Portland, Oregon -- The Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs (ACC&D) is well positioned to launch a project in summer 2015 to advance a new fertility control option for unowned free-roaming and feral cats thanks to a generous transformational grant from The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation, a supporting organization of The Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut. The project will focus on a multi-year contraceptive injection that offers potential to extend surgical TNR efforts to reach greater numbers of cats, beyond what can be accomplished by sterilization surgery alone.
"The project will use a groundbreaking and animal welfare-centric study model to advance the first pharmaceutical product developed specifically to help feral cats," explains Joyce Briggs, ACC&D President. "The Wiederhold Foundation is supporting a paradigm shift in how the humane community cares for companion animals and advances their welfare. We are so pleased to have their support!"
A gift of $130,000 over five years speaks to The Wiederhold Foundation's role as a key influencer in developing new tools that hold promise to save countless lives with safe, effective, efficient, and affordable non-surgical fertility control for cats. "The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation is pleased to support ACC&D and excited about the potential of this project," says Sandy Monterose, Trustee. "Progress in this area could impact the welfare of unwanted and homeless animals globally."
While ACC&D also supports initiatives to develop permanent non-surgical sterilants for cats and dogs, the organization's population modeling work indicates strong potential for a contraceptive lasting an average of three years, especially for female feral cats. This technology, developed by the National Wildlife Research Center, is a Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) vaccine called GonaConTM, which is presently approved for contraception of female deer and wild horses. A 2011 study at the University of Florida's Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program found that an earlier GonaCon formulation was both safe and effective at providing long-term contraception for female cats (a median duration of nearly 40 months, and more than 25% of cats still infertile after five years).
The upcoming project's Principal Investigator is Dr. Amy Fischer, Extension Specialist in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois. Dr. Julie Levy, Maddie's Professor of Shelter Medicine in the Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at the University of Florida, led the earlier study with GonaCon and will serve as Co-Principal Investigator.
The Alliance for Contraception in Cats & Dogs (ACC&D) (http://www.
The John T. and Jane A. Wiederhold Foundation is a supporting organization of the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut, created for the purpose of protecting and improving the welfare of animals of all kinds with a focus on cats and dogs, the promotion of veterinary programs and, the protection of wildlife, including endangered species, flora and fauna.