March 27, 2019

Dog tax: free to over a hundred euros in some places

Filed under: Animals,Comics by Orangemaster @ 2:42 pm

I first heard about a dog tax in a French comic book as a child. A family was playing a record on a turntable of the Skater’s Waltz by Frenchman Émile Waldteufel, sung by dogs, according to the drawings, of course. The family had earlier claimed they did not have a dog and at some point, the dog tax collector came back and gave them a fine for having a lot of dogs after hearing the record through the front door.

Like many things in the Netherlands that make little sense, municipalities often charge very different fees for things that shouldn’t be that different from one place to the next. A quick look at Noord-Brabant has Tilburg (107,86 euro) and Breda (104,55 euro) as the most expensive, followed by Veldhoven (84,18 euro), Den Bosch (83,64 euro) and Eindhoven (77,00 euro).

Municipalities that charge over 100 euro include The Hague and a few other places close to it that border the coast, Groningen way up north, Nijmegen next to Germany. Dog owners in 57 per cent of all municipalities still pay dog tax. One reason for a large amount of municipalities not to charge dog tax is that they need to have collectors and that’s expensive and not always very efficient.

Not only is dog tax apparently the oldest type of tax in the Netherlands, it’s also rarely used for cleaning up dog poop.

For anybody who cares about the situation in Noord-Brabant, feel free to sign a petition in order to get rid of dog tax.


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March 10, 2017

Huskies run amok at indoor ski hall

Filed under: Animals,Sports,Weird by Orangemaster @ 7:43 pm


The Netherlands is quite flat, but people still ski here albeit indoors. The indoor ski hall SnowPlanet in Velsen-Zuid near Amsterdam had a special day out for dogs, specifically huskies.

Some 68 huskies were allowed to run around in the snow for the whole day, an event organised by a local group of dog enthusiasts for the very first time.

You’ll have to click on the link below for the short video.

(Link and screenshot:

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December 23, 2016

Rare puppies born in Noord-Brabant

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 12:03 pm


A litter of 11 puppies has been born to Ruth, a Curly Coated Retriever, one of only about 150 in existence in the Netherlands.

This breed of dog originally comes from England where it is said to be rare as well. Only about 2000 ‘Curlies’ can be found around the world even though breeding them isn’t difficult. Ruth was coupled with a Curly from Sweden that the owner ran into while on vacation. Ruth is not only a mother, but has been a show dog for many years.

According to Omroep Brabant, her puppies will be sold for about 1,000 euro a puppy, which isn’t that much for a thoroughbred. As well, they are the only Curly puppies born in the Netherlands in all of 2016.

(Link: omroepbrabant, Photo of Curly Coated Retriever by Zwoenitzer, some rights reserved)

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October 24, 2016

Dutch TV show clones dog to make a point

Filed under: Animals,Science by Orangemaster @ 9:47 pm

Dutch television station BNN, known for its edgier shows aimed at a younger segment of the population, is currently prepping a show that features cloned animals.

A bulldog in the Netherlands has been cloned, 12-year-old bulldog Joep from Rotterdam, by South Korean company Sooam Biotech. The cloning cost the broadcaster 50,000 euro, and a quick Internet scan tells us that an article on American site Refinery 29 mentioned 100,000 USD, which is about 91,000 euro, but the owner in question ended up with two clones of their dog. If you also include travel expenses in their case, it’s easily a lot more.

However, this was the first time ever a Dutch house pet was cloned. Cloning is prohibited in the Netherlands, but importing a cloned animal is perfectly legal. And the idea is to spark some debate. And what about abandoned dogs that need a good home and all that.

A lot of people were interested in cloning their dog for the show; I’m sure a lot of cat owners as well.

The owner of Joep the bulldog who has died, are apparently happy with their cloned dog that they got for free I imagine. “It’s not just the physical characteristics that are basically identical”, the couple said to De Telegraaf newspaper. “Daily we are amazed by the behaviour and character that are so similar to our old dog. That is unbelievable.”

(Link: nltimes)

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April 29, 2015

Lamppost caves under dog urine, injures woman

Filed under: Animals,General,Weird by Orangemaster @ 1:18 pm

This week on King’s Day in Zoetemeer, South Holland, a lamppost came crashing down on a woman while she was cycling by with her young daughters, giving her a concussion. The kids were a bit shocked to see mum bleeding from her head, as the event was as unexpected as could be. Passers-by called the emergency services and all is well.

The lamppost was fastened onto cement tiles by a metal plate with screws, but came crashing down because its base had been eroded by dog urine.

I hope the kids aren’t too scared of cycling anymore and yes, the lamppost could have done even more damage to the children. The question is why did that lamppost give way and could others do the same? We’ll keep you ‘lampposted’.


