Detroit's stray dog problem under international microscope

By Paula Tutman, Local 4 Reporter, @PaulaTutman
Published On: Dec 24 2013 04:28:22 AM EST
Updated On: Aug 27 2013 06:07:40 PM EDT

"When you have an economic decline of a city in an urban area there is going to be things that suffer, animals are one of them," said said Daniel "Hush" Carlisle co-founder of Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR).

DETROIT -

As if Detroit's image wasn't battered enough by the bankruptcy filing, the national and international media picked up on a story about stray dogs in the city.

A recent report said 50,000 dogs are roaming Detroit's streets.

The hottest media tour in the city right now is to see the state of Detroit's dogs.

"I see dead dogs all along the freeway someone needs to clean it up," said Daniel "Hush" Carlisle co-founder of Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR). "When you have an economic decline of a city in an urban area there is going to be things that suffer, animals are one of them."

Local 4 travelled with DDR as they were preparing for Swiss Television, which booked a tour with them Wednesday.

"They just basically want to document the problem," said Carlisle.

The world is seeing that problem this week.

"Just stray dogs walking up the block, coming through the alley," said one Detroit resident.

It all stems from a recent report done by Bloomberg News last week.

Tuesday alone, Local 4 learned that media crews from France, Switzerland and CNN were in town to see the situation for themselves.

"CNN wished to do a ride alone, they're interested in seeing how bankruptcy has impacted the people and the animals in the City of Detroit," said a Detroit Animal Control representative.

But are the numbers being twisted?

The numbers are based on a formula of 15,000 dogs that move through the Detroit Animal Control system annual and the population that number of dogs supports.

The figures assume that 90 percent of male Pit-bulls or pit-bull type of breeds are impregnating females who then have litters of six or more puppies starting at 9 months of age.

But even with those figures, Animal Control says those are not the most important numbers to know in the city.

"There are three numbers that everybody needs to know, 903, 50 and 4. In 2012 there were 903 bites to humans in the City of Detroit, there are 50 calls a day by citizens asking for relief from the dogs, from the Pit-bulls that are chasing them and endangering their children and 4 is the number of officers I have to cover that," said Animal Control.

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