Animal welfare group World Animal Awareness Society is leading the American Strays Canine Survey. On Saturday, volunteers searched several areas, including Detroit’s west side. On Sunday, the group will meet at 7 a.m. at Biggby Coffee in Midtown, to continue their work.
The number used by media to indicate the number of stray dogs in Detroit is 50,000. Volunteers did not see many dogs, however; the search on Saturday was quiet. One of the groups did not see any strays, even though they made a dozen stops.
According to the Detroit Free Press:
“The volunteer canine surveyors used an app on their smartphones to track what they saw, indicating whether the dogs were loose, tethered, walked or if they matched one of five other categories. Pairs of volunteers stood on opposite sides of streets and spent five minutes at each of 50 stops in more than 40 assigned sections of the city, scanning for dogs and then entering the information in their phones.”
Overgrown fields and lots, parking lots around abandoned buildings, even an abandoned playground are all being searched.
World Animal Awareness Society’s founder and executive director Tom McPhee Jr. explained that the goal is not just to count the number of strays, but to also provide a scientific study “to offset the notion that there are 50,000 stray dogs ‘chewing the scalps off babies’ in the city.”
McPhee wants to educate the public of the importance of spaying and neutering dogs, noting many of the strays are there simply because they were abandoned.
Another member of the survey group, Pat Peebles, believes that people shouldn’t blame the dogs for being strays. “It’s not really the dogs’ fault,” she said. “They’ve been thrown out there to fend for themselves."
Volunteer Kerry Wood said “What I really hope this does is for people outside the area to want to help the dogs here.”
World Animal Awareness Society expects to release their findings in several weeks. McPhee hopes to make the canine survey an annual event.
To receive my future articles on other animal-related issues, please click on “Subscribe”. There is no cost to subscribe.