8th February 2007
Stopped by the Kouei Dog School pet shop in Saga city. According to the hokensho, there are 65 dogs still there. On the side facing the road, the sheds and building have been boarded up to stop people looking in. From the back we could see the same Shibas in the same cages, same conditions; nothing has changed. The hokensho apparently go there daily and can enter the premises once or twice a week but are unable to get Mitsutake to improve the situation or give up more dogs.
Meeting with Saga Prefectural officials together with media reporters. On January 19th 2007, Saga Prefecture removed, with the Mitsutake’s permission 55 dogs from the Kashima premises and 7 from
the pet shop. These dogs are now being held in three hokensho and are slowly being processed at local veterinary clinics. One veterinarian from Nagasaki took in two critical cases; a Shiba weighing only 3.3 kg, still unable to stand by itself and a young Border Collie which had severe muscle wastage and is only now beginning to walk normally.
Since there is no way under the law for the Prefecture to go in and seize all the remaining dogs they can only pander to this evil man’s whims and stand by as more dogs suffer and die.
But although Saga Prefecture may have difficulties rescuing the remaining dogs, it has no excuse for the way the dogs already in its care are being treated. Three weeks have passed and yet these dogs have not yet been treated for worms, ear mites, or fleas, vaccinated, let alone neutered. They are suffering from skin diseases and have diarrhoea. They are languishing in dank, dark concrete buildings with no sunshine or fresh air, they have not been brushed or washed and certainly not walked. It’s like removing them from one hell-hole only to put them into a mediaeval prison. Shibas and Akitas are strong against cold conditions but wet cold conditions are likely to
weaken the dogs still further.
In Saga Kito hokensho where 42 dogs are being held, there is over-crowding with males and females mixed. One female appeared pregnant but the hokensho vet hadn’t noticed this. Two Shibas were in very small cages and the hokensho explanation was they didn’t have larger cages. Nor did they have spare dry pallets to replace the wet ones.
In Karatsu hokensho, there was less over-crowding but the dogs were forced to sleep on wet concrete floors with no pallets.
It is essential that all these dogs are processed as soon as possible and found homes but Saga Prefecture is depending on ‘volunteer’ vets to help with the treatment, neutering and adoption of the dogs.
There are too few of them. Why aren’t the veterinarians already employed by the Prefecture able to do anything? From talking to them, we discovered they do not even have access to a microscope let
alone equipment for surgery. We wonder why Saga bothers to employ veterinarians who know nothing, do nothing. You would think by now that the Prefecture would have put out appealing posters seeking homes for these dogs. But no. It says it is planning to hold a rehoming event some time in March. But all this is too slow. If more dogs come in from the breeder’s place, Saga would be unable to cope.
Under the new law, all breeders and dealers must register with their local Prefecture by the end of May. We are assuming that Mitsutake will be refused a license, and therefore give up his dogs. If the Prefecture grant him a license, despite his history of neglect and cruelty, then there is no hope for animal welfare in this country.