My wife told me about an awful thing happening in Japan. Some hunters who use “gun dogs” or “scent hounds” to flush out prey, will abandon them in the forest, chained up at the end of the hunting season in early spring, or let them stray, after which they get picked up and taken to a shelter. These people are really scum to be treating an innocent dog so cruelly like that. However, there’s good people out there trying to help.
Rie Kaneko from Chiba set up Gundog Rescue CACI (Japanese) in 1993 to provide shelter and retrain gun dogs, even working with hunting organizations. You can read about her organization in this article (English). She mentions:
“Only a few inconsiderate hunters abandon gundogs, and it (the hunters’ organization) hopes bird-hunting canines can live happily until the last moment of their lives, just like us,” Kaneko said. “I want to deepen our mutual understanding.”
I’m glad to read that, but it’s still disheartening to learn that these dogs are trained for hunting, used for the purpose, then treated like trash when they are no longer needed.
Makiko Matsumoto in Okayama, founded the non-profit Scenthound Rescue (Japanese) to do a similar thing, and there’s a listing of dogs looking for homes, as well as a listing of scenthounds that have been adopted (Japanese but photos).
Mina Martinez, also from Chiba, runs a general sanctuary called AnimO (English) or “Animal Oasis” to take care of various animals in need. What a collection they have, and the site is quite educational. You can read more about Mina in this article (English).
In the 10 minutes it takes to make coffee, on average another shelter dog has been killed in Japan. It’s not just a Japan problem, but a problem world wide. If that bothers you, and it should, what you can do is, “adopt don’t shop”.