Hundreds of millions

As Earth’s human population hits seven billion, I’ve been googling for statistics on the dog population.

Estimates vary. A conservative one is: there are five hundred million dogs in the world, and 75% of them are strays.

THREE QUARTERS. 375 million dogs living on the streets, subject to starvation, disease, abuse and slaughter. It’s like three out of four human children being born homeless. No, it’s worse – the real proportion of dogs born homeless is far higher. Unneutered stray dogs have litter after litter of puppies, many of whom die. Three out of four is just those who survive.

This is getting to me so badly. I’d somehow assumed that more dogs had homes than didn’t. Instead, it turns out that the average dog is a street pariah who knows humans only as something to be afraid of. The average dog will never be patted or have its tummy tickled, never be fed by a human hand, never be cared for when it’s ill or injured or dying.

Dogs are our responsibility. We created this species and they’re suffering, in such overwhelming numbers that anything I can do will be a drop in the ocean. Hundreds of millions. But each of those hundreds of millions is an individual, an actual real dog with real eyes and ears and fur and a real life that can be made or broken, and not to save one because I can’t save hundreds of millions would just be nonsense. Besides, if everyone saves one dog… Okay, I’m dreaming now :)

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