The Science

Histology whole ovary analysis Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs

An entire ovary in the process of being analyzed. 

Histology follicle evaluation Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs

A closer view of the same ovary; follicle evaluation in progress.

Histology follicle evaluation magnified Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs

Greater magnification, with follicle evaluation in progress.

Dear Friends of 600,

It is my honor to present our

Spay and Neuter Cookie Overview and Update.

As you know, our science-centered mission is to

significantly reduce animal suffering by developing safe,

non-profit, permanent one-dose birth control food

for stray dogs and cats.

Our approach is to modify known ingredients so

that they will safely sterilize a stray without surgery.  

The first birth control food we are developing are the

Spay and Neuter Cookies.

They are being designed to be species- and gender-specific,

and we expect the first Cookie that will be

completed will be for female dogs.

Our Pilot Pups

When we rescue a stray, in addition to caring for her
or him, we also feed her or him a single trial Cookie.

Once a rescued stray has eaten a single trial Cookie,

she or he becomes an official Pilot Pup.

We also cover the associated costs such as veterinary
care, food, housing, transportation, adoption -- and
we add a hefty dose of love and affection.

Trial Cookies 

Each trial Cookie contains a combination of key
ingredients and trial formulations -- often as many
as 15 or more variables go into a single Cookie,
such as the varying temperatures at

which they are prepared and the length of time

they are heated, all of which we are evaluating.

At this stage of development, each trial formulation

(trial Cookie) must be made by one or more
scientists and made by hand one at a time.

The work is labor-intensive and each trial
formulation is unique and can cost thousands
of dollars and take months to prepare -- and
many formulations need to be evaluated.

Once the final formulation is completed,
our goal is to be able to produce it in bulk
for under $5 per Cookie.

In our work, the welfare of the Pilot Pup comes
first, before the science. We take precautions
and go out of our way to ensure that each trial
Cookie is as safe as possible, based on using
ingredients and amounts that we already know
to be safe.

For the safety of the Pilot Pup, to study

variations in formulas, we only increase key

ingredients by very small, controlled amounts,

one tiny step at a time.

This is a significant factor in why it is taking

so long to perfect the formulas.

In contrast, a for-profit drug company

would not typically follow our one tiny step

at a time approach; instead they would

increase the dose as high as possible

and as fast as possible, to cut costs.

Some of us humans at 600 have eaten

trial Cookies ourselves, myself included.

Thus far there have been no negative side effects

for animals or people. We suspect a key reason

for the lack of negative side effects is that the

Cookie is designed as a rare “only one dose

over a lifetime” product, unlike traditional

birth control products that are ingested daily.

Evidence also shows, thus far, that eating multiple

doses (of the ingredients of the Cookies) does

not harm the animal.   

After the Pilot Pup eats the single trial Cookie,

the Pup usually stays at the veterinary clinic for

a few days to ensure that he or she is in good health.

As soon as they get the green light from the

veterinarian, they go home to their foster or

permanent home.

If a home is not readily available, the Pup stays

at the veterinary clinic or in a doggy day care

center until a home is found.

Approximately one month after eating the trial

Cookie, the Pilot Pup comes back to the veterinary

clinic, the veterinarian performs a spay or neuter

surgery and the Pup goes home again.

In a standard spay or neuter surgery, the

veterinarian discards any tissue that is removed,

such as the ovaries or testes.

In our case, the veterinarians keep these

now-treated tissues, and we provide them to other

specialists to histologically process

them physically, chemically and digitally 

for microscopic examination.

Once the slides are digitized, we have them

microscopically examined by other specialists.

The Science

Dear Friends of 600, 

It is my honor to present

our Spay and Neuter Cookie

Overview and Update.

As you know,

our science-centered mission

is to significantly reduce

animal suffering

by developing safe,

non-profit, permanent

one-dose birth control food

for stray dogs and cats.

Our approach is to modify 

known ingredients so that

they will safely sterilize

a stray without surgery.  

The first birth control food we

are developing are the

Spay and Neuter Cookies.

They are being designed to be

species- and gender-specific,

and we expect the first

Cookie that will be completed

will be for female dogs.

Our Pilot Pups

When we rescue a stray,

in addition to caring for her

or him, we also feed her

or him a single trial Cookie.

Once a rescued stray has eaten

a single trial Cookie, she or he

becomes an official Pilot Pup.

We also cover the associated

costs such as veterinary care,

food, housing, transportation,

adoption -- and we add a

hefty dose of love and affection.

Trial Cookies 

Each trial Cookie contains a

combination of key ingredients

and trial formulations. 
 

Often as many as 15 or more

variables go into a single Cookie,
such as the varying temperatures

at which they are prepared and

the length of time they are heated, 

all of which we are evaluating.

At this stage of development,

each trial formulation (trial Cookie)

must be made by one or more

scientists and made by hand

one at a time.

The work is labor-intensive and

each trial formulation is unique

and can cost thousands of dollars

and take months to prepare --

and many formulations

need to be evaluated.

