Detroit is a city in transition. In 1951, as the city of Detroit celebrated its 250th birthday, people called it a "city of magic." A once thriving metropolis of one million 10 years ago, Detroit's population has dwindled down to about 700,000, as families flee the bankrupt city for jobs and decent housing.
They abandon their homes, leaving them to the elements and the homeless, the gangs and the drug users. They abandon their dogs, leaving them to fend for themselves in a city where there are only 4 animal control officers, down from the 15 they had in 2008.
Today, it is estimated that over 50,000 stray dogs roam the streets of Detroit, most of them one-time-pets, but now, it's difficult to call them pets. They live in the abandoned houses, roam the streets in packs looking for food, and quite often, they have been known to bite.
The packs terrorize those people still hanging on, killing pets and attacking mail carriers. In 2010, 59 mail carriers were bitten, come seriously. Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society, visited Detroit in early October and described the city as being "post-apocalyptic, where there are no businesses, nothing except people in houses and dogs running around."
In less than 60 years, Detroit has lost more than 1 million residents, while its total property value shrank from $37 billion to $9.4 billion in 2012 dollars. During that same time period, median wages in the city went from being some of the best in the nation to being among the worst. Today, more than two-thirds of the residents live in poverty, and the unemployment level is at 50 percent.
The transition of Detroit is not yet complete. Many of those left behind after the exodus of so many souls are still hopeful the city will make a comeback, they say it is primed for it, but most don't expect it to happen in their lifetime. So they stay inside their houses, and wait.