There have been reports recently that up to 50,000 dogs* have been abandoned and are now roaming in Detroit, due to the recent exodus of people from the bankrupt city.
This number is being generally discussed as "inflated" but let's be real here, it sounds huge, but in a city that was recently 1.8 million people and is now down to 700,000, 50,000 dogs doesn't seem like too much of a stretch.
There are over 70,000 vacant houses in the city, and the United States Postal Service has stopped mail delivery to many neighborhoods.
One of the largest issues here is that a large number of these dogs are unaltered as, prior to the city's most recent issues, they had a huge issues with underground dog fights. Needless to say, many of these dogs are pit bull types.
A larger issue is this: these unaltered dogs are forming packs, some up to 20 dogs. They are living in the abandoned houses. Not only is this dangerous for the dogs (disease and fights are just two of the issues) but it is also dangerous for the people that DO live there. Dogs in packs are unreliable at best and dangerous at worst.
There are only 4 Animal Control officers that cover the 139 square-mile city. Of those, there is only one trained in "dog bite investigation."
More than 70% of dogs that are picked up by Animal Control, or surrendered to the animal shelters have been euthanized. Various grants have been given for care, building of a new no-kill shelter, and for a free neuter/spay program.
This is the worst part:
"In July, the pound stopped accepting more animals for a month because the city hadn’t paid a service that hauls away euthanized animals for cremation at a cost of about $20,000 a year. The freezers were packed with carcasses, and pens were full of live animals until the bill was paid." — Chris Christoff, Bloomberg
I am in such a terrible place with this. I literally want to quit my job and move up there and attempt to help these animals. I have absolutely no experience with aggressive dogs, as sadly, many of them seem to be. I am not anti-pit bull. I am absolutely against people who would own an animal and treat it as a money-making or entertainment business. I am just a girl who loves animals of all shapes and sizes and believes that every animal is worth the time and care to allow it to thrive.
Some sources: Warning, pictures of abused dogs.