One advocacy group, the Wow Wow Dog Circus, is trying to promote the pet adoption in Japan, as the local adoption rates for shelter dogs are devastatingly low and the euthanizing numbers are growing. The traveling dog circus trains dogs and brings them to schools, in order to educate children about the responsibility of owning an animal.
“We need a system (for adopting abandoned dogs),” Kayo Takeda, a dog trainer, told Reuters. “The sales at pet shops are very high, but overseas the choice to adopt a dog is much more prevalent. I would like to hope that Japan will move forward in that direction.”
More than 204,000 dogs were put down three years ago, according to the Japanese press, with about 52,000 of them being dogs, while the rest were cats. In England, for example, only 7,000 dogs were euthanized in 2011, while more than 126,000 were abandoned, the international press reports.
To promote the adoption of shelter dogs, the Wow Wow Dog Circus informs the Japanese about the critical numbers of abandoned pets, while it also presents its dogs’ abilities to circus tricks.
One of the problems, however, is the age of the dogs that are kept in shelters. Most of them are old and therefore not very attractive to the potential adopters.
“Japanese people are in the habit of going to a pet shop and buying a puppy,” Hiroyuki Satake, deputy director of the Tokyo metropolitan government’s Animal Protection and Consultation Center, said. “In Tokyo there are no puppies brought to the pound and so we only have adult dogs to rehome.”