Photo of homeless dog clinging to teddy bear goes viral, leaving people sad and outraged

The number of stray dogs across the U.S. has almost become a national epidemic, affecting cities across the country. However, few cities struggle with this heartbreaking phenomenon as much as Houston, Texas. With quite 1M stray dogs on Houston’s streets, shelter staffs work tirelessly to feed these hungry animals – and since of the massive numbers, they're limited to only taking dogs that are truly in need.

An example of the sad situation in Houston was captured during a recent photo posted on the ‘The Forgotten Dogs of the 5th Ward Project’ Facebook page. The photo was taken by Yvette Holzbach, a dog rescuer that works with the organization and sometimes posts photos of the city’s strays on its Facebook page. WithinIn the heartbreaking photo, a miserable dog is seen clutching a soft toy tightly.

“Here may be a stray dog taking comfort during a worn-out, discarded toy,” Holzbach said. “How many of the dogs that we see also are thrown out on the road once they need served their purpose?” The photo strikes a nerve with some people

It seems this photo, especially, struck a chord with some people. While many of these commenting on the Facebook post thanked Holzbach, Others disputed that she did not ask the dog to go home at the time. albeit Holzbach wishes she could help every dog she sees on the streets, the sheer number of strays within the Houston area makes this impossible.

Holzbach explained herself to her critics, telling them that in a perfect world, it would be easy to save every dog from the street. But, with the present situation, that's impossible . Therefore, Holzbach and other rescuers like her will do all they can to help the dogs who seem to need help the most.need. Within the end, however, there’s only such a lot that these devoted volunteers can truly do.

The best way volunteers can help Houston’s stray dogs is to form sure that they're not hungry. As long as the dog is healthy and does not require medical attention, volunteers can focus on dogs that need more help.

What's more, many foster homes in the area won’t even take a healthy dog, preferring to focus their efforts on dogs that can’t make it on the streets on their own. And once more, when it involves shelters, there's only such much room in their confines. Holzbach had a suggestion for any of her critics, “If there's anyone that doesn't quite understand what we are faced with, we welcome you to try to to a ride-along with us. you'll be astounded at what percentage homeless dogs there are.”

Luckily, the dog featured in the heartbroken photo wasn’t completely alone – he had a faithful, elderly man that taken care of him alongside the opposite strays in the area, ensuring they were fed and cared for.

Holzbach posted the image in an effort to boost awareness about the plight of Houston’s homeless dogs. As well, she says that shelters just like the one she works at face an uphill battle when it involves helping these animals in their day-to-day struggle to survive.

One way you'll help stray dogs is by fostering or adopting one among the various rescues from your local shelter. For more on how you'll help the dogs of Houston’s 5th Ward, visit the organization’s Facebook page.

Watch the video below to find out more about Houston’s overwhelming number of stray dogs. Please share with your friends and family.