Synthetic Dog Could Replace Shelter Dogs for Veterinarian Training
Just when you think the fate of an abandoned animal can’t possibly get any worse. ABC News recently reported that many of these dogs and cats are sold to terminal surgery laboratories where they are used for testing and surgery training, and then euthanized.
Now, I have to say, we have our doubts about this practice and that story’s accuracy. The veterinary schools we know and work with abandoned that practice many, many years ago and only perform surgeries on shelter animals who require surgery. Even then, then they do their best to find homes for the animals through legitimate rescuers.
On the other paw, many laboratories do purchase animals from “B dealers” (aka puppy mills, horses from slaughterhouses and others who just breed to sell to laboratories).
Regardless, SynDaver Labs, a Florida-based company, is planning to change any need for anyone to ever have to purchase a live dog for experimentation or training DVMs by replacing them with lifelike and very realistic synthetic dog that mimics nearly every part of a live animal.
But synthetic dogs with fully functioning systems are not cheap…
Coming in at a pricey $28,000 each, very few colleges or can afford to purchase these cadaver dogs (in comparison, synthetic human cadavers cost upwards of $40,000).
Which is why they have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise $24 million. It’s a lofty goal – but one that prevents shelter animals from being more victimized than they already are and helps veterinarians learn to heal millions of animals.
“If we grow SynDaver organically we can get into every vet school maybe within the decade,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, PhD, Founder of SynDaver Labs. “But if we’re successful in our fundraising, we can make it happen practically overnight,” he said. “We’ll be able to provide up to 20 canines to practically every accredited veterinary college in the world, saving tens of thousands of animals in the process.”
While the synthetic cadaver dog may not look very appealing (it lacks fur and skin, looking instead like something out of a horror movie), it looks, feels and bleeds just like the real thing.
“[It’s] a highly complex system that mimics every part of the animal,” said Dr. Christopher Sakezles, PhD, founder of SynDaver Labs, in a video promoting the project, “and you’re going to be able to do a lot of different things with it — trauma training, spays — veterinarians will be able to train in brain surgery with no risk to the animal because they’ve got this platform to train on.”
If they are successful, they hope to develop a synthetic feline next. Here’s a closer look at the synthetic dog:[vimeo url=”https://vimeo.com/168716383″]
Willing to help them raise the funds? Here is a look at some of the perks you’ll receive for a contribution to the cause. To learn more, head over to IndieGoGo and make a donation. The life you save may very well be your own pets.