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Two contestants in the Dog of the Year contest at the Lagos Dog Festival.

Nigeria is far behind the rest of the world when it comes to its treatment of dogs. It is one of the few countries left in the world where they are sold for their meat and many people who do own dogs keep them for protection, instead of as pets.

Matthew Nash, a lead researcher of an in-depth Dog-Friendly Country Index, ranked the country 45 out of the 51 on a list of dog-friendly countries. For the list, countries are ranked based on animal rights, pet-friendly hotels, veterinarian availability, animal protection, risk of rabies, recognition of animal sentience and animal companionship.

The good news for Nigeria and its dogs is that Jackie Idimogu, animal rights activist and organizer of the Lagos Dog Festival, is working to change her country’s relationship with dogs and doing it in a very adorable way.

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