Dog Adoption & Fostering in Tokyo

Buddies in Collaboration with Metropolis

Meet Tobi, Kuma and Bee—the resident Buddies staff!

Want to adopt or foster a dog in Tokyo? Read on to find out how and meet the latest dogs for adoption through Buddies!

1. About Buddies

(Paw-working, dispatching, and adoption)

Buddies is a bilingual company that provides rescue dogs with safe and loving homes. After giving them plenty of treatment and training, we create an opportunity for them to interact with dog lovers while they’re in search of their forever home. 

Buddies was founded by a veterinarian and since then we have devoted ourselves to increasing the quality of life for our rescue dogs. We have also worked towards spreading awareness of rescue dogs in Japan, as well as assisting in the adoption of our dogs. Our goal is to make our rescue dogs’ lives paw-sible and your life colorful. 

International fosterers and adopters are most welcome! (Tobi loving the attention here)

2. The problems faced when  adopting dogs in Japan 

When it comes to animal welfare, sadly, Japan is considered weak by international standards. The Buddies team estimates that there are over 100,000 dogs and cats euthanized every year. Though the pet industry in Japan is thriving, over 80 percent of dogs are purchased from pet stores rather than through adoption or through foster centers. The ethics of pet stores that sell dogs and cats are often questionable, and leftover pets are often sold to the black market to be euthanized. 

Unlike other countries, most people in Japan are unaware of the situation going on inside pet stores. To make matters worse, in Japanese culture there is a negative connotation behind shelter animals, and as a result, most people tend to buy their pets in regular stores, rather than adopting or fostering them. 

Many international residents living in Japan have an interest in rescuing animals. However, it is often not an easy task as it is incredibly difficult to find an animal-friendly apartment to rent. It’s also difficult to find an English-speaking vet or trainer. Lastly, the saddest reason of all, animal rescue groups are often hesitant to give out their animals to international residents. 

Buddies would love to help you start a new paw-some life in Tokyo by our paw-working service, rescue dogs dispatch and adoption or fostering services.

The lovely Kuma as a puppy. All the rescue dogs at Buddies get extensive training to prepare them for their forever homes.

3. Adoption

We’re encouraging international residents, non-married couples, same-sex couples, single persons etc., who are often turned down by many shelters in Japan. (Interviews are needed to ensure the best match for both dogs and adopters.)

We also offer a reliable support service after adoption that includes medical consultation in English or Japanese and the delivery of vet-recommended food and supplements, so that you can fully enjoy life with your fur-mily in Japan.

See below for the latest dogs available for adoption and how to contact the Buddies team for further information.

4. Fostering

Interested in adopting a dog but not sure how long you’ll be staying in Japan or able to commit to a pet in the long term? Buddies works with a team of volunteers who foster dogs until they find their forever homes. If your landlord allows pets and you can dive into training sessions and caring for one of our rescue dogs, then please feel free to email Carna at info@buddies.life or message via Instagram @buddies.temp.agency. Don’t worry if you have to travel back to your home country to visit family, or if your Japanese isn’t fluent, the Buddies team of volunteers supports each other in dog care as much as they can. See below for the dogs currently available for fostering, or contact Carna.

Buddies co-works with Tokyo offices and groups to help socialize the dogs. Bee (left) and Kuma (right) are hard at work.

4. Paw-working

With our Paw-working service, you can work while being surrounded by adorable rescue dogs in a coworking space.You will be able to cuddle with the dogs and support the rescue dogs emotionally, helping them start to feel safe around people and supporting them while they find their forever home. Every Thursday and Friday at BLINK, Roppongi, the dogs join the coworking space for the afternoon, and you can contact Buddies if you’re interested in having us visit your office space.  

The Buddies crew hard at work during a yoga session.

5. Dispatching

We “dispatch” our rescue dogs to offices, schools, elderly homes etc. to deliver healing and special experiences. In offices where we have dispatched dogs in the past, there have been many positive effects, such as promoting communications among employees and reducing employee stress levels by half. Interestingly, we have also confirmed that the stress levels of our dogs also lower after their dispatching service.

