Stray dogs are a major problem in South Africa, as many starve, contract deadly diseases or can pose a safety risk to humans.
In a 2011 article, IOL reported that Cape Town had at least 230 000 unowned dogs roaming the streets. The problem is not just in Cape Town, as the World Health Organization estimates that there are upwards of 70-million stray dogs in Africa.
In the Netherlands, however, there are none. The country — which is a strong advocate for the “adopt, don’t shop” policy — has high taxes on bought pets and lets residents sterilise their dogs free of charge.
The country’s CNVR programme (Collect, Neuter, Vaccinate, and Return), a nation-wide, government-funded programme, promotes the reduction of the country’s dog population through sterilisation and public education on dog ownership and how to interact with stray dogs.
No street dogs are ever euthanised for the sake of reducing the population. The Netherlands Animal Control monitors the stray dog populations as well as crimes against animals, for which there are hefty fines or even imprisonment for up to six months.
What to do when you find a stray dog:
– Take the dog to a veterinary clinic to find out if it is microchipped.
– If it is not possible for you to do so or the dog is not microchipped, you can foster the dog while making an effort to find its owners through posters, social media etc.
– If the owners are not located, or the dog seems to be unowned or abandoned, you may choose to keep the dog and welcome a new pet into your home. If this option is not for you, contact the Cape of Good Hope SPCA or any other local animal shelter, where they will take the dog in or make other arrangements.
Contact the SPCA here or phone 021 700 4140 or 083 326 1604.