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September 10, 2013 at 8:00 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Detroit Is Crumbling and Pets Are Being Left Behind

By Victoria Swanson More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the Paws & Awws Blog Series

The Fall of a Great City

Unless you live under a rock, you're aware that Detroit recently filed for bankruptcy.

Known to many as Motown, Hockey Town, or simply, "The D," Detroit has lost its place as a leading city. Corrupt city leaders, loss of jobs, and homelessness have left Detroit in despair. Families are wounded and struggling to survive as they watch their beloved city crumble around them. Sadly, many pets are feeling the brunt of this dissolution due to families being displaced, as they are being tossed aside like garbage.

The Michigan Humane Society and other animal rescue organizations in and around Detroit are reporting that pet ownership is not valued like it is in other surrounding big cities. Some possible reasons for this include irresponsible ownership, lack of education on responsible ownership, over-breeding, illegal dog-fighting, and much more.

Too Familiar

I understand too well a family being down on their luck. Having grown up during the late 70's and early 80's recession, money was tight. My dad lost his factory job, and our family of five lived on food stamps, drank powdered milk, and wore clothes that didn't fit, because we couldn't afford to buy new ones. This became the norm for three years. During this time, we also had 4 pets (2 dogs and 2 cats), and never once did my parents consider tossing them outside to fend for themselves. No, we didn't lose our home, but even so, my parents would have never discarded our pets.

Detroit's Strays Are in Desperate Need of Help

Motown is being overrun by these abandoned pets. They are not well cared for medically; they are untrained and unsocialized; and spaying and neutering is almost unheard of.

The majority of the dogs over-running the city are Pitbulls or Pitbull Mix. This particular breed is popular in the Detroit area, as they are often trained to protect property and used for illegal dog-fighting. Sadly, they are also the first breed to be looked at as the most dangerous because of what they are used for. The Michigan Humane Society is estimating that there are 50,000 strays running loose.

With city funds locked up in court and the dwindling staff of rescue organizations, not to mention the absence of any pet foster care for homeless families and continued irresponsible ownership, this sad situation will likely spiral out-of-control even more.

What do you think about Detroit's dire stray situation? Want to help?

If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Michigan Humane Society.


CNN - Detroit's Stray Dogs

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