This is incredible! Holland has been working hard to fix their stray dog problem and it finally paid off! The Netherlands has officially become the first country without stray dogs. Hopefully, other countries with similar issues will follow suit as Holland shows the world that it can be done!
Story via Animal Channel
Some background into the Stray dog problem in Holland
Holland has a huge dog population, since the 19th century. At one point, nearly every family in Holland had a dog as it was viewed as a symbol of social standing. Unfortunately, there was an outbreak in rabies that spread quickly and became one of the leading cause of death. Due to the overwhelming fear, the dog owners of Holland began to abandon their dogs (this action was considered legal), the streets soon became filled with stray, homeless dogs.
First step; Sterilization
Holland wanted to fix the problem they have created and it began with mandatory sterilization and castration - all of which were completely free of charge and paid for by the government. Because of this, Holland was able to 70% of female dogs. Each and every dog also got free medical examinations and vaccines when/if needed.
Step 2: New law against abandonment
In order to gain more control of the situation, a new law was passed that protected animals as well as animal health and welfare. The new law encouraged owners to provide pets with adequate treatment and to eliminate abuse. And If the owners don't abide, they could be punished with up to 3 years in prison and a fine higher than $16,000.
Taxes, taxes, taxes
The Dutch government also raised taxes on the purchases of bred dogs and dogs you can purchase in stores to help encourage stray dog adoption.
Holland run campaigns to raise awareness of the situation. People had the opportunity to care for homeless puppies and soon enough fell in love as over a million stray dogs managed to find a furever family!
The campaign was a huge success as it led to 90% of the population adopting a stray dog as a pet.
Happy pups = happy home!
This incredible government program worked against all adversity. They also created a group of policemen who are in charge of protecting the safety of dogs called, "Animal Cops". Today, puppies living in the Netherlands are not only living comfortably in homes, but they're also accepted in most of the country's stores, restaurants, and other establishments.
Way to go, Holland!
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