Stray animals are a growing problem in the country and a threat to animal wellness, and many animal shelters are filling up, leaving many cities wondering what to do with their homeless dogs and cats.
MLive recently published a story about the stray dog population in Detroit and the city's effort to calculate just how many canines were roaming their streets. According to the source, multiple news accounts said there were 50,000 stray dogs. Tom McPhee, filmmaker and executive director of the World Animal Awareness Society, disagreed.
"In terms of actual, what we call actual, stray dogs," McPhee told the source, "the number is demonstrably different than the 50,000 number that's being published."
McPhee is working on a documentary about the lives of select stray dogs in Detroit, hoping to raise awareness about the growing problem. Efforts have recently been made to accurately count the population. McPhee and the American Strays research project worked with Michigan State University to implement a strategy that included sending volunteers to 50 points on a map. These volunteers observed each point for five minutes for strays and, using GPS technology and photographs, they collected data that's being analyzed by Data Driven Detroit and Massey University.
Tips for encountering stray dogs
What are the best ways to handle finding a stray dog?
If an individual encounters a stray dog, ensuring the safety of the dog and himself or herself is of prime importance. If the dog is friendly, the best thing to do would be to provide the animal with water and a place to rest.
Taking the dog to a local shelter would be the logical next step, since these are the places where pet owners turn to when their dogs or cats go missing. If the dog has no collar or tag, the shelter can scan the canine for microchips put in by the pet owner.
Websites and forums like Craigslist are a good resource for people who have either found or lost animals.
If a person finds a dog and wants to bring the animal back to his or her own house, either temporarily or permanently, it would be wise to take the necessary precautions before doing so. Giving the dog proper flea treatment will protect the house and other pets from infestation. Products like the Hartz® UltraGuard® Flea & Tick Collar for Dogs will keep fleas off of dogs for up to seven months, killing the flea eggs as well.
This content is provided by the flea and tick experts at Hartz. We believe in offering safe, effective and affordable parasite prevention for every dog and cat.