Monday, September 23, 2013

Detroit Is Going To The Dogs - Literally

As Detroit continues to circle the drain, there's yet another hazard to contend with - an estimated 50,000 stray dogs roaming the streets and vacant homes menacing residents and city workers.

To make it even more interesting, pit bulls dominate the dog packs, due to the popularity of the breed in the largely black city as watchdogs and for dog fighting.

Many of the dogs have simply been abandoned and left to fend for themselves as the owners move on, something uniquely cruel when it comes the Man's Best Friend.The dogs often roam in packs and shelter in Detroit's abandoned homes, where rats can also be hunted as a food source.

And the bankrupt city, as things stand right now, can't really do much about it.

“With these large open expanses with vacant homes, it’s as if you designed a situation that causes dog problems,” said Harry Ward, head of animal control.

Ward has four officers to cover the 139-square-mile (360-square-kilometer) city seven days a week, 11 fewer than when he first took over animal control in 2008. He has one dog-bite investigator, down from three.

Back in July, the City shelters actually had to stop picking up stray 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 that bill was paid.

In some particularly bad areas, the U.S. Postal Service has had to temporarily halt mail delivery in some neighborhoods because of attacks by aggressive dogs, said Ed Moore, a Detroit-area spokesman. He said there were 25 reports of mail carriers bitten by dogs in Detroit from October through July.

Another problem is that many of the residents of Detroit who still remain and own dogs aren't bothering to get them neutered, are not getting them their rabies or distemper shots and are simply letting them wander. There simply isn't any budget to enforce these measures any more.

Yes, there are a number of jokes I could make here, but to tell you the truth, I feel sorry for the dogs. They at least did nothing to create this and deserve better.

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