Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan

by Peace Winds Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
Stop The Killing of Dogs & Cats in Japan
we feed them a little at a time
we feed them a little at a time

At our shelter in Hiroshima, there are many dogs that have grown old and are in need of care, or that have been in poor health since arriving and require medical assistance. Some of them are still young, but nonetheless fall ill. Below is an introduction to some of those dogs and how we are caring for them.

The hardest part of taking care of older dogs who need nursing care is feeding them.
At our shelter, there are dogs that are bedridden, those that cannot chew their food, and others who cannot eat without assistance, and so on. For all of them, we try to find creative ways to feed them.

For example, we mix food in a blender, put the resulting puree in a large syringe and “inject” it into the dog's mouth, or feed it to the dog with a spoon. If we feed the food all at once, there’s a risk of it going down the “wrong way” and entering the windpipe instead of the gullet, so we perform these feeding methods slowly and gradually. It looks easy, but is surprisingly difficult.

Some dogs are on multiple medications each day. Some will take them as they are, but others have a hard time doing so, and will only take their meds after someone puts them in their mouth for them. Others, meanwhile, can only manage tablet-form meds if it they are ground up and mixed in with their food. The picky eaters among them will only take the medicine if it is mixed into tasty dog food, and so on. Just like humans, canine personalities and tastes differ from individual to individual, so even administering just a single medication requires these kinds of creative approaches.

One of the dogs we are taking care of is called Nagi, who is about 3 years old. Nagi has a condition called megaesophagus, a disorder in which the tube (the esophagus) that carries food and liquid between the mouth and stomach dilates, and loses the ability to move food from the former to the latter. Since Nagi cannot consume solids, we prepare pureed food and feed it to her while she is in an upright position to allow gravity to carry the food down her esophagus and into the stomach. It’s important to control the volume of food given, because if she gulps it down she will not be able to digest it and will simply regurgitate it.

After eating, Nagi must remain in an upright position to prevent this from happening, so we carry her piggyback style in a carrier for about an hour. Nagi often falls asleep while being carried this way, just a like a baby. Usually, however, Nagi is very energetic, and even though she is sick, she doesn't show it. She loves sleepovers at staffers’ homes and sometimes earns her keep as a “poster girl” in the shelter’s reception area.

Even though she and many of the dogs have disadvatages, they don’t seem to care about them. They just do their best to enjoy each day. Even if they are blind, they use their noses to find something to amuse themselves. Even if they have weak hind legs, they enjoy the outside from their wheelchairs. It's wonderful to see them making the best of what they have and living life in the moment.

There are many dogs who have found families despite their advanced age or illness. Among them is a dog with a bad heart, one who is blind, another who is paralyzed. When a foster family accepts a dog and welcomes him or her into their home, it’s a very moving moment for those shelter staff who have been caring for that dog up until then.

The shelter in Hiroshima has a huge area where the dogs can run around freely and play ball. Many of the young shelter dogs are not used to people and are even afraid of them, but if you take time to known them and care for them, they eventually open up, even to people they have never met before. And when they do, they show their gratitude through engaging expressions and gestures that they save just for those who take care of them.

The care and activities we provide for the shelter dogs would be impossible without your support, and for that we are truly grateful. Your donation makes it possible for us to continue to provide the environment and necessary equipment for dogs like Nagi to lead a happy life.

With your help, we will continue to provide care and love for as many dogs as possible.

Food in different shapes to suit each dog
Food in different shapes to suit each dog
Nagi suffers from megaesophagus
Nagi suffers from megaesophagus
After eating, Nagi is carried piggyback style
After eating, Nagi is carried piggyback style
A dog with paralysis from the waste down
A dog with paralysis from the waste down
Finding a hoster family is a happy occasion
Finding a hoster family is a happy occasion
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Dogs rescued from animal welfare centers
Dogs rescued from animal welfare centers

It has been six years since the Hiroshima Prefecture-based Peace Wanco Project started its mandate to take in and care for dogs that had been earmarked to be killed in gas chambers, known euphemistically as “dream boxes.” To date the project has saved more than 7,000 dogs that had no home to go to, and remains committed to saving as many more as it possibly can.

 Issues faced: Tackling aging and bolstering acclimatization training for wild dogs 

One of the challenges we are facing is the progressive aging of our shelter dogs.

It has been 10 years since Peace Wanco started its shelter work, and an increasing number of dogs are difficult to transfer after having spent several years at the shelter. Although the number of dogs in our care has started to decline, there are approximately 120 dogs over the age of 10  in our care, and about 300 if you include dogs over the age of 7, which, depending on their size, are generally considered “senior” dogs.

In order to continue to accommodate the aging of shelter dogs, who will require an increasing amount of care going forward, we need to provide additional living spaces with better equipment and a system that allows for more thorough care.

Another major challenge we now face is how to effectively transfer wild dogs. Hiroshima Prefecture is a region of Western Japan with a high proportion of mountainous terrain, and many dogs that have been abandoned end up in such highland areas. They breed there and become wild and increasingly wary of humans, making it difficult to reintegrate them into a world inhabited by humans. Hence the challenges faced when transferring them.

This means they need to be trained in a way that enables them to become re-acclimatized to humans so that they can live in harmony and as partners with them once more. Once they have been taken into care, we provide them with a safe environment and spend a lot of time looking after both their physical and mental welfare. 

