How One Country Has Eliminated Its Stray Dog Problem

Can you imagine if every country followed suit?

Kristi Keller


Photo by Anthony Young on Unsplash

If I could wipe out anyone’s jobs it would be dog shelters and dog rescuers. Not because I want to push people out of doing meaningful work but because that type of work shouldn’t have to exist.

But hear this! Would you believe that it DOESN’T exist in the Netherlands?

Considering how widespread the global stray dog problem is (200 Million-ish to be precise) it’s difficult to imagine that one country has been able to get its poop together and eradicate the issue.

No, the Netherlands didn’t execute a nation-wide stray dog cull. They just exercised plain old common sense and compassion.

It’s actually a bit baffling that other world-leading nations haven’t caught on. (Full shame-vibes intended there.)

So, how did the Netherlands eliminate stray dogs?

When you hear how simple the solution was you’ll shake your head.

They did three things:

  1. The government tackled the issue head on and enforced a massive tax on store-bought (puppy milled) dogs. This hefty tax compelled potential dog owners to adopt from shelters instead.
  2. They initiated the CNVR program: Collect, Neuter, Vaccinate and Return. This is a government funded initiative that carries out neutering, spaying, and vaccinating of stray dogs and it makes total sense. If you cut the issue off at the root there’s no issue. Duh.
  3. And lastly, they launched a pet-police force that actually follows through on substantial fines and jail time for animal abuse and neglect. These pet-cops also assist in animal rescue.

Imagine if this were the same everywhere?

It feels like the worst thing that happens with animal abuse and neglect in North America is going viral on social media. Meh.

While we’re on the topic of how the Dutch care for animals…

Perhaps the coolest thing I’ve learned is that they have a whole political party representing animals.



Kristi Keller

Write like no one is reading, because it might be true. Never let the truth stand in the way of a good story.