Abandoned Dogs Flood Detroit As People Flee The Bankrupt City

Fewer Animal Control officers, declining public finances and abandoned homes have led to an increase in stray dogs in Detroit, most of whom are euthanized. "This is a humanitarian crisis" says the Humane Society of the United States.

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Poverty in the Motor City means that many residents have escaped Detroit and left their dogs behind; others are financially unable to look after their pets, or are unaware of how to find proper care.

"The suffering of animals goes hand in hand with the suffering of people," says Amanda Arrington of the Humane Society of the United States. She called the situation in Detroit a "humanitarian crisis"

Detroit has acquired more than $18 billion in debt. Financial problems have translated to cutbacks in the police and fire departments -- and canine control.

Pet owners who move sometimes leave behind dogs, hoping neighbors will care for them. But they take to the streets and reproduce. There are approximately 70,000 abandoned buildings where animals live.

“Technically, it’s illegal to let a dog roam, but with the city being bankrupt, who’s going to do anything about it?” says Kristen Huston, head of an Animals Rescue organization in Detroit.

Contact Ali Vingiano at alison.vingiano@buzzfeed.com.

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