No stray cats culled in Tokyo ward for 5 years

No stray cats culled in Tokyo ward for 5 years
This kitten found an owner at an event held at the Chiyoda Ward government building in Tokyo in October 2015.
PHOTO: The Japan News/ANN

Chiyoda Ward in Tokyo is on course to have no cats culled for the fifth consecutive fiscal year, including the current fiscal year, which ends in March. The ward has long conducted activities to protect stray cats.

The ward, which subsidizes the costs of castrating and sterilizing stray cats and keeps them until they find owners, will hold a "Chiyoda cat festival" at its government building on Saturday and Sunday.

Proceeds from the event will be allocated to medical expenses for such cats.

The ward began financially subsidizing the castration and sterilization of cats in fiscal 2000 in response to increasing numbers of consultations from residents saying things like: "Stray cats gave birth to kittens in my yard. Please do something about it."

Residents who support animal protection voluntarily report to the ward whenever they find stray cats in their neighborhood.

These people, recognised as "animal protection extension workers," have grown in number to 86.

The Tokyo metropolitan government's Animal Care and Consultation Center is supposed to take in kittens and wounded cats from facilities including local health care centres, however, most of them are said to end up being killed.

The Chiyoda Ward government cooperates with a volunteer group to hold owner-matching events to place cats with the right household instead of having the animals taken to the Animal Care and Consultation Center.

Cats who do not find owners right away are temporarily looked after by the volunteer group or animal hospitals.

Starting in fiscal 2015, the ward government launched a project to grant funds to partly cover the costs involved in entrusting the cats to animal hospitals.

Fund-raising event

Before owners are found, the cats are given checks for infections and other diseases.

However, the ward is said to be short of money for those checkups and has decided to hold a charity event for cat lovers on Saturday and Sunday at its government building.

Proceeds will be used to contribute to cat medical expenses.

The event will feature a photography class offering tips on taking lovely pictures of cats, a cat health seminar and cat goods shops.

An owner-matching event is planned for the second day.

"We hope more people will co-operate to realise a society in which people and animals coexist," said a ward official in charge.

For more information, call the Chiyoda cat event planning committee at 070-1493-2828 (Japanese preferred).

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