Do the Math,  Miscellaneous

“500,000 Stray Dogs on the Island of Puerto Rico”

Hat Tip Obi-Wan

A New Jersey news station posted the following a couple of days ago.

Over 100 dogs were flown from Puerto Rico to Morristown Saturday on a special charity flight.

They were evacuated from the island ahead of the peak hurricane season in the region.

“There are over 500,000 stray dogs on the island of Puerto Rico, and if we weren’t down there rescuing the dogs, they would get hit by cars and you know, die in numerous ways,” says volunteer coordinator for the Sato Project, Kristin O’Brien.

Over 100 dogs evacuated from Puerto Rico flown to Morristown for adoption

A quick search reveals that Puerto Rico is 3,500 square miles total. If 500,000 stray dogs exist on that island, it’s 142.9 dogs per square mile. Puerto Rico is also a mountainous island so the actual amount of land upon which a stray dog can live is considerably less than the total square miles.

Let’s say stray dogs can reside on 75% of the land.

Stray dogs per square mile = 500,000/[3,500 x.75] = 190.5 stray dogs per square mile. Almost two hundred stray dogs per square mile. Not total dog population, only stray dogs.

The human population of Puerto Rico is 3,193,694 so for every stray dog there are 6.4 humans. How do the citizens of Puerto Rico walk down the streets with that many stray dogs in their paths?

While attending university we joked the journalism majors couldn’t balance a checkbook. The media reports this kind of nonsense without a thought to whether it makes the least bit of sense and I doubt anyone—editor to cub reporter—asks, “is this reasonable?”

A 2018 news story makes the same claim and sources it to the Humane Society of Puerto Rico. Maybe after a major hurricane the number of strays went way up but the 500,000 number remains unreasonable even after a major hurricane. I don’t believe it. Maybe 50,000 but even that is questionable. And what’s with the nice round numbers?

Once again the “ignorant savages” rationalization for the absurd number.

Obi-Wan has real concerns about this Wings of Rescue bunch. Once I shut GARD down I might look at them.


  • Old Ben

    It’s the last line that I think takes the cake: “…and there’s a shortage of pets [in the Northeast]”.

    A shortage of pets? A “shortage”?!? Since when? Says who? Who says there’s a “shortage”? Or is that just one of those things they say cause, you know, if you can’t prove its false it must be true? Are we inflating our market again?

    And isn’t a “shortage” a good thing? Does the American Cancer Society lament the shortage of cancer?

    If you take nothing away from this rant or any other, take this: the animal rescue world has zero interest in actually completing their charitable mission because, in fact, they have no charitable mission. The animal rescue will stop at nothing to perpetuate the idea that there are millions of animals roaming the streets and millions of people who need to pay for them. This article is perfect evidence of that, summed up in about 200 words: “There are regions of the U.S. that arent overrun with unwanted animals. So we flew a plane to an offshore territory, ostensibly a different country, to get some. In doing so we just created a crisis that previously did not exist. Now, give us money.”)


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *