About us

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Bringing together experts to generate and disseminate solid knowledge about dogs in Europe.

THE CARO (Companion Animal Responsible Ownership) dog project is an innovative tool that provides reliable, science-based information for canine population management and aims to support development of a European strategy on responsible dog ownership.

Kick-started by the European Policy Office of FOUR PAWS, the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise Giuseppe Caporale and the OIE, CARO’s Editorial board is supported by the expertise of the Animal Welfare Unit of European Commission’s DG SANTE, the Federation of Veterinarians of Europe and the Advisory Board on Cat Disease, creating a unique knowledge network.

green_arrow Vision and Mission

green_arrow Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

CD Newsletter May 2014 2

If every dog can be identified and has a visible, responsible and well-informed owner, there will no longer be any unwanted dogs, the existence of stray animals will cease, and with it their suffering resulting from illegal dog breeding and trade, and problems of dog aggression.




An innovative tool for canine population knowledge management leading to responsible dog ownership. 


A practical information system for policy-makers, veterinarians, law professionals, scientists, teachers, economists and business operators, breeders and citizens. 


In the Southern and Eastern European Member States of the EU there is still the growing phenomenon and unsolved problem of stray animals suffering cruelty inflicted by humans. Brutal dogfights and an increasing illegal puppy trade still exist, creating a lot of suffering for millions of dogs in Europe. This is not acceptable in today’s European society, and these problems are created by us – by humans. Having a responsibility towards animals as sentient beings like ourselves – beings that experience feelings of joy, fear, stress, hunger and thirst – we are obliged, in the deep, ethical sense, to solve these problems. After using dogs for decades as hunters, sheepdogs, guardians and companions, we have neglected them – leading to uncontrolled and growing canine overpopulation in the world, and also triggering public health problems. A science-based, sustainable and ethically acceptable strategy must be developed and implemented to achieve a cultural change in European society towards responsible dog ownership.

If you surf the Web to find information on dog health and welfare in Europe, you are flooded with details, documents, popular actions by citizens, initiatives by NGOs and public entities, which hardly reach a professional level. Reliable and science-based information and approved facts and figures are hard to find, or do not even exist – and this is part of the problem.

At this stage, there is great interest on the part of European citizens in companion animal welfare, and the European Union is currently evaluating the future possibility of assigning full legal and political protection to companion animals.

Nevertheless, the lack of focused, structured and reliable information is still a huge concern.


The CAROdog web site is a concrete attempt to provide, generate and disseminate reliable knowledge about dogs in Europe, focusing on canine overpopulation and, in consequence, on all resulting animal welfare problems. To provide an innovative contribution to a systematic approach to canine population management is the main purpose of this site, starting from responsible ownership as the basis of individual and community commitment to dog welfare.


The only way to stop canine overpopulation is to adopt a systematic, multidisciplinary and comprehensive approach to the problem. CAROdog copes with this challenge by offering scientific, legal and practical tools to all professionals who, at different levels, act in this field, as well as to private owners who need to learn about their responsibilities.

Policy-makers, veterinarians, law professionals, scientists, teachers, economists and business operators, breeders and citizens- in CAROdog they will all find solution-oriented information and the opportunity of sharing the outcomes of their expertise.

This tool will support a common European strategy, which is necessary to strengthen the European culture of responsible dog ownership.


The initiators are the international animal welfare organisation VIER PFOTEN (based in Austria and with eight national offices in seven European Member States and a Representation to the EU in Brussels) and the Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell'Abruzzo e del Molise "G. Caporale" in Teramo, Italy, the OIE Collaborating Centre for veterinary training, epidemiology, food safety and animal welfare. The Animal Welfare Unit of the Directorate General SANCO of the European Commission (DG SANCO) and the European Federation of Veterinarians (FVE) are supporting the portal with their expertise and have agreed to place their representatives on its editorial board. Together they are creating a reliable knowledge-based system.


Dog ownership and canine overpopulation, solution strategies, a library, tools, projects and programmes, news and events: the information is all structured according to this architecture, designed to provide the most transparent and direct access to information.