Heemstede has been nominated by the Royal Dog Protection for the most dog friendly
municipal elections of the Netherlands. About 10 percent of the inhabitants of Heemstede have a dog, that means that there are about 3,000 dogs here.
Heemstede has a good chance of winning according to many dog owners, due to the very dog-friendly Groenendaal hiking woods! There is a large so-called off-leash area’. That is a popular place for many dogs and their owners, because dogs are allowed to run free and romp around in that entire area. It is gated so the dogs cannot run away. And there are always other dogs to play with. Everyday many friendships develop between the dogs, but also between the owners. Many people walk their dogs at the same times and one often gets to meet the same people.
This unique off-leash spot is a big plus for the municipality, according to the Dog Protection Agency. In addition, Heemstede has a clear policy regarding bite incidents, there is a dog schoo, la walking service and no dog tax obligation.
This is also why Heemstede is a perfect place for many dog owners. Many people have always expressed how unfair it is that there is no cat tax levied, whereas dog tax is mandatory in many muncipilities. Dog owners can also use free poop bags, which are hanging at the entrances of the woods.
The municipality of Heemstede is very glad with the nomination. Which municipality wins the most votes for being the most dog-friendly municipality, will be disclosed on October 13.