Once the final formulation

is completed, our goal is to

be able to produce it in bulk

for under $5 per Cookie.

In our work, the welfare of the

Pilot Pup comes first,

before the science.

We take precautions and

go out of our way to ensure

that each trial Cookie is as safe

as possible, based on using

ingredients and amounts

that we already know to be safe.

For the safety of the Pilot Pup,

to study variations in formulas,

we only increase key ingredients

by very small, controlled amounts,

one tiny step at a time.

This is a significant factor in why

it is taking so long to perfect
the formulas.

In contrast, a for-profit drug

company would not typically follow

our one tiny step at a time

approach; instead they would

increase the dose as high

as possible and as fast

as possible, to cut costs.

Some of us humans at 600

have eaten trial Cookies

ourselves, myself included.

Thus far there have been no

negative side effects for
animals or people.

We suspect a key reason for

the lack of negative side effects

is that the Cookie is designed

as a rare “only one dose over

a lifetime” product, unlike

other birth control products

that are ingested daily.

Evidence also shows thus far 

that eating multiple doses

(of the ingredients of the Cookies)

does not harm the animal.   

After the Pilot Pup eats the single

trial Cookie, the Pup usually stays

at the veterinary clinic for a few

days to ensure that he or she

is in good health.

As soon as they get the green light

from the veterinarian, they go

home to their foster

or permanent home.

If a home is not readily available,

the Pup stays at the veterinary

clinic or in a doggy day care

center until a home is found.

Approximately one month

after eating the trial Cookie,

the Pilot Pup comes back to

the veterinary clinic,

the veterinarian performs

a spay or neuter surgery,

and the Pup goes home again.

In a standard spay or neuter

surgery, the veterinarian discards

any tissue that is removed,

such as the ovaries or testes.

In our case, the veterinarians

keep these now-treated tissues,

and we provide them to other

specialists to histologically process

them physically, chemically and

digitally for microscopic examination.

Once the slides are digitized,

we have them microscopically

examined by other specialists.

Histology control ovary from a rescued Pilot Pup Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs

This examination is a painstaking process, and

it allows us to determine if the Pilot Pup is sterile

as a result of eating the single trial Cookie.

This in turn allows us to learn if

the trial formulation worked.

How do we know if the Cookie worked?

It’s a long and important answer.

These are the basics of what we refer to as the count,

our nickname for the percentage of various types of

ovarian reproductive follicles that are impaired.

The more follicles that are impaired (the higher

the count) the better, and the closer the dog is

to being infertile. 

For example, a high count occurs naturally through

aging in humans and dogs  -- which is why elderly

humans and dogs naturally become infertile.

Histology treated ovary from Pilot Pup Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs

What is the magic number

that produces infertility?


According to the scientific

community, the answer is

unknown.

At this time the answer is not clear when it comes to dogs, cats,

or humans.

What is known is that in humans,

for example, it is common for

an adult female in her sixties

to be infertile yet still have a considerable number of

normal follicles.

This is good news for dogs

and cats, because it means

that if a human female

can be sterile even though

not all of her follicles are

impaired (she has less than

a 100% count), the same

can be true for dogs and

cats, who have reproductive

systems very similar

to humans.

Our ability going forward

to reliably produce a high

yet less than 100% count

should be much easier

than producing a 100%

count -- all of which is

good for the animals.

When will we discover

the winning formula and

how much will it cost?

As with most scientific

endeavors, no one can

answer this question

with certainty – just as

no one can predict the

future with certainty.

A team of scientists

formulated projections

for the time and cost

that would be required

to complete the work,

including the studies

needed to submit the data

to the FDA and initiate

the FDA approval process

so that the product can be

used in the U.S.

They reached the following conclusion:

With a budget of $3 million

per year for 3 years,

the Cookie could be

developed within those

3 years, including the

studies needed to initiate

the FDA approval process.

 

These funds would go

toward hiring scientists,

allowing them to devote

themselves full-time

to the project.

As you know, we are not

waiting for the $3 million.

Our plan is to continue

our research and

development to find

the winning formula

-- without applying

for FDA approval

at this time.

Instead, our work is

being performed at a

grassroots level:

Scientists are retained

individually and paid

on a limited hourly basis,

and much is done

outside of the U.S.

Instead of waiting for

FDA-level funding, we

intend to continue

at the grassroots level,

find the winning formula

-- and put it to work

in field trials in parts of

the world where the need

is the greatest and where

the suffering is the

most severe.

Despite the obstacles,

we are pushing forward

to make the Spay and

Neuter Cookie a reality.

At this time, we are actively pursuing opportunities to carry out the work humanely, cost-effectively, and with the best scientists and technology available in the U.S.

In the meantime,

I cannot thank you enough

for your support.

Our scientists review, analyze and quantify these

follicles under a microscope, and one of the things

we’re trying to do is cause as many of these follicles

as possible to become impaired -- without harming

the animal, of course.

Our scientists then provide us with a report

on each tissue, including the percentage of

impaired follicles.

 

A count of 20% means 20% of a certain type of

follicle were found to be impaired. 

