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September 9, 2015

We're winding down from a busy summer here in Oregon! My family has been caring for a mom and her litter of six (the "kit-teas"; photos of Chai and Chamomile to your right) for the past several weeks. (We're fostering for Portland's Cat Adoption Team; which is headed by former longtime ACC&D staff member Karen Green.)  What a joy it's been to watch these kittens grow! Having surpassed the two-pound mark, they have all been spayed/neutered and are ready to go to new homes--though we aren't quite as ready to say goodbye... 
"Kitten season" always reinvigorates my desire for non-surgical sterilization options for cats--to reach more animals and have fewer homeless litters like the one temporarily living with us. We're going to get there; I'm proud to be part of an organization committed to this goal!
We have several updates on work undertaken for cats--and dogs--over the summer:
Girl with dog in Columbia
Joyce Briggs, President
Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery special issue available for free for a limited time   

We were delighted when Council of Stakeholders member  International Cat Care  (iCatCare) invited ACC&D to serve as guest editor of a special issue of  the Journal of Feline Medicine & Surgery ( JFMS ) devoted to feline fertility control, and also to collaborate on the first-ever symposium devoted to non-surgical population control options just for cats! The symposium took place the day before the International Society of Feline Medicine (ISFM) 2015 European Congress, held in July in Porto, Portugal. (Learn more here.) Although ACC&D's five symposia have all had cat-focused sessions, there's never been a symposium exclusively for felines; we couldn't imagine a more fitting way to do this than in partnership with iCatCare. 

What's more, SAGE Journals, which publishes JFMS, is temporarily  offering access to the special issue at no cost;  access the articles here . This link also includes accompanying symposium presentations. Thanks to SAGE Journals and the JFMS team for making these resources widely accessible.  Please take advantage of these resources and share them widely--and be sure to do so before October 31, when free journal access expires! 

Dr. Marc-Antoine Driancourt and Susan Getty
A warm welcome to our newest volunteer Scientific Advisor, Dr. Marc-Antoine Driancourt . Dr. Driancourt recently retired from the position of Associate Director of Research & Science at MSD Animal Health Innovation (those in the US and Canada might know of the company as Merck), prior to which he worked in academia. He has extensive background in canine and feline reproduction and was responsible for licensing the first long-lasting non-steroidal contraceptive implant for female dogs in Europe! Dr. Driancourt has already proven to be a top-notch reviewer for our Special Issue of JFMS, and we valued his company and his insights at the ISFM European Congress. He already has many ideas for how he can advance ACC&D's work and non-surgical fertility control in Europe; we're so pleased to have him on board!

We're likewise delighted to welcome our newest staff member,  Susan Getty, who began work as ACC&D Coordinator in July. Susan received  her Master's  degree from the Animals and Public Policy Program at Tufts Un iversity's Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine; her animal welfare expertise spans do gs, cats, coyotes, and even whale sharks! Susan spent her first days with ACC&D at the 2015 Best Friends National Conference--a great opportunity to speak  with hundreds of companion animal advocates and learn about the ways in which non-surgical sterilization options can save  the lives of more cats and dogs. 

Encouraging data collection on calcium chloride-ethyl alcohol sterilization 

Parsemus Foundation has just announced winners of the second-round Timmy Prize, designed to incentivize and recognize organizations that have gathered additional data on sterilization using a calcium chloride-ethyl alcohol compounded injectible sterilant. The first prize was awarded to Amici Cannis (USA/Ecuador); second prize, SpayFIRST! (Oklahoma, USA); and third prize, a veterinarian and goat owner in California, USA. You can view Parsemus Foundation's press release here.
Amici Cannis submitted complete data on 107 nonsurgical neuters performed in Cotacachi, Ecuador; the veterinary team reported three scrotal skin/licking complications out of 107 procedures, which were successfully treated with antibiotics. Parsemus Foundation notes that use of calcium chloride allowed the volunteer-run organization to reach many more animals than would otherwise have been possible. Amici Cannis will use Timmy Prize award money to purchase an anesthetic machine so that during the next campaign, it will be able to offer spays for female dogs and maximize resources to benefit the community and its animals.
ACC&D position: ACC&D respects Parsemus Foundation's championing of this neutering method, as it is inexpensive and widely accessible and thus offers potential to reach dogs who would otherwise never be sterilized. We recommend that interested veterinarians fully consider the legal regulations and risk-benefit balance of this experimental compounded sterilant in their particular context. We also stress that any use of calcium chloride-based neutering be performed by or under supervision of a veterinarian with measures (sedation, analgesia) to ensure the welfare of individual animals and post-treatment monitoring to ensure that any adverse reactions are promptly addressed.  ACC&D has multiple resources, including a review of existing literature and a recently updated ACC&D statement and position paper, available here .

An update on the Dogs With No Names Project


This summer marked the beginning of an effort by the Foundation of Animal Wellness Initiatives (the
Credit: Judith Samson-French
umbrella non-profit organization for the project Dogs With No Names) to treat up to 200 female dogs in targeted First Nations Communities in Canada with the long-lasting deslorelin contraceptive implant. Funded by a multi-year $206,000 grant from
PetSmart Charities of Canada and based on the success of similar initiatives , the aim of the project is to achieve zero population growth in target communities by 2017, with the additional benefit of reducing aggressive behaviors in male dogs seeking to mate with females in heat. Treated dogs also receive a microchip, vaccinations, deworming medication and, of course, treats! Click here to watch a video of the dogs receiving treatment and here to watch an interview with the project's director, Dr. Judith Samson-French, on Alberta Primetime. 

Symposium for the latest research on ending dog and cat homelessness
The Society of Animal Welfare Administrators (SAWA) is partnering with the National Council on Pet Population to host a daylong research symposium titled, "The Latest and Greatest Research Impacting Homeless Dogs and Cats." It's an ambitious title, but based on the speaker lineup, we're confident that you'll indeed learn about the latest and greatest on ending pet homelessness! 

ACC&D's very own Dr. John Boone will present on the comparative costs and population effects of different strategies to manage free-roaming cats, which is one of ACC&D's flagship initiatives. It's the second SAWA symposium presentation featuring the ACC&D-convened project to improve humane cat population control efforts; our former Board Chair Dr. Steve Zawistowski presented on an earlier phase in 2013. The goal of this flagship initiative is to offer TNR programs, animal shelters, veterinarians, and municipalities alike the tools to determine what population control approaches have the potential for greatest impact, efficacy, and affordability. We look forward to November and to sharing results from the latest phase of the project with leaders in animal welfare! 

Alliance for Contraception in Cats and Dogs (ACC&D)
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