600 Million Stray Dogs – Setting the Record Straight

by Mary Haight on June 17, 2011

Stray dogs

Image via Wikipedia

Questions surfaced after my podcast interview with Jane Velez-Mitchell about a new non-surgical spay/neuter method for dogs and cats.  Velez-Mitchell mentioned that Alex Pacheco, PeTA co-founder (retired), was involved in searching for an injectable single dose solution to help solve the stray dogs problem – and that was now his life’s mission. 

Some weeks later, there was a buzz about a YouTube video from Pacheco claiming there was a sterilization pill ready for manufacture that was safe, effective, could be put in food or treats and would not harm dogs who had already had a dose. The possibility of controlling the world’s stray dogs, estimated at 580-680 million, is a fascinating prospect – something all animal lovers would cheer.  Pacheco was asking for donations to the 501c3 he founded, 600 Million Stray Dogs Need You, based on a partnership with Senestech, ostensibly to bring this drug to market.  

Senestech is the company that developed Chemspay, a product that, while it may have future promise, is a long way from being ready to use. The fact that the drug is not ready to be used on dogs as stated in Pacheco’s video, that the data proving it effective is incomplete, and that there are safety concerns is more than a little disturbing. I imagine the people at Senestech thought so too, since they have since severed their relationship with Pacheco and his 600 Million Stray Dogs organization.

While this line of scientific enquiry is exciting, facts are what should be brought to the public when asking for money. It appears that the video by 600 Million Stray Dogs, in an attempt to gain significant donations, misrepresented the facts and crossed ethical boundaries. If you have donated already, you may want to ask for your money back.  If you see this misinformation elsewhere you may wish to leave a comment. 

For more information on what’s happening in this area of research, you can check out my interview with Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director at Found Animals Foundation, coming up at Animal Cafe on Monday.  

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  1. […] focuses on sensationalism instead of investigation, I come across a site, like Mary Haight’s Dancing Dog Blog, that works hard to be accurate and fair in sharing information about animal welfare issues. Yes, […]

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