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Cheap, Easy Alternative to Spay/Neuter Surgery
One man is funding the search for an answer.
In many parts of the world, governments attempt to control stray dogs and cats with periodic killing sweeps.

Last October, I posted a blog about billionaire orthopedic surgeon Gary Michelson’s bid to drive research into finding an efficient, inexpensive and nonsurgical alternative to spay/neuter. His nonprofit foundation, Found Animals, put up $75 million to fund promising research and commercial development of what many consider to be the key to fighting pet overpopulation and, in turn, euthanasia--especially in places with large feral dog populations, such as India and China.

Well, Michelson’s stimulus project appears to be working. Science Magazine took the event of the first approved Michelson Grants to look into the state of the current research, which appears to be humming thanks to the promise of backing. Still, it's not all good news: The challenge is staggering and all early efforts to “contracept” dogs on a large scale have failed. But the promise of real money and the growing urgency of the problem might tip the scales in our the animals' favor, at last.

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Lisa Wogan lives in Seattle and is the author of, most recently, Dog Park Wisdom.

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