Again, the higher the count the better, and the

closer the dog is to being infertile.

Conducting accurate counts is not easy, and we

send the same digital slides to various specialists

in order to secure second and third opinions.

Thus far, three of our best cumulative counts

(the counts for all follicle types found to be

impaired, combined) have been 41%, 45% and 69%.

In short, these are surprisingly high numbers

and good news for the animals.

Some additional good news:

Three of our best individual counts

(the counts for individual types of follicles)

are higher than the cumulative counts.

The best news is that each of these results

have come from their own single trial Cookie

formulation -- produced on a minuscule budget,

with scientists working on our behalf

in their spare time.

At this point, our budget is around $270,000.

What is the magic number that produces infertility?


According to the scientific community,

the answer is unknown.

At this time the answer is not clear

when it comes to dogs, cats, or humans.

What is known is that in humans, for example,

it is common for an adult female in her sixties

to be infertile yet still have a considerable

number of normal follicles.

This is good news for dogs and cats, because it

means that if a human female can be sterile

even though not all of her follicles are impaired

(she has less than a 100% count), the same can

be true for dogs and cats, who have reproductive

systems very similar to humans.

Our ability, going forward, to reliably produce a

high yet less than 100% count should be much

easier than producing a 100% count

-- all of which is good for the animals.

When will we discover the winning formula

and how much will it cost?

As with most scientific endeavors,

no one can answer this question with certainty

-- just as no one can predict the future with certainty.

A team of scientists formulated projections

for the time and cost that would be required

to complete the work, including the studies

needed to submit the data to the FDA and initiate

the FDA approval process so that the product

can be used in the U.S.

They reached the following conclusion:

With a budget of $3 million per year for 3 years,

the Cookie could be developed within those

3 years, including the studies needed to initiate

the FDA approval process.

These funds would go toward hiring scientists,

allowing them to devote themselves full-time

to the project.

As you know, we are not waiting for the $3 million.

Our plan is to continue our research and

development to find the winning formula

-- without applying for FDA approval at this time.

Instead, our work is being performed at a grassroots level:

Scientists are retained individually and paid on a

limited hourly basis, and much is done outside of the U.S.

Instead of waiting for FDA-level funding, we intend to

continue at the grassroots level, find the winning formula

-- and put it to work in field trials in parts of the world

where the need is the greatest and where the suffering

is the most severe.

Despite the obstacles, we are pushing forward

to make the Spay and Neuter Cookie a reality.

At this time, we are actively pursuing opportunities to carry out the work humanely, cost-effectively, and with the best scientists and technology available in the U.S.

In the meantime, I cannot thank you enough for your support.

This examination is a painstaking

process, and it allows us to

determine if the Pilot Pup is

sterile as a result of eating

the single trial Cookie.

This in turn allows us to learn

if the trial formulation worked.

How do we know

if the Cookie worked?

It’s a long and important answer.

These are the basics of what we

refer to as the count, our

nickname for the percentage of

various types of ovarian

reproductive follicles that

are impaired.

The more follicles that are

impaired (the higher the count)

the better, and the closer the dog

is to being infertile.

For example, a high count occurs

naturally through aging,

in humans and dogs  -- which

is why elderly humans and dogs

naturally become infertile.

Thank you for caring.

Alex Pacheco 600 Million Dogs on Porch.j

 

A count of 20% means 20%

of a certain type of follicle

were found to be impaired.

Again, the higher the count

the better, and the closer

the dog is to being infertile.

Conducting accurate counts

is not easy, and we send the

same digital slides to various

specialists in order to secure

second and third opinions.

Thus far, three of our best

cumulative counts

(the counts for all follicle types

found to be impaired, combined)

have been 41%, 45% and 69%.

In short, these are surprisingly

high numbers and good news

for the animals.

Some additional good news:

Three of our best individual

counts (the counts for individual

types of follicles) are higher

than the cumulative counts.

The best news is that each

of these results have come

from their own single trial

Cookie formulation -- produced

on a minuscule budget,

with scientists working

on our behalf in their spare time.

 

At this point, our entire budget,

including our research and 

development, for this year

is expected to be approximately

$270,000.

Alex Pacheco

600 Million Stray Dogs Need You
Founder
Animal Rights Hall of Fame 
Inductee
Adopt A Pet 
Co-Founder
PETA Co-Founder 
Chairman (1980-2000)
Sea Shepherd 
Crew Member of the Year
Peace Abbey 
Courage of Conscience Award

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Our scientists review, analyze and

quantify these follicles under a

microscope, and one of the things

we’re trying to do is cause as many

of these follicles as possible to

become impaired -- without

harming the animal, of course.

Our scientists then provide us

with a report on each tissue,

including the percentage

of impaired follicles.

Out of 1.8 million nonprofits,

600 Million Stray Dogs Need You

has been awarded the prestigious

Gold status of accountability

by GuideStar, "the nation's premier

nonprofit database." 

guidestar-gold-seal-2021-large.webp
GReatNonProfit.png