Author Peter Zheutlin never wanted a dog, let alone a rescue. He had always believed, as a lot of people do, that rescue dogs are damaged goods.
Now Zheutlin can't imagine life without a dog, and he's become so driven by the issue of stray dogs that he's written two books about it. He tells Here & Now's Lisa Mullins the number of stray dogs has "cascaded out of control" in some parts of the U.S.
"People are often very often surprised when I tell them that the picture ... of dogs running on highways and so forth, this is not just a third world problem — that exists here in the United States," says Zheutlin, author of the new book, Rescued: What Second-Chance Dogs Teach Us About Living with Purpose, Loving with Abandon, and Finding Joy in the Little Things.
There are more than 200 million stray dogs worldwide, according to the World Health Organization. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals estimates about 3.3 million dogs enter U.S. animal shelters every year.
While Zheutlin makes the case for adopting dogs that are abandoned, he also acknowleges there is no easy answer to the problem. He says the supply of stray dogs greatly outweighs the demand.