Detroit reports 50,000 stray dogs live in the city's streets and vacant lots. This number goes back to at least 2011, but the continued shortage of funds and bankruptcy could make the problem even worse. Catching the strays is a challenge with the city's 70,000 vacant buildings, where the dogs often make dens.
All of Detrot's public services have faced cutbacks in recent years, including funding for animal control and shelters. Bloomberg's Chris Christoff reports that the city's shelter recently had to stop accepting dogs:
"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."
Many dogs are abandoned as their owners face economic hardship. But the large number of pit bulls and breeds mixed with pit bulls were bred for fighting.Nonprofits are also working to address the issue, including the Detroit office of All About Animals Rescue and Detroit Dog Rescue, which created the video below.