The World Health Organization (WHO) estimated that there are around 200 million stray dogs worldwide. But, Netherlands is not one of the countries contributing to this statistic.

Dutch people surely love their pets. Small pets can ride public transport for a discounted price, and most cafes and restaurants are pet-friendly.

In Netherlands, owning a dog used to be a sign of status. During the 19th century, there was a massive dog population in the country, but a rabies outbreak led many humans to abandon their disease-ridden pets. This incident created a shift in the society, where humans took their pets’ health more seriously.

They created the first animal protection agency in 1864 in The Hague. A century later, the government put the animal protection act into work. With it, owners were forbidden to abuse animals, in doing so, it is punishable with a prison sentence of up to three years and a large fine.

Aside from these, how exactly did the country manage to eradicate the stray dog problem? Not through euthanasia!

The government funded a nationwide sterilization program called the CNVR, or the collect, neuter, vaccinate and return program. The World Animal Protection Agency also believes this is the most effective way of combating stray dog population.

Municipalities also increase taxes for store-bought dogs to let people adopt more homeless dogs in shelters. About 1 in 5 Dutchies have an animal companion, taking a million of them off the streets.

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