About the stray dog problem in the UK


(*note – videos not created by SaveTheStrays.co.uk)

The UK has a serious dog overbreeding problem and stray and abandoned dogs are sadly paying the price – with their lives.

  • Over 125,000 STRAY DOGS are being collected by Local Authorities each year.
  • Statistics from the 2011 Dogs Trust survey reveal that 126,176 dogs were picked up in the previous 12 months which equals 345 stray dogs being found every day.
  • Some of these stray dogs are reunited with their owners and large numbers end up in animal rescues for rehoming, but sadly over 6% (7,121) of stray dogs were put to sleep by Local Authorities due to lack of homes.
  • That’s 20 dogs put to sleep each day in the UK by Local Authorities.

And it doesn’t end there…

On top of this figure we have to add the dogs euthanised by rescues that don’t have a proper ‘no-kill’ policy. Some rescue organisations will have a dog put to sleep if a home cannot be found within a reasonable time, or if a dog is in need of extra training and care.

The statistics on this vary and are hard to find, but it’s probably safe to assume that at least another 10,000 dogs, probably more, are put to sleep by such organisations each year.


So what’s causing the problem?

There are a lot of contributing factors but the basic facts are:

  • Too many people are breeding dogs
    Even though Council pounds and rescues are overflowing, people continue to breed their dogs, especially the breeds that are currently the worst affected like Staffies and other Bull Breeds
  • Too many people are abandoning their dogs and allowing them to stray
    125,000 + per year, the equivalent of 342 dogs arriving in council pounds every day
  • Too many people are buying puppies/dogs
    instead of adopting a dog from rescue. There are always thousands of dogs looking for new ‘forever homes’.

Find out more about…

What you can do to help – Volunteering, donating, adopting and lots of other stuff!

About dog overbreeding in the UK

The law on stray dogs

Stray dogs in Ireland – sadly the problem is even worse in Ireland

Could you volunteer to help rescue dogs?

With more volunteers and more donations, animal Rescues can save more lives. Please do what you can to help:



Wondering what to do now? How about…

>> Read more about how you can help stray dogs & rescues

>> Watch a video:

To learn more about the situation facing stray dogs we recommend watching this video made by Doris Banham Dog Rescue

(Can’t see the video? Click here)

For more information on Doris Banham Dog Rescue visit DogSOS.co.uk


Rescue Helpers Unite, volunteering for animals

Save The Staffies, Staffordshire bull terriers

* In some cases a dog may be put to sleep due to injury or ill health.