Originally published on metropolis.co.jp on September 2013

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The Ministry of the Environment established Animal Welfare Week (September 20-26) to encourage awareness of “the welfare and proper care of animals, which are living beings.” While the calendar of events during the designated period is a bit thin, animal shelters and welfare groups across the city are working year round to save pets and find them a new home.

We encourage Metropolis readers to get involved. Here’s how…

  • TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital founder Akiko Yui writes an English blog on her frequent trips to Fukushima to care for pets left behind by owners who fled the nuclear disaster. Donations of time, money and food are welcomed. http://arfjapan1216.blog.fc2.com/
  • Tokyo Ark holds regular adoption fairs and is always on the look out for foster families. www.arkbark.net
  • SALA Network has programs across the country teaching wannabe dog trainers and children about animals by accompanying them on nursing home visits. Regular adoption fairs are held every Saturday in Fuchu. www.salanetwork.or.jp/e_index.html
  • Based in Okinawa, Ozato also has animals up for adoption in Tokyo. http://doggiesinc.org/Ozato.html
  • The Japan Cat Network operates two no-kill animal shelters and is still actively rescuing animals in Fukushima. http://japancatnet.com
  • Other resources include Animal Walk Tokyo (www.animalwalktokyo.com) and Chiba Wan (www.chibawan.net), a dog and cat welfare center with bases across Kanto.