Staff draw up and implement training methods that allow the dogs to gradually familiarize themselves with people. Transfers had been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and In order to increase the number of transfers, online transfers have been introduced and efforts are being made to increase the number of opportunities to meet with foster parents.

Start of work on dog room extension

Peace Wanco Japan has hundreds of dogs that are aging and unable to find families. Of course, the staff will never give up on finding homes for them, but we have built an extension to the room where the shelter dogs live so that they can be cared for more thoroughly as their needs change going forward.

The breeding, medical care and nursing of shelter dogs, as well as the repair and extension of facilities like this, are essential to the operation of our shelter activities. We rely on your support to achieve these goals. Please help us save as many lives as possible.

Attending to shelter dogs in need of care
Attending to shelter dogs in need of care
Dogs open up during familiarization training
Dogs open up during familiarization training
Wild dogs are trained to re-acclimatize to humans
Wild dogs are trained to re-acclimatize to humans
Extensions are planned to the shelter buildings
Extensions are planned to the shelter buildings
Your help supporting the extensions is appreciated
Your help supporting the extensions is appreciated
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Peace Wanco Project
Peace Wanco Project

A day on the road collecting abandoned dogs and strays from welfare centers 

Today is a day when stray and abandoned dogs that have been facing probable euthanasia will be rescued from state-run welfare centers. I accompanied staff en route to three different locations within Hiroshima Prefecture to collect the dogs and transfer them to kennels at a quarantine facility, where staff are already preparing for their arrival, drawing up evaluation documents and registering names on microchips, a device that can prove crucial should the animals ever become parted from their new owners. 

On this day, staff are scheduled to collect 15 dogs from the Mihara welfare center, 11 of them abandoned by one owner. As we drove along I was told that those 11 canines were taken to the welfare center simply because the owner could no longer look after such a large number of dogs.

“At first, I think the owner probably started keeping the dogs out of a genuine fondness for them, and while there are various reasons that could explain why the number of dogs increased to tat extent, it’s likely the owners eventually found they just couldn’t cope,” the staffer explained. “It’s difficult to put into words how I feel about this, but it’s pretty frustrating.” 

 After arriving at one welfare center, we are joined by the project leader, Makoto Abe, who has come over from the Kure Animal Welfare Center about 35 km away, where he has been since early in the morning. 

As we checked the condition of the dogs, Abe explained the condition of each one: This one was perfectly tame and could be stroked by anyone, he said; another, he thought, was ready for transfer, but just needed some more practice being walked. Yet another looked to be pregnant. 

As the checks were carried out, I couldn’t help wondering how the dogs themselves were feeling as they waited. 

The dogs that were collected were loaded into the vehicle, Abe talking to them reassuringly: “You may feel a little car sick, but hang in there ‘til we get to the quarantine kennel in Jinseki, okay?" he said, as he and the other staff headed toward their next port of call. “Sorry, you’re not going to get a nap today.”

At the next welfare center, too, the condition of the dogs was checked. “They seem well fed and in good shape,” Abe commented as he checked one of the dogs. “It’s okay, it’s okay, oh you’re a cutie,” he said as he picked up another, and loaded it with the others into the car. 

The day’s work is only half done. After returning to the shelter Jinseki Kogen, a highland area about 30 km northeast of Mihara, all the dogs are taken to quarantine kennels, where they are examined by a vet. In addition to an overall health check, blood tests are done and they are vaccinated and microchipped. 

But there’s still plenty of work to be done on this long day, the dogs now safely transferred to a safe and welcoming environment. 

Please check out the link below for a video of the work that was done on this fruitful day.

https://youtu.be/PhqQwwQ22L8

Peace Wanco Project
Peace Wanco Project
Peace Wanco Project
Peace Wanco Project
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The Peace Wanko Japan project was set up to rescues dogs who are in danger of being euthanized. Some of those dogs are wild, others abandoned. Many of them are sick and traumatized.

We believe every dog's life is precious. All dogs can be loving companions if they, too, are taken care of and loved. Many of those that have been abandoned have lost trust in that mutual love "agreement."

At Peace Wanko Japan we try to regain their trust, letting them know that humans can be their friends and are not to be feared. We do this by being their family—all staff members care for dogs with love and happiness, even the sick ones.

But our job is no where near complete. Every year, thousands of abandoned dogs are subjected to a pitiful end in the state's gas chambers. According to Japan's Environ Ministry, 5,635 canines were put down in 2019 alone. Every day, so-called "welfare" centers, which should be charged with protecting these animals, are responsible for killing them in those cruel and toxic gas chambers, known euphemistically as the "Dream Box."

People living with pets are on the rise as they spend more time at home during the Covid-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the number of people who are abandoning dogs is also growing. Many of the owners say raising pets is too difficult because they "don't listen" and are "noisy" and "smelly." Often, they simply don't realize the responsibility that comes with keeping dogs and other pets.

We are continuing our efforts to find responsible families who will provide continuous love and care for the dogs we have managed to rescue. We always welcome those people who love dogs and who make the necessary preparations to welcome them into their homes as one of the family.

We would like to express our deep appreciation for your support in these ongoing efforts. Please continue to send your love to our dogs so that we can find them homes and they can be happy once more. Through your help, we will strive to save as many lives as possible. Thank you!

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Organization Information

Peace Winds Japan

Location: Jinsekikogen-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture - Japan
Website:
Project Leader:
Hiroshi Kunita
Jinsekikogen-cho, Hiroshima Prefecture Japan
$8,809 raised of $50,000 goal
 
122 donations
$41,191 to go
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