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Abandoned animals 2010/7/22 16:21
I wonder what happens to pets in Japan, which are not wanted anymore. Are there any animal homes? Do they kill them? What happens to them?

I see a lot of stray cats, but I dont see any stray dogs. Someone told me cats are not regarded as so bad as dogs, so they catch the dogs and kill them but not the cats.

Im confused...
by shunima  

... 2010/7/22 18:37

Some people don't understand that "pets are for life," and buy a dog for a Christmas present without thinking much, try to get rid of dogs they've lived with for some time if they get "tired" of living with him/her, kids no longer want them, or the family moves to a place and find out they don't allow pets. Blah.

Some would try to find someone else/acquaintance to take them, but many such animals are taken to "hokenjo" (public health center) to be, well, put down. Sad.

The background to more cats on the streets rather than dogs is that some cat owners simply let their (own) cats run outside the house (they return home in the evenings), and that's been the traditional way of keeping cats in the old times.

But if they don't neuter them right, well, you know what happens. :(

Lately pet cats are coming to be kept completely indoors as well, with less risk of: getting into car accidents, getting lost, getting in fights with other cats and injured, contracting infections, etc., etc.

Then there are efforts to keep "community cats," meaning, a group of people in certain neighborhoods, if they can all agree, set some rules and keep some former-stray cats as their own, but outside their houses. There will be feeding stations (to be cleaned after their cats eat, so that crows would not aim for leftovers), water stations, set sandboxes so that the cats would not wander into people gardens and mess up their flowerbeds, and they would also neuter them so that the number can be contained. But not all such efforts work...

But pets are for life :)
by AK rate this post as useful

Anti-rabies Law 2010/7/22 18:39
There is an anti-rabies (hydrophobia) law in Japan which dictates that every dog should be vaccinated and stray dogs should be caputered and disposed of. This law does not apply to cats. Japanese people can be divided into dog-lovers, cat-lovers, and neither, but there is no hierarchichal discrimination.
by .. (guest) rate this post as useful

. 2010/7/23 01:40
The biggest reason you don't see stray dogs is because dogs have the risk to spread rabies if not controled.

So the society is pretty strict about having dogs leashed when taking a walk, and if they see a stranded dog, the public health center will catch it and put them in a waiting cage to be put to sleep unless someone comes to pick it up. Decades ago, when there was less awareness to the desease, you used to see more stray dogs around.

As mentioned, basically you are to take care of your pet for its whole life, and it indeed is a big responsibility. If that is not possible for one reason or another, there are plenty of ways to give it away to reliable people after making sure they're not abusers trying to cheat you. Nowadays, you can find groups through the internet.

But unfortunately, many people seem to secretly let go of their pets. You will see stranded dogs in mountain resorts, apparently former pets from the cities that were left behind deliberately. Quite often, the news tells us about dangerous species that were apparantly pets thrown away in a pond. A lot of turtles and goldfish in your neighborhood park pond are said to be those that were caught in summer festival games. Some might call that "letting it free" but what they're doing is destroying the ecosystem.
by Uco (guest) rate this post as useful

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