6. Latest dog for adoption: Meet Tanu!

  • Tanu is a sweet 3-week-old boy named after a Tanuki because he looks so fluffy, sweet and brown.
  • Tanu probably has the same bloodline as Kuma – our resident dog (you can see her in the photos above), so he will probably weigh around 15 kg in the future and have beautiful long fur.
  • Tanu’s mother gave birth to Tanu and his siblings in a dog shelter. The shelter’s conditions were not good, so Tanu’s siblings, unfortunately, died when they were a few days old. His mother was taken away shortly after giving birth to be euthanized, so now Tanu is growing up to be a big boy for his mother and siblings.

  • The dog shelter kill rate in Japan is very high, and there are still many dogs being euthanized instead of adopted. If you adopt one shelter dog, they will have one more seat available at the shelter and be able to save another dog’s life like Tanu’s mother.
  • Even though he is a baby, he looks like he will grow to be similar to the beautiful Kuma, and smells like a spoiled, snuggly little boy.
  • Interested in adopting Tanu? Please email Carna at info@buddies.life or message via Instagram @buddies.temp.agency.

7. Latest dog for adoption: Meet Lynn!

  • The beautiful Lynn is a female mixed-breed dog around 3 years old. 
  • She’s due to be neutered soon and is looking for a new home.
  • She was abandoned by the owner of her mom right after birth.
  • She spent most of her life inside a small cage in a dog shelter that has the highest number of euthanizations in Japan, so she’s very lucky we managed to give her a second chance.
  • She is a little shy and timid because she didn’t have the opportunity to socialize growing up and was taken away from her mother at birth, but she is affectionate, and will easily let strangers touch and hold her.
  • She is playful and loves to be petted—though as she grew up in a shelter cage, she’s still learning what dog toys are for!
  • She also likes to interact with other dogs. However, she often has a hard time expressing her feelings to other dogs because she was not socialized as a puppy, and her actions can sometimes come across as slightly too close or aggressive. We’re working with her to make her more comfortable about this.
  • Right now she is living in a foster house with three cats, and she has no issues with them.
  • She is eager to learn how to be a free dog and is making huge progress every day!
  • Interested in adopting Lynn? Please email Carna at info@buddies.life or message via Instagram @buddies.temp.agency. 


  • Can I adopt or foster a dog if I’m an international resident?
    ⇒ Of course!
  • Can I adopt or foster a dog if my apartment is small? 
    ⇒ Yes. They’ll be much happier if they can spend time with you even in a small house rather than in a small cage at an animal shelter. Plus, you’ll likely be saving their life as the kill rate in Japanese shelters is very high.
  • How long does it typically take for a  foster dog to find a home through Buddies? 
    ⇒ It depends on the dog. It sometimes takes several months to years.
  • What support will Buddies provide? 
    ⇒  Medical treatment, food etc. But we appreciate your donation if you’re able to contribute towards expenses.
  • I don’t speak Japanese, is that OK? 
    ⇒ It’s OK! Our founder and veterinarian, Carna, can speak English and Japanese.
  • Can I adopt or foster a dog if I have kids or pets? 
    ⇒ Yes. (Though it depends on the dog’s character so we will need to match the right dog for your home.)
  • How much should I budget to keep a dog in Tokyo? 
    ⇒ Initial cost (including transferring, neutering, and dog goods cost); estimated around ¥100,000-¥200,000. Later ¥200,000-¥300,000/year
  • What are the requirements for me to be approved to adopt or foster a dog? 
    ⇒ Your landlord must allow pets in the house or apartment. Enough time (for walking, playing, caring). Consent from anyone who shares your home with. The right budget, patience and optimism!


Email: info@buddies.life

Website: https://www.buddies.life/

Contact form: Here

Instagram: @buddies.temp.agency

Facebook: Buddies

YouTube: Buddies | 保護犬の犬材派遣会社