Birth control shots could alter life in poor areas

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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A decade ago, the Rosebud Sioux Indians in South Dakota were paying people to catch and shoot wild dogs.

Because animals are such an important part of Indian history and culture, tribal leaders called spay and neuter expert Ruth Steinberger. In the next eight years, they worked together to sterilize 7,000 dogs, moving 1,500 of them to other parts of the country for adoption.

Many U.S. tribes still rely on roundups to manage dog overpopulation, but two tribes in the West are going to take part in an experiment this fall using shots of a different kind.

Veterinarians plan to catch and inject 300 wild female dogs with a birth control vaccine.

Steinberger said the two-year test using the government vaccine GonaCon is scheduled to begin in September on two isolated Indian reservations in the West.

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