie wonka
    7 November, 2010 at 6:14 am

    600 million stray dogs is only one of several projects working on chemical sterilization. There is a chemical that is legal now in the USA and is used for males. It does not control disease that removing parts will help to prevent. The American Vet Association is against using the chemicals because they make a huge profit from S/N procedures now. The biscuit that 600 million stray dogs uses is” Earth Friendly and one dog can eat one biscuit or five and there will be no harm to them.
    These are stuck in the testing stage because of Lobby $$$ in DC and the FDA is so busy that it keeps getting pushed to the end of the line. It is working in Mexico and other countries where is is being tested.
    This and other means of chemical sterilization that is safe for the animals must be explored and financed if we are ever going to reduce our stay and feral population. I do not believe we can cut and snip all of these animals. The amount of $ ,time and effort would be a huge barrier to the success of any program like this.

  2. wonderlandamstaffs
    7 May, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Another “Con” to DSP is that everyone involved in Dog Showing, like myself, will have to be constantly worried about overzealous animal activists slipping their dogs this drug at events, or even trespassing onto their property to secretly sterilize their dogs.

    This drug, in the wrong hands, is a powerful weapon. It’s distribution should not be taken lightly.

  3. 7 May, 2011 at 7:35 am

    There are chemical sterilization products legally available in the USA now. They are just not as inexpensive as the drug being produced for 600 million stray dogs. Since the costs remain almost the same as surgical methods, the majority of the owners choose to have the procedure done and eliminate the risk of mammary cancer in the females. They are working on a pill that will work for males as well but the “biscuit” that sterilizes the female is available today. The concern that some nut would try to use this drug as a ” weapon ” is already a reality. I would suggest that those who show their dogs keep a close eye on them now. The newer drugs will just work better and are safer. They are already out there . Anything can be used for the wrong reasons. Glass bottles can be a weapon, or a kitchen knife . We can not allow out lives to be dictated by the fear of a crazy person doing harm with a seemingly harmless product. The amount of positive effects that would be the result from the distribution of this product far outweighs those concerns. DSP is the only practical answer we have seen that can help manage the feral and wild population of homeless animals living in and around all the major US cities . S/N is an expensive procedure and trapping ferals requires a lot of time and effort. A fork can be a weapon in the hands of a crazy person but we eat with them every day. You can not let your life be dictated by the fear of insanity. We would not have airplanes in the sky if we allowed the horrors of 9/11 to determine their safe use. Of course the products have to be managed and distributed with care. That is one thing that is holding up their approval. Still DSP is the best solution to managing the homeless pet population and we should be using it today. Gas Chambers are being misused every day. Many animals are killed for being homeless. This is much worse than if we were sterilizing the animals so they could not reproduce.

  4. wonderlandamstaffs
    7 May, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    I am by no means saying that this drug will not benefit society, when used for what it is intended for. And I agree with it being used on stray animal populations. I do disagree with the comparison of this drug to kitchen utensils and bottles, or the view that the benefits outweigh the risk of this drug ending up in the hands of Zealots.

    Imagine, if you will, those zealots who made a scene at the Westminster dog show, having access to the drug. They could just walk around like innocent spectators and quietly sterilize every dog they could. The dog show world would be rocked by attacks from animal activists who believe that no one should EVER breed a dog ( there are some out there who believe this ) and there would be no way to keep them out because they could just enter a dog at a show to gain access, even if spectatorship became banned……..

    Then those same fanatics would be driving around the country, throwing “cookies” onto the property of every dog owning household, just to “make sure” the dogs never had puppies. Entire breeds of dogs would become endangered or disappear. Sure, there would be no more stray dogs, but eventually there would be no more dogs at all.

    Unless a breeder had an indoor compound, so their dogs would never go outside, they would not be able to prevent sterilization attacks. The only place a person could get a pet would be a pound. The dog owning public would be at the mercy of “Lady Luck” when acquiring a dog because the good breeders who only bred dogs with sound temperaments and health screenings would have been wiped out by sterilization attacks by either fanatics or even just personal vendetta.

    The greed factor in our society would have breeders wiping out the breeding stock of others, to eliminate competition and drive up the value of what few dogs of any particular breed remained. It would be total chaos in the dog world.

