Only 250 million out of a billion dogs on the planet have a human caring for them.The rest of the 750 million are strays who never have an owner their entire lives.
It may be hard to think of the majority of dogs as being ‘unloved’, by our standards, however a new book by a husband-and-wife researcher team, who have been studying dogs for over 60 years, suggests that street dogs are woefully misunderstood – they actually have rich social lives
Street dogs “are not companions”. Instead these “highly adapted scavengers who have evolved to fit particular niches in the vicinity of humans” are more akin to “pigeons or squirrels.”
Specifically, in his interview with the New York Times, Dr. Coppinger told them that he has no sympathy for rescue groups that “kidnap and mutilate” street dogs from one place to bring them “to somewhere else to live as pets. “This is supposed to benefit the dogs, but Dr. Coppinger argues that they are taken from” for what is for many dogs “a rich social environment, to lives of relative isolation.”
“Street dogs” are found in practically every major city across the world where there is garbage they can scavenge off. They’ve even adapted well to fairly modern inventions; in Moscow, they learned how to use trains, and in Romania, they were so efficient at crossing roads at cross walks or only when the lights had turned red, that they were featured by the Bucharest Police in an effort to cut down fatalities from jaywalking.
In a time where a small number of street dogs from other countries are being brought to Malta to be re-homed as pets, it might be wise to ask if the same applies here.
That being said, there is a difference between former pets, domestic animals, who have been abandoned, and genuine street dogs. By no means is this a suggestion not to adopt homeless dogs, but you might want to make sure that you’re not uprooting a dog from a society it grew up and has been living in it’s entire life.