It is believed that the level of development of society is determined in many ways by how it treats our younger brothers. In Russia, this issue is largely painful, so it makes sense to see how street animals are treated in other countries. The experience of the Netherlands is especially revealing, where there are no abandoned animals at all. Dutch volunteers who come to our country believe that there is a way to simultaneously solve two problems: to find applications for homeless animals and to please people who need warmth and affection. Similar projects are successfully starting to be implemented with us.
An interesting historical fact: a few years after the release of the beautiful children’s film “101 Dalmatians”, America’s shelters were full of spotty thoroughbred dogs. The fact is that inspired by a magical story, people massively wanted to get these animals. But in fact, Dalmatians are quite complex in nature, very active dogs. They were taken out for hunting, and it is difficult to keep such pets in apartments, therefore, disappointed, many owners solved this problem in the simplest way – they got rid of dogs. So the film, which was supposed to instill in people a love of animals, led to opposite results.
After the release of the famous film, the Dalmatians became the most popular breed for several years.
The Netherlands, which today is considered an exemplary country for pets, faced the problem of street animals in full in the 19th century. In those days, keeping a dog at home was considered a sign of good taste – this indicated the high status of the family. As a result, due to the huge number of dogs in the country, an epidemic of rabies erupted, after which many owners, frightened, got rid of the animals, throwing them outside. Of course, this only made it worse. In the 20th century, the number of animals was reduced, and in the 21st century, new civilized mechanisms for controlling animals were developed and effectively worked. It was based on the question of the responsibility of the owners for “those whom they tamed”.
As in the example with the Dalmatians, the most important link in the problem was not the animals themselves, but the people. Firstly, in the Netherlands, as in most countries that effectively deal with this issue, most pets are not only registered, but also sterilized (this operation is free, and only certified breeders can have animals for breeding). Secondly, the legislation protects the rights of tailed people and provides for fines and even prison sentences for people who do not fully understand their responsibilities. That is, the owner can not throw the animal into the street or not provide him with the necessary medical care. To ensure that animals are not offended, special police monitors – Animal Cops. Well, and thirdly, the government encourages the admission of animals from the shelter to the family. This is done by very simple economic measures – a high tax on pedigree dogs has been introduced. After such an unusual step, about a million mongrels were “attached in good hands” very quickly.
Street dogs can be a real problem advertising
Of course, putting things in order in relatively small Holland is not at all the same as working in our vast expanses. The failed experience of the Moscow program for the sterilization of stray animals was shown more than clearly. However, the foreign volunteers who come to our country are most surprised not even by the fact that many Russians stray animals cause negative emotions – this is understandable, and in many respects is the result of ineffective measures to regulate their numbers. Very poor statistics in our country, for example, according to the Federal State Statistics Service, in Russia, as a result of the attack of stray dogs from 2000 to 2010, 391 people died (although compared with the 20 thousand people who died earlier each year from rabies in India, this is not so scary). Wrong, according to foreigners, we try and take care of stray animals. So, in Europe, if a person wants to help stray dogs, he does not feed them at the entrance, but goes to the shelter and takes care of the pet, which until now could not find the owner. This, by the way, is much more complicated than just sharing leftover food.
Dogs can give older people a lot of positive emotions.
Another great idea that came to our country from Holland was the project on the “employment” of mongrels. Usually, volunteer organizations participate in it, helping nursing homes and orphanages. Lonely old people and children are sorely lacking in love and affection, which pets who have recently acquired owners can generously reward them. For such communication very carefully, according to several criteria, animals are selected – they must be non-aggressive, healthy and respond well to strangers. For dogs from the shelter, curators who have good contact with animals are selected. If the dogs were recently given to the family, then time is given for them to get to know their new owners well, and then the volunteers, together with the “tailed team”, come to visit those who especially need them. According to the feedback of the participants,
Children with no parents are especially happy with unusual guests. According to psychologists, communication with animals can fix many problems in a baby soul crippled by life circumstances. And this is not about special dogs-therapists, but simply about good-natured animals from the shelter who are ready to communicate with people. It’s very useful for kids to simply cuddle doggies and learn how to care for animals – comb, feed, walk with them, holding a leash.
In other countries, various exotic animals are brought to nursing homes.
Such projects, which are now being implemented very successfully in many countries, really allow you to solve several problems at once – children, the elderly, and the dogs themselves receive a huge portion of positive emotions, and shelter animals, recently loitering around the streets and presenting a potential threat, become “in demand specialists ”doing an important job, the attitude towards them is changing before our eyes. In the future, dogs that have received this experience are easier to fit in good hands. This is a great example of how not very difficult to implement and an inexpensive idea can bring tangible benefits to all participants.