I would like to take this opportunity to tell you about a strategy that we have developed to improve our MASH campaigns. We will be employing it in our upcoming campaign in Cabo Verde in a few weeks time. We are determined to do all we can to help the animals in the kindest ways possible.
We believe in utilizing the latest and kindest technology to humanely reduce dog populations. We keep a close watch on the non-surgical techniques that are available to us. The dream is to have an easy way to sterilize high numbers of animals without having to cut into an animal, without the need to pack in boxes and boxes of expensive supplies, without the need for lengthy and complicated export and import procedures; essentially to be more efficient with our resources to help more animals and communities in a kinder and less invasive way.
Sometimes the animals are too sick to put under anesthesia, sometimes they have short life spans, sometimes the countries where we work do not have vets who can work on small animals, sometimes they cannot buy or import basic anesthesia and pain medication drugs. In order for MASH campaigns to be able to operate around the world and make a direct impact to humanely reduce the populations, we need to start including non-surgical techniques.
This year Animal Balance is launching the ‘MASH MENU’. We are headed to Cabo Verde in a few weeks time and we will be conducting spays, neuters, plus giving our vets the choice of using Zueterin for males dogs and Suprelorin for female dogs (if we can work out some last minute issues with the EU regulations) who fall into the exact category for that particular method. We expect to sterilize the majority of animals using traditional surgery, but we are going to have with us 2 more choices. The future for MASH campaigns utilizing the ‘MASH Menu’ approach is about to happen!
· Zueterin is an injection of zinc gluconate into each testicle of the male dog, rendering him sterile for life. You can read more here: http://www.arksciences.com/
· Suprelorin is an implant that is inserted into the female dog, rendering her sterile for 3 years. You can read more here: http://www.peptech.com/html/animal_health/Superlorin_general.html
· For an overview of all non-surgical methods you can visit the Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs website at: http://www.acc-d.org/
I have been attending the ACC&D conferences since they started in 2002, eagerly waiting for the green light from the scientists and researchers to use these techniques in the field. We were the first group to use Esterisol (the former name of Zueterin) in the Galapagos Islands in 2004, then in the Dominican Republic in 2010. We and the distributors of Zueterin have learned about how to best utilize it in the right situations on the right sector of dogs in the field. Dr. Byron Maas, Master Trainer for Ark Sciences, has kindly consulted with Animal Balance regarding protocols for its use and will be injecting the dogs in Cabo Verde. He has injected over 500 dogs with Zueterin.
Suprelorin has been used by the NGO, Dogs with No Names, at First Nation communities and one Innu community from 2009 to 2014; they have given over 300 implants during that time with great success:http://dogswithnonames.com/project/
Dr. Judith Samson French has been kind enough to advise Animal Balance regarding protocols for its use.
All sterilized dogs will receive a tattoo and all the dogs who are sterilized using non-surgical methods will also be micro-chipped using the new Savethislife.com chips. All dogs will all also receive internal and external parasite treatments and if we are given permission by the Department of Agriculture in the next few weeks, they will also be vaccinated.
We will report back to you as best we can, given the internet connection from Cabo Verde, each day. We will share all of our reports with you post-campaign. Do follow our progress and help encourage others to be open to considering using new cutting edge technologies to help animals. If we can do better for the animals, we will move mountains to do it; the future is more humane for all.