Japan’s pet industry is booming, but adoption rates for shelter dogs are devastatingly low, a heartbreaking trend one circus with a purpose is hoping to change.
Figures show that Japan lags behind a number of other countries in pet adoption, but its euthanizing numbers are soaring. One advocacy group, the Wow Wow Dog Circus, is aiming to make adoption more popular by bringing talented dogs to schools and educating students about responsible animal ownership, Reuters reports.
“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'd like to hope that Japan will move forward in that direction.”
But Takeda and her cohorts have to fight some pretty grim figures.
According to the Japan Times, more than 204,000 pets in Japan were euthanized three years ago. About 52,000 of these animals were dogs and the majority were cats. To put those figures into context, consider England’s euthanizing rate. Just over 7,000 dogs were put down in 2011, even though more than 126,000 were abandoned.