Companion animals are dependent upon their human being owners to survive. Unfortunately, the same human being who they rely upon to survive sometimes ends up letting them down. This happens for many reasons such as an owner not realizing ahead of time how difficult having a pet can be, or an owner being forced to relinquish their pet because of financial reasons or even because the owner is moving to a place that does not accommodate his or her pet.
In Japan, companion animals are often relinquished to government organizations, and the sad truth is that almost every animal that meets this fate will also meet the end of its life within one week, the maximum amount of time that an animal can stay within a government facility.
As a committee, we have vowed to research animal welfare groups in our area to find no kill organizations that we believe will use donated money well. We look for organizations run by people who have a genuine love for animals and know how to help them overcome the hardships that they have faced in the past. We focus on helping groups that promote adoption and foster care to bring a happy future to these animals that are so deserving of it.
Below are the Kanto area groups that we support through our fundraisers. If you run a rescue group and are interested in getting involved with Animal Walk Tokyo, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dog Shelter is truly the epitomy of how a rescue group should train and place animals into a new home. We really enjoyed talking to this group and learning about their philosophy for rescuing animals from government shelters, training them in their own homes, placing them with foster families, and eventually placing them into new adoptive families with a pretty seamless transition. Rescued dogs immediately become a member of the “Dog Shelter” family by receiving their own crate, food/water bowls and toys. These items will stay with the dog when it moves into its permanent home.
The Dog Shelter group is a small operation made of multiple families, which allows them to ensure that every dog that they rescue is placed in a forever home. To read more about them, click on the link above.
ALMA (Animal Life Matters Association)
Animal Walk Tokyo (AWT) supports Animal Life Matters Association (ALMA), an animal shelter located in Katsushika Ward, Tokyo. ALMA is a relatively new shelter, opened in December 2012. It saves cats and dogs from government-run shelters in the Kanto region and finds them new homes.
At this small but homey shelter, staff and volunteers who are knowledgeable about animals work with, love, and take responsibility for the animals until the day they find new homes. They are also supported by the help of foster families.
If you are interested in volunteering at ALMA, please contact them directly via their application page below. If you have any problems you can contact us here at AWT. They always welcome anyone who is willing to help walk dogs, clean the shelter and feed animals.
Here is the application page:
Chiba Wan does amazing work rescuing animals in the Tokyo area. They operate through a model of multiple families working together to rescue and foster their animals. Adoption events are held to introduce the animals to potential owners, and when owners adopt animals, the foster families take in new ones.
They have been in operation for 10 years and have found homes for an amazing 3500 animals! It is very obvious how much the foster families love the animals that they are taking care of, and they all seem happy. Chiba Wan has a huge following with many people who are excited to volunteer and help them. We now join this list as we are very excited to help them too! To read more about them, please click on the link above.
ARK (Animal Refuge Kansai) Tokyo
ARK is a non-profit, non-governmental private organization with the aim of forming a network of people who love animals, believe in sharing their lives with them, and who work actively to rescue them from suffering. ARK was established in 1990 and became officially recognized as an NPO (Non-Profit Organization) in September 1999. In 2008, ARK was accepted as an International Associate Member of the RSPCA. ARK receives all funding for its activities from the donations and membership fees of the general public. They have approximately 30 staff members and receive support from volunteers who understand their activities. The staff depends on the many volunteers because ARK is dedicated to not only the care of the animals but also to maintaining the facilities for the animals.
ARK is active in Tokyo (Tokyo ARK), and we support them through their Tokyo activities. You can find more information on their homepage by clicking above, or by joining The Tokyo Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) Meetup Group, which holds events in Tokyo to support ARK’s activities. Please feel free to join the group at:
Nyan Dollars is a cat TNR (Trap Neuter Release) and animal rescue group based in Koenji.
HEART is a registered NPO run solely on a volunteer basis and funded entirely through donations. Based in Tokushima, their aim is to build a community in which companion animals can live free from suffering or cruelty. Their activities include rescue, care and re-homing of stray, abandoned, abused and neglected animals. They also promote spay/neuter and responsible pet ownership through education and supportive means.
HEART was founded in 2006 by Canadian Susan Mercer with the long-term goal of developing an animal rescue centre in the Shikoku area and decreasing the stray dog and cat population through spay/neuter.
To find groups outside of Tokyo, please visit our forum Volunteering outside of Tokyo.
All Life In Viable Environment (ALIVE)
ALIVE members are amazing animal rights activists who fight for a better quality of life for animals across Japan. They have been very successful at making changes in areas such as:
- stronger regulations for breeders and dealers
- overall reduction in government-driven euthanasia
- abolition of giving unwanted animals to research facilities
- fighting for rights of zoo and aquarium animals
- raising public awareness for how farm animals are raised
- fighting for wildlife protection
Click on the link above to read more about the amazing work that ALIVE does and see how you can help!