    If this drug is produced, it would have to be done under extreme lock and key. With only licensed Veterinarians allowed to use it, and and an accounting system in place to verify acquisition, use, and loss, just like any other major drugs (like the euthanasia drug) that Veterinarians use. High money/profile activists would somehow get their hands on it.

    A little off topic, but I really wish I would see some famous people putting their money and fame behind causes to help abused children in our country. I have never seen a TV commercial exposing the plight of the Human Children that are dying every day from abuse and asking for support to stop it, but there are plenty about animals. Aren’t human babies more important? They are just as defenseless…………

  5. 8 May, 2011 at 9:27 am

    This site is about the senseless killing of over 5 million dogs and cats every year and the people who try to save them. Frankly, as far as I know, there is not one famous person who speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves who are trapped in shelters across the country and are doomed to die alone and unloved. I challenge you to name one.

    As to the topic at hand…I ask…should we all stop flying because planes can be used as a missile in the wrong hands ? I don’t think so……

  6. 8 May, 2011 at 10:49 am

    There are chemicals now that are legal and in use in now here in the USA. If someone intended to do harm, they already have means and opportunity now. Just because the method of deliver is a biscuit does not mean it will be treated any differently than any other controlled substance. Of course there will be veterinary supervision. It will be monitored by the FDA. This chemical is different because it is so effective and safe to use. No “overdose” is possible. We need to have it approved and put into use ASAP ! It can save millions of lives every year !

  7. wonderlandamstaffs
    12 May, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Cher,

    Sarah Mclaughlin (sp) has a commercial that airs all the time for HSUS or ASPCA (I forget which) Pam Anderson and several other high profile stars are active PETA members. Oprah backs animal groups too and airs programs about the plight of animals.

    The special I saw on TV the other night about this drug had a grey-haired movie star (who’s name is on the tip of my tongue) promoting it and advocating the “600 Million Strays” cause.

    Every day I see commercials for HSUS and PETA, I have NEVER seen a commercial with photos of abused and dead children asking for the public’s help in ending that atrocity…..

    As far as airplanes go, I can choose not to put my dogs on a plane. I can’t choose for someone not to poison them. HUGE difference.

  8. 13 May, 2011 at 12:09 am

    PETA and HSUS have nothing to do with saving shelter animals. In fact PETA has a 97% kill rate and HSUS stands beside Michael Vick and calls him friend. These are not organizations that this site nor I personally support nor do we think they represent rescuers of shelter animals. I must clarify the mission statement on this site I think to ensure that this is perfectly clear to first time visitors. My point is that none of these celebrities actually speak for the shelter animals, they speak for the organizations so they are not, in my opinion, spokespeople for shelter animals. Furthermore, as I said before, this site is about saving shelter animals and speaking up on behalf of those who rescue shelter animals. There are plenty of sites about saving children and if you really want to complain that there are not enough celebrities speaking to that issue, I suggest you find those sites and comment there.

    Your claim that this sterilization biscuit is going to threaten or harm the show dog business is weak at best and trite at worst when compared to the over 5 million animals that are slaughtered in shelters every year for something as stupid and meaningless as lack of space. I am sorry but as long as these 5 million beautiful, loving and precious souls are being killed senselessly because people believe that “show dog” breeds make better pets and so will buy from breeders instead of adopting from local shelters, you are not going to get a heck of a lot of sympathy from me for sure nor from anyone who shelter strolls trying to save these homeless animals. Frankly, if someone were to throw a bag of these biscuits into the food bowls of breeding dogs in a puppy mill, I’d give them a damned metal for it. But that’s just my opinion of course.

  9. Cindy sue
    16 August, 2012 at 4:32 am

    Turn on any tv station and you will see infomercials looking for money to support children in horrific conditions. Some of us support those causes as well as animal welfare. You will never stop stupid, naive or evil people from harming others; animal or human. Did you not see the history channels War series. I saw more dead bodies than I could take. The media does not show dead babies because the politicians don’t want us to see that all their ‘programs’ don’t work. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try new and innovative means to save companion animals. It’s our duty to speak and act against senseless killing of all of God’s creatures. Breed your pedigrees. Just think how much more valuable they become as mutts are no longer available for free. And then, please, pay taxes on your income you get from your bitches labors. We’ll use those monies to support chemical sterilization.

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