There are numerous organizations that work in the Netherlands for stray animals. In some other countries, the situation is unfortunately less good; partly by cultural differences and poverty, but also, and above all, ignorance or out of habit. If you grow up in a region where everyone chases dogs, and consider dogs as ‘ things ‘ with no feelings, you’ll follow those examples. Simply because you’ve never seen that a relationship with a dog or cat can be different.

In the past I had regular contact with Dutch people who are working for stray animals across the border. They word in areas where life is already hard for the people themselves. What has touched me especially, is that by the presence of ‘ those weird foreigners’ alone which started an asylum in inhospitable areas and with minimal resources, the local population learns to look different to its own animals. This is education in practice. In time, locals find their way to the asylum with a stray or injured animal simply because there is a place to go with a hurt animal. And an example of how otherwise could. I hope that with being an ambassador for AFP the many volunteers abroad can poke a heart under the belt. Perhaps I can contribute to spreading a pleasant kind of virus, names animal love!


Esther Verhoef (1968) belongs to the top of the Dutch thriller writers, known from books entitled Rendez-vous, Close-up, Losing everything and Déjà vu. She won the Silver Fingerprint twice, the Diamond Bullet and the NS-publicprice. In addition, she was nominated three times for the NS public-price and Golden Noose, and nominated twice for the Diamond Ball. In the autumn of 2010 there were more than 1 million copies sold in the Netherlands of Esthers solo thrillers. In addition to her solo psychological thrillers Esther Verhoef also writes under a pseudonym psychological actionthrillers like Escober, along with Berry Verhoef. She writes occasional short stories, including the Perfect Partner and Nouveau Riche & other exciting stories. For the weekly magazine Margriet she provides once per two weeks a columnt. Esthers solo work and the Escobers are translated. Various titles were published in the United States, Britain, Russia, France, Germany, Spain and Denmark. In ‘a previous life ‘ Esther was a photographer of animals. She wrote around 60 popular scientific and informative books on pets, of which there are approximately 8 million sold worldwide.