Should dogs be on birth control too?

Both the ASPCA and Humane Society strongly encourage pet owners to spay and neuter their furry friends to prevent overpopulation (and a dearth of homeless puppies, sad face). It shouldn’t really be a surprise, then, that there is a less invasive option in the works. But let’s face it, it’s kind of a crazy idea, right? Not so, according to a group of scientists in Arizona…

There’s birth control for dogs?
It’s in the works. Along with SenesTech, a biotech company that specializes in “humane animal population management,”Arizona scientist Dr. Loretta Mayer has developed Chemspay, a doggy contraceptive that is administered once orally or via injection, and induces menopause in an animal. In trials conducted between 2004 and 2008, the drug significantly reduced the number of eggs in test dogs, thus rendering them unable to have puppies.

What’s next for this canine pill?
Mayer is taking her research to India, where she’s working on a project to curb the country’s feral dog population. “This technology, if successful, will really have a huge impact on unwanted dog populations,” she says. “The biggest impact will be where dogs are reservoirs for human diseases, like in India.” Stateside, it could dramatically decrease the number of unwanted dogs that are euthanized, says Maria Parece at Gather.

So when can American dogs get in on this?
In three years or so, Mayer plans to begin FDA trials at an animal rescue center in Flagstaff, Ariz. It will take a total of six to nine years for Chemspay to gain FDA approval. “There is a very long timeline in this project,” Mayer says. “Each and every one of our products takes years to develop.”

The rest of the article focuses on the history of pet-designed birth control and the potential of Chemspay, as well as other alternative birth control options. Check it out on The Week. Link