Free-roaming dogs are a worldwide problem, with Chile having some of the highest human-to-dog ratios in the world. In 2017, Law 21.020 was promulgated and the federal government developed a national responsible pet ownership program. The objectives of this article are to describe and discuss the dog-related components of the program, to design a tool for determining human-to-dog ratios in Chile, and to make recommendations to managers to improve the program outcomes. The overarching goal of the program was to mitigate the conflict between humans and dogs, but many of the interventions were animal-focused and the indicators did not consider the perception of the Chilean public. Using human density data and known dog populations, we found that as the human density increased, there were fewer dogs per person. Veterinary services and sterilizations were the mainstay of the program and were offered for free to citizens. Education was offered to all ages through public events, as well as municipality and organization activities. The identification of dogs was obligatory for dog owners. Enforcement was not included in the program. The recommendations are to conduct preintervention baseline data collections and to tailor interventions and indicators appropriately; to use dog population size estimates determined at the local level rather than a country-wide estimate; to replace free veterinary services with low-cost sterilization campaigns; to create sustainable plans for education; and to create enforcement teams in communities.
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