Stray Dogs in Japan

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    A news report about stray dogs in Japan, focusing on Kamisu, a city with a particularly bad problem with strays:

    The reporter is able to find quite a few stray dogs wandering around in Kamisu. In one wooded area, he finds a group of seven dogs. Residents are apparently concerned about their safety.

    According to Ibaraki prefectural government statistics, 4,958 stray dogs were captured in the prefecture last year. Of that total, 421 were caught in Kamisu, making it stand out as a trouble spot. The report mentions that there were 5 incidents involving dog bites in Kamisu. Some people worry that the strays could catch rabies and pass it on to a human.

    About 3 minutes into the video, the reporter goes to the grounds of a local high school and observes several stray dogs loitering about. The school principal makes a half-assed effort to shoo away the animals before apparently giving up. The reporter points out that it would be quite easy for one of the dogs to enter the school building through an open window or door. In the past, there was at least one case of a student being bitten by a stray dog.

    The local government is trying to adopt new measures to deal with the stray dog problem. However, they could face trouble when catching dogs. In the past, the city has received complaints from people claiming to be owners of captured “stray” dogs. The current law imposes a heavy fine over over $5,000 on people who abandon pet dogs. However, if an owner can successfully argue that they didn’t intend to totally abandon the animal, they might be able to get out of paying the fine. Ibaraki has a local ordinance imposing a fine of about $500 on people who let their dogs run loose, but there has apparently been no actual case of someone being charged with a violation of it.

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