What’s Really Going on in Detroit (aka Stray Dog City)?
There’s a wild dog problem in Detroit.
Rolling Stone, Bloomberg News and other news sites say so.
And they’re making it sound really, really bad.
The number 50,000 keeps getting tossed around – as in 50,000 stray dogs roaming the streets of Motor City in packs.
In the video below, you can apparently see a few of the Detroit strays, including one dog so cold and hungry it goes cannibal.
Of course, Detroit’s wayward dogs are reported to be mostly pit bull mixes, which, sadly, only ups the scary factor for some people.
I’ve never been to Detroit, but the idea of dogs of any breed going feral in masse has always freaked me out. It’s a large part of the reason I originally founded this blog. Rolling Stone reporter Mark Binelli gets why this notion is so freaky:
The image of wild dogs overrunning neighborhoods of a major American city is more than just a disturbing metaphor for our national decline – as with much of what’s happened in Detroit, it’s also a warning from the future for the rest of the country … Part of the reason the dogs have such free rein is that so many humans have left.
But is Detroit really turning into a stray dog city?
While there is no real debate over the fact that the bankrupt city has a significant stray dog problem, some actual Detroiters do suggest the situation has been sensationalized. And although my heart will always be with the cause of wayward dogs, it’s important to hear out both sides.
The rhetoric amplifies Detroit’s predatory caricature, but experts challenged the portrayal of violent dogs preying on people, saying most abandoned dogs actually avoid people.
Besides the overinflated number, the story heavily trades upon emotion and affection for animals, which — partially thanks to Sarah McLachlan — stirs up the kind of emotion that can cause someone to not think critically about what’s really going on.
Add that emotion to the general attitude toward Detroiters, that we’re all a bunch of a lifeless savages with zero regard for anything and anyone, and you’ve got a typical “Detroit is crap” story.
So, what do you think?
Leave your thoughts about Detroit’s stray dog problem in the comments.
If you know someone involved in animal rescue efforts in Detroit, please feel free to put me in touch with them. I would love to keep learning more about this issue.
Posted on September 11, 2013, in Dogs, Pit Bulls, Wayward Dog and tagged 000 stray dogs, 50, abandoned dogs, Detroit, Detroit Free Press, dog eats puppy, dogs overrun city, feral dogs, Rolling Stone, sensational, stray dog epidemic, stray dog problem. Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.