October 23rd 2010 9:14 pm
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Japanese love their dogs, but a terrible reality lies behind the
smiling faces of these loyal pets -- the cold-hearted nature of many
owners and the heinous conditions of the breeding industry in Japan. A
number of publications and broadcasts have begun to reveal the
unsanitary way in which dogs are bred here and the mistreatment that
mothers and puppies are exposed to both on dog farms and in pet shops.
Unfortunately, the fault doesn't lie with the pet industry alone --
too many of those who buy pets don't understand the responsibility
that they are undertaking and many give up quickly when they realize
that they haven't bought a toy, abandoning the cute puppies that grow
up or the faithful dogs that become ill. According to the Japanese
Ministry of Environment, every year in Japan, somwhere around 300,000
"stray" dogs and cats are euthanised in government-run Aigo Centers
(literally "Love Centers") and Dog Training Centers. While educating
potential owners is imporant, it will take a wholesale cultural shift
for people to truly understand the responsibilities of dog ownership.
My hope is that people who are as outraged as I am about the
conditions in Japanese puppy mills and pet shops will join me in a
conversation about how we can get the government to enact laws that
prohibit the kind of mistreatment that we are just learning about now.
A number of celebrities and politicians such as Crystal Takigawa,
Asada Miyoko and Noda Seiko are drawing attention to this issue. Let's
follow their lead and put a stop to the abuse of our beloved fellow
Please send me a message here if you want to set up a Japan-specific
forum to discuss how we can attack these issues.
For more information, visit this website.
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