How many stray dogs in the world?
Apparently the answer could be as high as 600,000,000 but we don’t care and here’s why: that number is incomprehensibly too large.
We can reason this situation is intolerable. We are morally aware we have an obligation to help, yet we remain strangely unmoved because this number is much too large to connect with. Even beyond empathy.
So let’s look at the numbers closer to home.
In 2013, nearly 4 millions pets were euthanized in the USA, 2.7 millions of which are healthy or with easily treatable issues. During that time, over 300,000 dogs were imported from developing countries. Incomprehensible!
Let’s look at our own numbers, in Canada.
Numbers are difficult to come by in Canada due to the lack of governing agencies and standards. Canada is the wild west of rescues and pet imports. The best estimates report over 600,000 dogs are euthanized every year, most of which are in Quebec.
This translates to likely well over 1,000,000 dogs needing a name and a home in Canada.
How can we sanely live in a country where so many dogs are homeless and gas chambers are still in use?
How can we participate in worldwide efforts to help others manage their populations of unwanted dogs when our own house is not in order?
It is time we focus on making social changes in Canada that prove successful. Only once we have humanely dealt with our surplus dog problems will we be in a position to efficiently help others.
Dr. Judith Samson-French