ARK News

Second Chance: ARK Dogs Bound for London!

January 1, 2005

Second Chance. ARK dogs London-bound to seek fame and fortune in Britain

In June this year 10 ARK dogs will travel to England to find new homes through the famous Battersea Dogs Home in London. Although in the past, ARK has sent individual dogs abroad for rehoming, this is the first time so many Japanese dogs have been sent from a shelter in Japan to find homes in another country.

——————– Dogs Travel to Britain ——————–

Why send dogs to Britain and why to Battersea? Battersea Dogs Home is the oldest shelter in the world, with an 160 year old history. It has enormous prestige and it is said that it is more difficult to adopt a dog from Battersea than it is to adopt a child in Britain. Dogs adopted from Battersea are called “Battersea” dogs and their owners are immensely proud of them. In Britain, dogs are no longer sold in pet shops. When people want a dog they go to a breeder directly or more often they adopt from a shelter. Most of the dogs in these shelters are cross-breeds and neither age nor handicap is a deterent to British people seeking a pet.

In Japan, on the other hand, most people want a pedigree puppy, which is why they buy from pet shops. They tend to buy fashionable dogs which means when a dog is no longer “in fashion”, it is often sent to the hokesho (pound). Sad to say, but over 1200 pet dogs and cats are gassed everyday in the hokenshos throughout Japan. One of the reasons we are sending 10 ARK dogs to England is to highlight this needless killing and to demonstrate that cross-breed dogs make loving family pets. It is ironic that while English breeds of dogs are at the height of popularity in Japan, Japanese-type dogs are growing in popularity in Britain.

The process to send dogs to England is a lengthy one due to the strict quarantine regulations in that country. Dogs must be micro-chipped, have a rabies shot and then a month later samples of blood must be sent to a designated laboratory in the United Kingdom. If the results are satisfactory the dogs must then wait six months before being granted a pet passport for travel.

Out of 300 dogs at ARK we selected those which are appealing, friendly and easy to handle, and are also without health problems. Several eligible dogs were ruled out because they have filaria which is endemic in Japan but unknown in Britain. Those short-listed include Bow, C’est Moi, Dick Turpin, Erin, Hamlet, Kaz, Leon, Marmul, Nelson and Quincey. We are sure that these dogs will soon win over the hearts of British people and find loving homes.

Two members of ARK’s staff will accompany the dogs on their journey from Kansai airport, on a direct flight to London Heathrow where they will be met by Battersea people. They will stay with the dogs at Battersea to settle them in. Their departure date will be sometime in mid-June since Battersea is planning to stage its annual fund-raising opera on June 22nd in London. This year’s opera will be Puccini’s “Madame Butterfly” so the arrival of the Japanese dogs in this Year of the Dog will be especially meaningful.

We are looking for people to sponsor these 10 dogs; to help towards the costs of the airfares (around 100,000 per dog), the carriers to be used, the veterinary costs including the blood tests and other incidental costs. We would also like to find media contacts who can cover this remarkable event; a story about stray unwanted dogs from Japan finding fame and fortune in Britain.

Please help by sponsoring one or more of these dogs on their journey to a new life. We will of course keep everyone informed of their progress with pictures of their life at Battersea as well as their new home and family.

Post Office
Animal Refuge Kansai

Please write “For dogs to Battersea” on the remittance slip