The Koninklijke Hondenbescherming, Pets Place and Prins Petfoods started collaborating July 1st. The three parties are joining forces to improve dog welfare in the Netherlands and increase the recognition of the Royal Dog Protection. Pets Place, Prins and the Royal Dog Protection signed a long-term collaboration agreement on June 21st at the Pets Place headquarters in Ede.
There are nearly two million dogs living in the Netherlands. They are part of families, provide assistance in certain sectors and help individuals participate in society. However, the rights of dogs are sometimes under pressure, according to Daphne Groenendijk, director of the Koninklijke Hondenbescherming. "We believe that coexistence between humans and dogs can and should be better. Knowledge about proper care, guidance, and nutrition is essential to prevent frustration in animals. By taking into account the needs of dogs, we can prevent accidents such as biting incidents and animal abuse more effectively. This is our first major 'business' collaboration since we changed our legal form from an association to a foundation in 2022. By joining forces with Pets Place and Prins Petfoods, we demonstrate that we are serious about it."
Positive effects on humans
As a market leader in pet stores, Pets Place has been dedicated to the welfare of all animals for years. When Pets Place director, Ard Malenstein, engaged in conversation with the Koninklijke Hondenbescherming, it immediately became clear that the organizations had many similarities. "Our mission and values align with each other," says Malenstein. "The same goes for Prins Petfoods, with whom we have been working together for years. The three of us will bring the goals of the Koninklijke Hondenbescherming into the spotlight more effectively, with the primary aim of improving the welfare of all dogs."
Through Edupet, the knowledge center of the Veenendaal family business, Prins Petfoods organizes courses and conferences for better animal welfare. The existing knowledge and expertise will be utilized in the collaboration for dog education. "A dog has many positive effects on humans," says Marlou Mulders, commercial director at Prins. "We want to provide even better information and advice to pet owners about this. Additionally, we will highlight the ways in which responsible dog ownership contributes to a better society."
Dogs in the workplace
In the coming years, Pets Place, Prins and the Koninklijke Hondenbescherming will initiate various initiatives to achieve their set goals. "Among other things, we will collaborate in the annual fireworks campaign," says Malenstein. "Approximately two-thirds of dogs in the Netherlands are afraid of fireworks. Therefore, we will now explore ways to make New Year's Eve more pleasant for dogs."
Another important aspect of the collaboration is a large-scale study on the positive influence of dogs in the workplace. Mulders explains, "We will inform employers about the benefits of bringing pets to work. Ultimately, we aim to establish a dog etiquette for dealing with dogs in the office."
Improving dog welfare
According to Groenendijk, the collaboration will be deemed successful if the welfare of dogs is improved and more dog owners understand what responsible dog ownership entails. "Naturally, we are very pleased with the financial contributions we receive from Pets Place and Prins Petfoods. But I am perhaps even more enthusiastic about the other ways in which we will collaborate. Together, we want to ensure that dogs become even happier and healthier, and that owners have a good understanding of what a dog truly needs."