Thousands of stray and homeless dogs are looking for owners in San Diego County. Now, a new, very humane procedure could reduce that burden and help animal shelters save precious time and money. NBC 7's Mark Mullen reports.
Hundreds of stray and abandoned dogs are waiting for adoption at the San Diego Humane Society.
The population problem is caused, in large part, by the cost of spaying and neutering to prevent unwanted births.
"Being able to very safely and cheaply neuter most male dogs, that can make a huge difference in the number of dogs that roam the streets,” said Dr. Holly Mullin of the VCA Animal Hospital in Hotel Circle.
It costs hundreds of dollars to neuter a male dog, but a new injectable solution called Zeuterin could change that.
It stops sperm production forever with a simple, single dose.
"Big difference is no surgery, no incision. It's a single injection into each of the testes," Mullin explained.
"It has the potential to really revolutionize the way spay and neuter is done," said Dr. Cindy Mitchell, the medical director at the San Diego Humane Society,
Zeuterin is a simple chemical composition. Starting today, it’s being shipped to animal clinics and shelters.
Ark Sciences says its new product can help reduce necessary animal deaths around the world, including in Sochi, where thousands of stray dogs were reportedly killed to clear the area for Olympic construction.
At the Humane Society, veterinarians will study Zeuterin's progress and could use it soon, potential cutting costs and freeing up doctors to care for sick and injured pets.
“So animals that are ill for other reasons, it would become the focus, rather than just spay neuter, spay neuter, spay neuter," Mitchell said.
A spokesman for Ark Sciences told NBC 7 that veterinarians are charging from $60 to $150 for the procedure. The cost depends on what part of the country you live in and the level of service your vet provides. In all cases, it is expected to be must cheaper than surgery.