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January 3, 2013

Woman sues dog breeder and sets precedent

Filed under: Animals by Orangemaster @ 2:45 pm

A purebred dog breeder from Noord Brabant has been found guilty of selling an Irish setter with hereditary epilepsy to a woman in Rotterdam. He did not inform the woman of the possibility that her breed of dog could contract the disease during the sale and never mentioned it on his site for fear of bad publicity.

Once the woman’s dog contracted epilepsy, she took the breeder to court and won: the breeder was found guilty of ‘bad business practices’. He has been fined € 4,500, the original purchase price of the dog, plus € 1,500 in damages.

Clients expect that the purebred dogs they buy have been bred properly, as so many genetic-based diseases can affect these dogs. This now means than any purebred dog breeder in the Netherlands will have to be on their guard to avoid future lawsuits, but can they really guarantee that their dogs don’t have any health issues? I doubt it.


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August 5, 2012

Art by Simon Schrikker and Marie Civikov

Filed under: Art by Branko Collin @ 1:33 pm

Yesterday the old, today the new.

Last week art blog Trendbeheer showcased a couple of artists I had not seen before (here and here).

Simon Schrikker, 2010

Simon Schrikker was born in Utrecht but currently lives and works in Rotterdam. His work has a certain three-dimensional quality, not in the least because he sometimes puts the paint on thickly, and is not afraid to extend the canvas when the subject calls for it. Check his painting of a shark to see how the thick, sharp paint amplifies the danger emanating from the animal.

Schrikker’s work will be on display at the Drents Museum in Assen from September 15 to January 27.

I just realized, Marie Civikov, 2012

Marie Civikov studied at the Willem de Kooning Academie in Rotterdam. Bold colours and aggressive imagery make these paintings stand out. Civikov’s work is currently part of an exhibition at the Kunsthal in Rotterdam.

Lively art! Check out their websites.

(Photos by the artists.)

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April 6, 2012

Farmer threatens dog owners with ‘coldness’

Filed under: Animals,Weird by Orangemaster @ 3:01 pm

An angry cattle farmer in Hengelo put up a sign on his property that reads: ‘No dogs in the meadow, or I will ice your dog.’ (‘Geen honden in de wei, anders maar ik uw hondje koud.’) In Dutch, the last part literally translates as ‘I will make your dog cold’, which usually means to kill or ice, but not everyone agrees that’s what the farmer means. He put the sign up because he doesn’t want dog poo making his cows sick, and chances are, he’s pretty fed up at this point.

You could make a dog cold by spraying it with water, the police told the neighbours who let their dogs out in the meadow and removed the sign, assuming their dogs would get shot. The cops told the neighbours they were the ones committing an illegal act by removing a sign on private property.

In true Dutch ‘let’s talk it out’ fashion, the cops will get the sign back from the neighbours or fine them, and they’ll probably have coffee and biscuits, the farmer will give them a speech about how he doesn’t want dogs on his property full stop and the neighbours will promise not to do so. Then, the dog owners will ignore him, saying they pay enough dog tax to do what they want, and the cops will be by again, and so on.

Someone should spray them all with water.

(Link: Parool, photo by E. Dronkert, some rights reserved)

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September 1, 2011

Tracking down pooping dog owners using dog DNA

Filed under: Animals,Science by Orangemaster @ 3:59 pm

There can be quite some dog pooh on the street in the Netherlands sometimes because the owners pay taxes and some interpret that as ‘my dog can go anywhere it wants without me having to pick it up because I pay for it.’ It could be worse, but it could always be better.

The town of Wijchen, Gelderland is considering getting some device that reads pooh DNA, finds the dog that matches it, which in turn leads to the owner getting a fine. It’s all very CSI. Would people and law makers actually allow the reading of dog pooh DNA as a basis for a fine? And then the town has to properly keep a DNA database of all the dogs. Experience teaches us that government and databases are a very bad match in general.

The bottom line is, it’s also really expensive, the boffins say.

(Link:, Photo of Pick Up Your Dog Poo by Michael Coghlan, some rights reserved)

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January 29, 2011

Amsterdam traffic 1900-1930 (video)

Filed under: Automobiles,Bicycles by Branko Collin @ 4:24 pm

Cycling videographer Mark Wagenbuur has released another doozy. His video shows traffic in early 20th century Amsterdam, with — you guessed it — a focus on bicycles.

I can’t help but notice that after a century:

  • People still cycle on the Leidsestraat, although it’s forbidden.
  • The corner of Spui and Singel is still riddled with lousy infrastructure.
  • A ferry still carries thousands of pedestrians and cyclists towards Orangemaster’s old neighbourhood, although these days buses take the tunnel.
  • Pets still run across the Vijzelstraat, but these days cars go much faster, and the cat I saw cross a year ago was lucky to come out of that clash alive.

What’s changed: there are no more horse, dog, or man-drawn carts for transport. Compare it to this vid which starts at the exact same spot on the Leidsestraat.

(Video: YouTube / Mark Wagenbuur)

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