|Photo from this site|
I do not know how to feel about that.
Of course abandoning a dog should be discouraged, I'm not critical of that. It's an awful thing to do, and all too common in Japan. I think it is great Kumamoto City is trying to discourage people who bring dogs to the pound:
When an owner brings in a pet, they don’t take it in easily like most centres. They ask them to remember the time they’ve spent with their dog or cat, and ask them if they’ve really tried seriously to find a new owner. One staff member explains, “We don’t want to give local people a bad impression. But we do want the people who come to us to get rid of their animals to leave feeling bad about it. Sometimes we might even be able to change their minds.On the other hand, it jumped out to me immediately that Kumamoto also hosts Japan's "baby hatch", a box into which parents can anonymously abandon their child. Usually these babies cannot be adopted or even in most cases fostered, because consent cannot be obtained from anonymous parents.
“We don’t mind being hated. Even if it comes to tears, we need to ask the owners to think about what they are doing.” Sometimes there are disputes, but if the staff persevere they’re sometimes successful at persuading the owner to take their pet back home with them and give them another chance.
One time a man in his 60s brought in his corgi, saying, “He chews everything, I can’t keep him.” The dog’s original owner, his son, had moved abroad and the dog was nothing but a nuisance to his new guardian. The man was of the opinion that “if the dog does something bad, it’s natural to punish him.” In response, the staff asked him, “Isn’t it your son who’s taught him it’s OK to chew things? If it’s your son’s fault, why should this dog pay for it with his life?”
This post has been sitting in my draft folder for nearly two years. I don't know what to conclude about the topic and didn't want to do ANOTHER post that just trailed off. In the end, though, I realised I may never figure out how to "conclude", so I'm just going to leave it here and back away slowly.