Realizing New Possibilities
Through Non-surgical Solutions.

Marking and Identification of Free-Roaming populations of dogs and cats

An ACC&D Flagship Initiative

Street_dogs_webThe inspiration:

ACC&D has been tackling the challenge of how to mark and identify animals who have been non-surgically contracepted (temporary infertility) or sterilized (permanent infertility), as well as those who have been vaccinated against diseases such as rabies.  

The need is particularly acute for animals who roam freely. For these individuals, sterilization and vaccination can quite literally be lifesaving. Across the globe, some communities with large free-roaming dog populations agree to not impound or cull those animals who have been spayed or neutered and vaccinated. The same is true for free-roaming and feral cat populations. Increasing numbers of communities have committed to leave healthy sterilized cats in their outdoor homes.  A marker could be an asset not only to traditional Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs, but also to initiatives using multi-year contraceptives for free-roaming cats.

The ear tipping or notching that is currently used to identify surgically sterilized animals would not be humane for animals sterilized without anesthesia. And while traditional collars have many strengths, they are easily removed, and they cannot be used safely on a growing puppy.

Our current work:

We are exploring two methods to identify non-surgically sterilized and/or vaccinated dog and cats, the first inspired by a Think Tank in 2013. Consensus among Think Tank participants was that existing use of ear tags has not been optimized in terms of either material or methodology. As such, ACC&D has worked with partners to create a “21stCentury” ear tag and has trialed the tag in both dogs and cats with mixed results. A study in outdoor pet cats yielded promising results; we are in the process of further exploring the tag's use in free-roaming cats. The second method involves the use of microneedle patches to deliver tattoo ink to the inside of a dog or a cat ear. Click the plus signs below to learn more about our exploration of each method.

  • Microneedle Tattoo Patches

  • "21st Century" Ear Tag

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