Ever since that Bloomberg story about there being 50,000 dogs (dubious) in Detroit, it's like all of a sudden everybody cares about dogs now. And now there are efforts to count every single stray dog in the city.
Somebody at the World Animal Awareness Society and the American Strays Project must have written one hell of a pitch because the AP, the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News all saw fit to follow them around as they began a two-day survey to count all the dogs. Surely that's what stray dogs need right now as the temperatures dip into the 40s: To be counted, census-style, instead of being placed in loving homes where they have access to treats and toys.
Oh, these guys are also filming a documentary? Thanks, local media, for aiding and abetting a possible exploitation of Detroit's ruin by people not even from here.
But since the Bloomberg story, I've been keeping count of how many stray dogs I've seen in my normal travels. I've seen four, two of which were traveling together and one of which had a collar on. None of them were attacking mail carriers or ripping off people's scalps, but one of them did look scared for her life when I tried to shoo her away from my car.
You know what I've seen a lot of, though? Cats. Tons of them. When I walk my dogs, I'm constantly feeling them tug away to chase one of the six or so strays around my neighborhood. That's not counting the many I've seen roaming all around the city over the last few months.
It's not just Detroit either. I see stray cats when I visit my grandparents all the way out in Ypsilanti. I saw a mother cat and a new litter at a friend's apartment complex on the Dearborn/Allen Park border. Cats are everywhere in the region.
Stray cats are a problem across America, which is why Bob Barker reminded us to neuter them all those times, but it seems like it's a bigger problem in Metro Detroit. I'd say there are maybe 50,000 cats in Detroit. Let's just make it 500,000! If Bloomberg can spin a number out of nowhere, then so can I.
No but seriously — I get that dogs are lovable and they're going to hold everyone's attention right now because that's the way the media goes around here, but can we show some love for the cats, too? I'm not saying we have to choose between cats and dogs. But the dog surveyors couldn't find any dogs within their first hour and a half of their search. I'm willing to bet they saw at least a few cats during that time.
[Photo via AP]