From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 1999:

According to the January 1999
edition of Veterinary Economics, “ D r .
Richard Fayrer-Hosken, an associate professor
at the University of Georgia College
of Veterinary Medicine, has developed
Spay-Safe, an injectible contraceptive made
from a natural protein found in pig ovaries.
Three shots permanently sterilize a dog without
any known side effects. Spay-Safe is
undergoing FDA evaluation, and the university
has licensed a company to market it pending
approval. Now Dr. Fayrer-Hosken is
developing a dosage for cats.” Fayrer-Hosken
did not answer inquiries from ANIMAL
PEOPLE , however, and other information
reaching us indicates that the University of
Georgia may be involved in litigation with the
Humane Society of the U.S., which apparently
funded some of the research, over ownership
of the marketing rights.

Prairie dog rescuers in Boulder,
C o l o r a d o, hoped to relocate an estimated
3,000 prairie dogs from a building site to a
1,280-acre site purchased by the S o u t h e r n
Plains Land Trust––but when neighboring
ranchers objected, and state representative
Mark Hillman introduced a bill to forbid
importing “destructive rodent pests” into any
county without the approval of the county
commissioners, the Colorado Division of
Wildlife on January 27 imposed a moratorium
on prairie dog relocations pending establishment
of a state relocation policy. Then, as if
the rescuers needed more bad news, the
online bulletin board P r o M E D distributed a
report that two Boulder prairie dog relocators
who fell ill last August with suspected fungal
pneumonia had contracted blastomycosis,
caused by inhaling the spores of a fungus
found in soil and rotting wood. They apparently
were exposed while digging up prairie
dog burrows.
Emulating Texas A&M University,
whose Stevenson Animal Companion
Life-Care Center opened in March 1993,
Oklahoma State University at Stillwater will
in April open the Cohn Family Shelter for
Small Animals. The Stevenson Center provides
quality care-for-life for companion animals
of the deceased at $25,000 per dog or
cat, $50,000 per horse. The Cohn Family
Shelter will charge $15,000 per cat, $25,000
per dog. Quality care-for-life programs run by
humane societies typically charge $5,000-
$10,000 per animal.
Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention researchers Jeffrey Sacks, MD,
and Kyran Quinlan, MD, estimate that the
4.5 million dog bites suffered in the U.S. each
year, as determined by a 1998 University of
Pittsburgh study, cost about $165 million in
direct medical care, and about $85 million in
hidden costs such as lost work time. The
University of Pittsburgh study found that
334,000 U.S. dogbite victims visit hospital
emergency rooms each year; Sacks and
Quinlan found that among the 6,000 victims
who are kept overnight, the average stay is
3.6 days. Their estimates were based on a survey
of 904 hospitals located in 17 states. An
average of 17 Americans per year are killed in
dog attacks––but recent totals have been much
higher. Companion animal demographer
Robert L. Plumb of Chico, California, estimates
from available data on bite frequency
vs. breed popularity that during the course of a
year one dog in 55 bites someone seriously.
Serious bites, Plumb estimates, are inflicted
by one purebred in 30; one terrier in 433,
exclusive of pit bulls and closely related
breeds; one Doberman in 296; one spaniel in
174; one German shepherd in 156; and one
pit bull in 16. The ANIMAL PEOPLE log
of life-threatening attacks in the U.S. and
Canada by owned pet dogs, kept since 1982,
shows 711 total through February 14, 1999––
322 by pit bulls, 154 by Rottweilers, 48 by
wolf hybrids, 29 by German shepherds, 18
by chows, and 16 by Akitas. No other breeds
account for more than ten.
Save Our Strays, a no-kill shelter
founded in 1996 by Lisa and Roy Haynes of
Huntington, Vermont, neutered and placed
more than 300 cats, dogs, rabbits, and other
stray or abandoned animals during 1998,
mostly via the PETsMART franchise in nearby
Williston––and was rewarded with a
PETsMART Charities matching grant of
$12,000 toward the purchase of a mobile
adoption van. Also in Williston: P e g g y
Larson, DVM, a pioneer of the use of a
mobile neutering clinic to serve rural regions.
The Associated Humane Societies,
operating four shelters and the Popcorn Park
Z o o for rescued exotic animals in northern
New Jersey, on February 1 announced it had
arranged the donation of 109 specially made
bulletproof vests to dogs used by New Jersey
law enforcement agencies. Fundraising to buy
the vests began in June 1998, in memory of
the Monmouth County Sheriff’s Department
German shepherd Solo, who was killed
by a fugitive from justice a few days earlier.
Associated Humane assistant director Roseann
Trezza said the fundraising effort would continue
until all 300 police dogs in the state are
protected. The vests cost $300 each.

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