Rescuing dogs in Detroit

As we continue our Seeking Change series, Michigan Radio’s Christina Shockley spoke with Daniel "Hush" Carlisle, co-founder of Detroit Dog Rescue (DDR). The former hip-hop artist and producer drives through the streets of Detroit looking for stray dogs, which are then vetted, housed, boarded, and fostered before beginning the adoption process.

How do these dogs get into this situation? Carlisle told us:

“With the plight of what’s going on in Detroit. This is something that has been happening over decades and I believe, in my honest opinion, that probably over 80 percent of these animals have been domesticated at one time and they just become victims of what’s going on. A lot of these dogs are left on the streets – they are kicked out of their homes.”

Carlisle said this has been “an emotional rollercoaster.”

So what’s the key to rescuing dogs? “You have to have a passion for the animals…you grow to like the personality of every dog.”

According to Carlisle, “You have to almost become that dog and put yourself into that mindset of that dog to really know what he’s thinking.”

DDR estimates 50,000 homeless and stray dogs live in the city’s streets. Thanks to an anonymous $1.5 million donation, Detroit Dog Rescue has begun building the city’s first no-kill shelter.

- Arielle Mellen, Michigan Radio Newsroom