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The Number of Dogs and Cats Destroyed in 2008

The Number of Dogs/Cats Destroyed was Reduced by 23,000

ALIVE conducted Nationwide Animal Control Questionnaire Survey 2008 (the period is from April 1, 2008 to March 31, 2009).
The survey showed that the number of dogs/cats destroyed in the period was 286,479. Compared to 2007, the number of dogs destroyed decreased by 16,699 and cats by 7,279. The total number of dogs and cats destroyed was decreased by 23,978.
Since 2008, some local governments have implemented the Animal Handling and Management Plan, in order to reduce the number of animals destroyed by half. However, it seems that the effect of the plan has not really been as good as hoped for as of yet.
On the other hand, concerning dogs, the number of dogs brought in to pounds and the number of dogs captured by local governments have continuously decreased. In fact, the number of dogs destroyed has
been reduced by 15,000 every year, at this rate it will be possible to eliminate the destruction of dogs in 5 years. This is the result of various efforts.

Problem with Local Government and Breeders

Some of the breeders bring in dogs that they were using for breeding to local governments to be destroyed after the dogs are no longer useful to them. Breeders are considered “pet owners”, so they are required to look for new owners, when they can no longer keep the dogs. They are the ones who are responsible in informing people about taking care of the dogs rest of their lives. Breeders must stop giving up their ownership and bringing their dogs to local government run pounds to be destroyed.
When the reality of the pet industry is revealed more and more, consumers will avoid buying dogs and cats from pet shops that practice mass-producing animals.

The Biggest Challenge is to Reduce the Number of Cats Destroyed

The number of cats that are brought in by their owners was decreased by 16,000. On the other hand, the number of stray cats (including outdoor cats whose owners are not identified) that were brought in
increased by 10,000. This indicates that cat owners have improved living up to their responsibilities as cat owners, but in contrast, the problem with stray cats (including outdoor cats) has become more serious. Local activities, such as “Community Cats” should be implemented in order to greatly reduce the number of cats destroyed.

Numbers of Dogs and Cats Destroyed by Local Authorities in FY 2008


No. of dogs disposed of at owner’s request                 36,858
No. of dogs of unknown ownership seized                   16,355
No. of lost dogs impounded  (returned to owners)       62,946 (17,419)
No. of dogs transferred to new owners                       16,097
No. of dogs supplied to animal experimentation facilities   0
No. of injured dogs  (returned to owners)                     2,330 (438)
No. of dogs destroyed                                              84,264


No. of cats disposed of at owner’s request                 77,476
No. of cats of unknown ownership seized                 123,484
No. of lost cats impounded (returned to owners)           8,426 (244)
No. of cats supplied to animal experimentation facilities      0
No. of injured cats  (returned to owners)                    11,109 (80)
No. of cats destroyed                                              202,228

ALIVE Research: Dogs and Cats Destroyed in Japan.