Japanese shelter numbers fall

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2010:


OSAKA–Who is making the fastest progress toward becoming a
no-kill nation?
A good case could be made for Japan, according to 2007 data
collected by All Life In a Viable Environment and published in
December 2009 by Animal Refuge Kansai.
1999 data collected by Yoshiko Seno, published in the
November 2002 edition of ANIMAL PEOPLE, showed that Japan then had a
dog population of about 10 million, of whom 280,199 were killed in
animal control shelters. Japan has no non-governmental shelters that
kill homeless animals. As Japan has had no visible street dogs in
more than 40 years, all of the dogs entering shelters were presumed
to be former pets.

Since 1999 the Japanese dog population has increased to 13
million, one of the fastest acquisition rates of dogs as pets in the
world, but the number of dogs killed in shelters fell by nearly
two-thirds, to 100,963. About 1% of the dogs in Japan are
surrendered to shelters or picked up as strays each year, compared
to about 6% of the dogs in the U.S., and 1.5% of the dogs in Britain.
The Japanese cat population is also currently believed to be
about 13 million. All Life In a Viable Environment found that about
1.7% of the Japanese cat population entered shelters in 2007,
compared to about 4% of the U.S. cat population. Japanese shelters
killed 209,494 cats in 2007.
ANIMAL PEOPLE has no earlier Japanese shelter data pertaining to cats.
Overall, Japan has about one dog or cat per five humans–
about the same as Britain. The U.S. has one pet dog or cat for every
two humans. The Japanese rate of shelter killing is 2.4 per 1,000
humans; the U.S. rate is 13.6.

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