Stray dogs are a problem in many parts of the world but they are no longer a problem in Holland. In that country, the stray dogs were saved and found a new home. In order to achieve it, the government had to take action by implementing the PSVIR method (pick, sterilize, vaccinate, identify, and return). As of 2016, Holland became the first country to free themselves of stray dogs and the world would do well to follow their lead.
Holland is no stranger to dogs. In that country, almost every family had a dog in the 19th century because it was viewed as a social symbol. The extreme number of dogs gave rise to an outbreak of rabies and the problems that go along with it. Many owners became fearful and abandoned their pets. Before long, the streets were full of stray dogs.
In order to make a change, Holland decided to organize days to sterilize the animals. There was no charge because it was all covered by the government. 70% of the female dogs were sterilized and medical examinations were given to verify if any services were needed or if they had their vaccines.
Additional control became possible when a law was passed that protected animals and another law was associated with their health and welfare. Those new laws gave encouragement to owners to provide proper treatment to the dogs and to eliminate abuse. If owners did not follow the law, they could end up with a fine greater than $16,000 and as much as three years in prison.
Most people choose dogs according to their breed but the Dutch government slowed down that practice by raising taxes on any dogs purchased from a store. Dog owners started to consider other ways of getting a pet and that led to the possibility of additional stray dog adoptions.
Awareness was also something that was tackled by a state-run campaign. Individuals would be given the chance to take care of homeless dogs. It wasn’t long before people started to love the dogs and 1 million stray dogs were given a place to live. Thanks to that operation, 90% of the population adopted a dog and kept them as a pet.
One other factor that helped to reduce the stray dog levels was the incorporation of ‘Animal Cops‘ in 2011. Those policemen were charged with protecting dogs throughout the country. That is why dogs in the Netherlands are more than just a houseguest, they are also often seen at restaurants, stores and other establishments.
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