Effort to benefit dogs’ long-term health is UC Davis’ first Indiegogo campaign.
A veterinary professor is the first UC Davis researcher to launch a “crowdfunding” campaign under the university’s auspices.
The campaign is on Indiegogo, the world’s leading platform for this popular and relatively new online fundraising tool. People use it to put forth all kinds of new ideas and projects, hoping to draw “crowd” support.
University Development has established a crowdfunding policy and selected Indiegogo as UC Davis’ vendor of choice, which means contributions to official UC Davis Indiegogo campaigns go through the development office — and do not count as researchers’ personal income.
Benjamin Hart, a distinguished professor emeritus in the School of Veterinary Medicine, is seeking $9,000 for the first phase of a project to benefit dogs’ long-term health, by determining the optimum age they should be when they are spayed or neutered.
Hart and his UC Davis colleagues discovered in recent studies of Labrador and golden retrievers how neutering them before the age of 6 months, which is common practice in the United States, significantly increased the occurrence of joint disorders — especially in the golden retrievers.
Now Hart wants to develop the world’s first science-based guidelines for mixed-breed puppies, so caregivers will have the information they need to make “healthy spay and neuter decisions.”
Learn more on the campaign page, which includes two videos: Hart tells how “our project will help mixed-breed dogs live a better life,” and he gives some statistics, including, “We know that roughly two out of three family dogs are of mixed breed.”
Though dog owners and veterinarians have a strong interest in the subject, the relatively small scope of the project would not meet the criteria typically required by large funding entities. So Hart and his team have turned to Indiegogo, the world’s most established crowdfunding platform and the university’s vendor of choice for a one-year pilot project.
“The Indiegogo staff has been helpful,” Hart said, “and the website for uploading the material is quite easy to use.”