How many stray dogs in the world?

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

2 thoughts on “How many stray dogs in the world?”

  1. Thanks Judith for speaking about this.

    I would love to be able to help all the dogs in the world, but first I must help the ones at home and then hopefully move on to helping in other countries. I would love nothing more than to be able to, at some point, go to another country and aid in a spay/neuter clinic, help build a shelter or provide education.


  2. More and more people need to be know these extraordinary figures. If they did maybe, just maybe they would not look so highly upon the, “retail rescues” that continually bring in mass transports of unvetted, sick dogs into Canada. Perhaps Canadians should organize mass transports to ease our own overpopulation problem and ship our dogs down to the U.S.? I doubt such an action would be supported south of the border.

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