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What's the process in Switzerland for feral cats & dogs ?
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Theoretically there are no feral dogs in Switzerland, as every dog must be microchipped and the owner's details registered in the federal ANIS database. (Plus pay the annual dog tax, comply with a million other rules...) It's estimated that there is a 95% compliance rate. But as we have read on a few EF threads, there are scofflaw owners.
Dog owners are also required under most cantons' dog control laws to supervise their dogs at all times - and so should always know where their dogs are. (And yes, I know that there are even more scofflaws wrt to this one.)
Cats may roam free. In law they are considered 'untrainable', hence they are treated as sort of semi-feral by nature. That too many owners refuse to spay/neuter an outdoor cat means that too many reproduce. There is a provision in the TSCHV (Art. 25, abs. 4) that bans 'unkontrollierte Vermehrung', uncontrolled reproduction. However, cat owners have little legal responsibility for what their their outdoor cats get up to - so the semi-feral population keeps growing.
So what happens to strays?
If a dog is found the finder has a legal responsibility to report it to the cantonal Meldstelle. Either the police, a vet, or a shelter will scan the chip and contact the owner. If the owner is uncontactable or if the dog is not chipped the dog will go to a shelter. The cost of the shelter stay and any care received may be charged to the owner (assuming he/she is found.)
Switzerland has a better record of not killing dogs in shelters than many other countries. There is not, to my knowledge, an absolute kill date for a found dog, as there is in many other countries.
But if the dog is deemed ill or 'difficult to home' - which could be anything, from being the wrong breed, the wrong size, the wrong color, imperfect temperament, older - and where the dog is so distraught by staying in the shelter that it's quality of life is deemed unacceptable, it may be killed at the discretion of the shelter once the shelter assumes ownership of the dog. There is a 60 day waiting period, though. Ownership of a stray dog cannot pass to another party during that period, and only the legal owner (or veterinarian acting in his/her professional capacity) may consent to kill a dog.
Obviously the shelter tries to find the owner, hopefully the owner is also searching for his lost pet. Once the Frist has expired and ownership passed to the shelter then all the shelters here try to rehome their dogs. No one who goes into this kind of work for a love of animals wants to see dogs killed, most will do everything possible to avoid that. There are amazing shelter groups and private individuals here who go to the ends of the earth to help the 'unhomeable', some have dogs who have been with them for years. IMO (and IME) shelters in Switzerland do very good work.
(I believe this is true of other found animals, but as it is not my area, I'm leave others to comment here.)
There are also cat shelters - one difference is that there is no legal requirement to chip a cat. Combined with the fact that cats roam free that can make finding the owner is more difficult.
But sadly sometimes stray animals are killed here. Many people in Switzerland don't know this, or refuse to face reality. If more people would take their heads out of the sand we might start to see the problem given the official attention it deserves.
Some cantons or communities even allow a stray cat to be shot if it is seen more than 'X' meters from a residential area.
(Please, cat people: if you have an outdoor cat, have him/her spayed or castrated and have him/her chipped!)
Bottom line, if you find an animal you believe is a stray, please contact the cantonal Meldstelle, your local police, vet, Tierheim.