Why Are There No Stray Dogs in the US?

Almost all countries have stray dogs. Most first-world countries try to solve this problem daily. How does the US do it? 

US cities and towns do not have stray dog packs because they spend a lot of money to care for them and keep the dog population low. People in many parts of the United States are willing to pay a portion of their local taxes on animal control.

The annual cost of controlling stray dogs and cats in the United States is over $500 million, but it’s one of the issues we must solve.

Why are stray dogs a problem? Stray dogs can cause property damage and litter the streets by overturning trash cans, which increases the risk of disease and attracts rats. Packs of stray dogs can hurt or kill domestic animals, and many die being poorly cared for.

stray white dog lying outside next to building

Why Are There Few Stray Dogs in the USA?

There are a lot of dogs in the United States, and the vast majority are household pets. However, dogs can run away or be abandoned by their owners. This way, they become stray animals.

On the streets of any American city, there are no significant, free-roaming, wild populations of dogs that have been breeding for many generations. The US indeed has stray dogs, but not thousands of freely reproducing dogs roaming the streets.

Street dogs in the USA, unlike in many other countries, haven’t formed long-standing populations due to consistent efforts by animal welfare groups and local municipalities. These groups continually work on rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming these dogs.

Every year, around 6.3 million companion animals enter US animal shelters. Out of those, there are about 3.1 million dogs and 3.2 million cats among them.

While the US has stray dogs, they also have experts who take stray animal reports, track them down, and bring them into the shelter. Feral dogs in the United States are primarily found in rural regions and don’t typically exist in urban or suburban areas.

In general, street dogs are more prevalent in third-world countries, but first-world countries have tax-payer-funded dog catchers cleaning the streets of street dogs. The United States is no exception to this.

How Did the US Solve the Problem of Stray Dogs?

The US hasn’t solved the problem of stray dogs entirely, but they are working on it. The United States takes care of stray dogs daily by investing taxpayer money to resolve the issue by collecting dogs, neutering them, setting them up for adoption, or euthanizing them.

Every year, around 2 million shelter dogs are adopted in the United States. According to the APPA, 34% of dogs are bought from breeders, and 23% through an animal shelter or humane group.

Stray animals are still a significant problem in many states in the US. 

The dogs may form packs and prowl the area together, while the cats may create what are known as feral colonies. When people spot stray dogs, they usually phone the humane organization, and they come out in a vehicle equipped to transport animals and try to catch them.

They are taken to a good city shelter, where they are examined for microchips or any ID on a collar to locate a prospective owner. Usually, every effort is made to reunite them with their family if they are chipped. They are photographed and placed in a kennel if no chip is found. 

Stray dogs are typically detained for a week to give their owners time to discover them. If no one comes for a pet, the dog is either adopted or given to a rescue group that will work to find a suitable home. 

Some dogs are euthanized due to disease or other unforeseen causes. Approximately 390,000 shelter dogs in the US are euthanized each year.

Where Can You Find the Most Stray Dogs in the US Today?

The United States has a wide range of dog overpopulation and underpopulation. The northeast is similar to Canada. However, overpopulation is still a significant problem in the South since it’s easier for stray dogs to survive the mild winters and reproduce the rest of the year.

Most moderately financed counties have animal control, and the poorer ones usually have lenient firearms restrictions. It’s a combination of poor animal control, firearms prohibitions, and a large enough population to attract canines that could cause a problem.

Overpopulation is still a significant issue in the South. Street dogs in the USA’s southern regions often find themselves in a unique position: with the help of transport programs, many find homes in states where demand for adoption exceeds the local supply of dogs. Therefore, they often transport dogs to the North for adoption. 

In many counties in the northeast, you will rarely see puppies in the shelter unless they came from the South, and if it weren’t for transports, you’d probably never see more than two or three dogs.

stray dog on the beach lying

Why Are There More Stray Dogs in the South?

In the South, many people choose not to neuter/spay their dogs and allow them to roam freely, resulting in many strays. The reasons for this are many. Here on AnimalReport, we recommend everyone to first educate themselves on the benefits of spaying or neutering a dog before making a decision.

An excellent example of how a country solves the problem with stray dogs is the Netherlands, and the central part of their program was neutering and vaccinating their stray dogs.

Additionally, many localities in the South consider these stray dogs as outside pets. This causes males to roam in search of females in heat, undesired litters, and escapees.

Backyard breeding is also a significant issue in the South, with people breeding many dogs to make a few bucks, pitbull “breeders” being the biggest offenders.

Another reason is that dogs can survive easier in the warmer climate, allowing them to live away from people for longer. Texas has these problems, but Georgia and Alabama on the east coast are experiencing similar problems with strays, just like Texas.

When these factors are combined with the traditional South attitude of doing things on their own, the result is an enormous situation with shelters overflowing and stray animals everywhere. 

Furthermore, animal control isn’t as effective in the South as it is in the North of the US. In some cities, they’re only available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m and don’t take care of strays as they do in the North. 


How Many stray dogs are there in the world?

According to the World Health Organization, there were more than 200 million stray dogs globally five years ago. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, approximately 3.3 million dogs enter animal shelters in the United States each year.

Which countries have no stray dogs?

The first country without stray dogs is the Netherlands. They accomplished this with the CNVR program (Collect, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return), a government-funded national sterilization program. Other countries with low stray dog populations include Canada, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Turkey, and Finland.

How do stray dogs survive?

Human towns provide plenty of waste to scavenge, and there aren’t many considerable predators to contend with. Therefore, survival isn’t impossible for an animal who has never learned to hunt anything besides garbage bags. That’s not to say it’s easy. Fatalities from road accidents and disease are high, and cats and smaller dogs are vulnerable to coyote predation and freezing weather.

Leave a Comment