70% of cats and dogs housed in Kanagawa Pref., East Japan.  in FY22 were due to hoarding

In this photo provided by the Kanagawa Prefectural Animal Welfare Center, an online adoption event is seen.

YOKOHAMA – About 70% of the cats and dogs that were taken in by the Kanagawa prefectural animal welfare center in eastern Japan in fiscal year 2022 were brought to the shelter due to hoarding of animals by owners, reported the center.

The animal welfare center in the prefectural city of Hiratsuka also says that no cats or dogs brought to the shelter in fiscal year 2022 were euthanized, marking 10 consecutive years for dogs and nine years for cats.

Excluding the cities of Yokohama, Kawasaki and Yokosuka, where there are municipal animal welfare centers, 605 cats and dogs were housed in Kanagawa Prefecture in fiscal year 2022, down 262 from the previous fiscal year.

Dogs accounted for 251 of the total, up 38 from fiscal year 2021. Of the reasons the dogs had to be fostered, 106 were turned in because the owners “couldn’t care for them.” This was 50% more than the previous fiscal year due to an increase in animal hoarding cases. One hundred thirty-three dogs were admitted due to unknown owners, five fewer than in fiscal year 2021, while 12 dogs were transferred from the previous fiscal year, seven fewer compared to fiscal year 2021.

Due in part to information posted on the center’s website and a microchip mandate that went into effect nationwide in June 2022, 78 dogs have been returned to their owners. Thirty-four were adopted by residents of the prefecture, while 100 were taken in by groups of volunteers and workers. Of these, 47 found new forever homes. Three dogs died while at the shelter and 36 remained at the facility after the end of fiscal year 2022.

Meanwhile, the center admitted 454 cats in fiscal year 2022, down 200 from the previous fiscal year. Nearly 60%, or 266 cats, were turned over because owners were unable to care for them, while 79 cats were protected for having no known owners, down 80 from fiscal year 2021. One hundred and nine cats had remained at the facility since then. fiscal year 2021, an increase of 30 compared to data from the previous fiscal year.

One hundred thirty-nine cats were adopted by residents of the prefecture and 132 were given to volunteers. Of these, 103 found new homes. A cat was returned to its original owner. Fourteen cats died while at the shelter, while 168 remained there in fiscal year 2023.

The animal center plans to resume in-person adoption events this fall or later after a disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He also plans to continue to hold adoption events online that make it easier for people to participate.

An official with the center commented: “Animal hoarding has become a national problem in recent years. To continue the record of zero deaths, we want pet owners to provide proper care.”

(Original in Japanese by Masakatsu Oka, Yokohama Bureau)