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Over 70 dogs perish in Nara pet shop fire

47 Comments

A fire broke out in a pet dealer's premises in Katsuragi City in Nara Prefecture, on Sunday evening, burning two wooden bungalow-style dog houses totaling nearly 85 square meters. Between 70-80 dogs perished in the fire at Wan Wan House, police said, adding they have not determined the cause of the blaze.

According to police, the dog houses were built with no walls and poles supporting the roof. A total of three dog houses held 250 dogs of breeds such as bulldogs, dachshunds and Shih Tzu.

No one was in the area at the time. The 62-year-old owner told police he had been using a kerosene stove to keep the animals warm. Neighbors called 119 when they noticed the fire at about 6:30 p.m..

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47 Comments
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Horrible, R.I.P. doggies :(

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I can feel their pain as they took their last breath. RIP

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I can feel their pain as they took their last breath.

Can you?? If so get to the hospital quick,might be something serious

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80 dogs at 1-3 thousand bucks each. That's a lot of money gone up in smoke.

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250 dogs in three 'doghouses'. That wasn't a 'pet dealer's premises, it was a warehouse.

The poor dogs must have been terrified.

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these dogs were liberated. those pet shops make me sick

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What can be more horrific than death by burning in a small cell. They are liberated but not before having one last torture. Shame on disillusioned for thinking about money.

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The 62-year-old owner told police he had been using a kerosene stove to keep the animals warm

So many questions come to mind with this statement.

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Maybe times were hard and the owner sought an evil method to earn a crust from his dogs?

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With 250 animals crammed into 3 what sound like open-air sheds, it looks like he had already found an evil method to earn a crust.

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Cleo. I know what you mean. This whole story makes me feel sick. "In general" and from my own observations I find animal rights are almost non existent here IMHO... People must learn that pets are living breathing creatures that feel love, pain and suffering.

I just wish that the average single J female would realise that pets are NOT a fashion accessories....

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Can you say puppy mill? This is a tragedy and in any first world country the owner would be on the hooks for breech of animal welfare laws (you cannot tell me that having 250 dogs in a small hovel is in the animals' best interest).

Here in the twilight zone, however, nothing will be done, as people like this bloke continue to churn out genetically-questionable puppies at a massive rate, and equally gullible consumers buy them. Shame all round!!!

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It is sad that the dogs died, but the truly sad story is the state of the pet industry in Japan, as well as in other countries. I have had several pets in my life, but I say no more pets. If you want to see animals, go out and see them in the wild. Hope that Mr. Hashimoto will change some of the laws regarding the pet industry in Japan.

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What a horrible way to live and die. Poor puppies.

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This is terrible and how pets are treated by the pet industry in Japan is terrible, but to say "Liberated"? Please just keep your comments to yourself please... Sick. And yes, to suggest something like making soup out of their remains is a bit demented... Probably the kind of person to pick a live dog from a market in some country to be made up for their dinner... Ugh.

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I wonder if there is an agency that keeps track of these animal breeders (or, "pet farmers").

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Shame on disillusioned for thinking about money.

Call me cynical but my first thought was about the money as well. Dogs are so ridiculously overpriced here. Anything other than an akita (which I call the 'Hakuho of dogs') will set you back a couple grand $$. And now we see what fine care these dogs receive before they are sold.

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Anything other than an akita (which I call the 'Hakuho of dogs') will set you back a couple grand $$.

180,000 yen for anything other than an Akita? Nope. A popular, 'designer' breed or a 'rare' breed will cost you a good bit more; a common-or-garden, not-all-that-popular breed a good bit less. Go to your local animal welfare association and adopt for free or for the cost of vaccinations and fixing.

Either get your dog from a reputable breeder (and be prepared to pay), or take pot luck with welfare (and be prepared to have to sort out the previous owner's mistakes). The problem with these pet-shop puppies is that the breeding is haphazard, the care is minimal and the price is a scam.

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I hope no schnauzers were involved

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what Timorborder said, definitely the third world here in terms of animal protection laws and enforcement.

or take pot luck with welfare (and be prepared to have to sort out the previous owner's mistakes)

true to some extent, but a properly run shelter would let potential adopters know of any problems. At our shelter folks come in telling us they want a puppy. Before they see any dogs they must fill out a four page survey and after going over it thoroughly our staff picks out a dog that fits their lifestyle, also turning away unsuitable candidates.

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okasurferdude, the schnauzers were the main contributors to the inferno. they catch fire easily.

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A quick note on dog prices, using as an example one of our dogs (a golden retriever):

From a backyard breeder in Japan, expect to pay 90,000 yen for a dog of fuzzy parentage. You might get a pedigree certificate, you might not. Actually, it depends very much on the breeder. There are some good dogs around (by luck rather than design), that are free from hip, joint problems. Don't even ask for cardiogram or a eye clearance.

From a pet shop in Japan, expect to pay 150,000 to 200,000. Price will go down as the dog gets bigger (no longer cute). Then again, the longer the little doggy stays in the window, the higher the possibility of mental issues. You will see a Japan Kennel Club pedigree, and all dogs supposedly get a check up from the vet. However, this is nothing that you could hold up in a court of law. Again, no hip, heart, shoulder or eye clearances.

Reputable Breeder (A wish list based on the documentation I generate every time our dog gives birth - sorry don't sell to the public): Approximately 16 x-rays per puppy (knees, hips, shoulders, anything with a bone in it), cardiograms (no heart problems), eye clearances from a specialist, complete blood work, hip clearances from the two major certifying bodies (OFA/Pen-Hip), dental clearances, etc.

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a properly run shelter would let potential adopters know of any problems.

True. But like not all breeders are reputable, not all shelters are properly run (I know you're involved with one of the good ones). The organisations advertising on line for adopters, for example, range from cast-iron shelters to well-meaning dog-lovers with a kitchen full of strays and rescues, to individual owners who find themselves no longer able to keep their dog, for whatever reason. Prospective adopters need to take a good hard look at the dog, the organisation - and themselves. Same applies to people buying a dog too, I suppose.

(We were turned away by one organisation on the grounds that we lived too far away for them to visit us regularly to check up on us and any dog they let us adopt. I can respect that.)

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What a horrible story... It breaks my heart.

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Tahoochi at 10:31 AM JST - 8th February

The 62-year-old owner told police he had been using a kerosene stove to keep the animals warm

So many questions come to mind with this statement.

Cleo, this is very typical of the j-folks. Dogs, cats and other small animald are nothing but $$$ to them. I hope that old guy burns in hell. Poor dogs, really heart-breaking.

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No, it is not 'typical of the J-folks'. It is typical of a certain type of person who sees animals as nothing more than merchandise.

It is certainly not typical of the 'J-folks' in my family, who would never dream of treating any animal in such a way, and I find the suggestion that they might, highly offensive.

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What can be more horrific than death by burning in a small cell. They are liberated but not before having one last torture. Shame on disillusioned for thinking about money.

Most of the dogs would have died from smoke inhalation long before they were burned.

Why is it shameful of me to consider the monetary cost? What do you think the owner's first thoughts were? "Oh, those poor dogs!" or "O hope my wife paid the insurance premium this month!"

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This tragedy doesn't surprise me. If there are even regulations concerning the ownership and welfare of pets in Japan (I wouldn't think so?) they were not adhered to. Sadly, pets are merely playthings/commodities to many here. Not ALL - but many. If most Japanese were concerned for pets welfare in general, why do we see these stories so often? Why aren't the public demanding laws be enacted to police animal welfare?

I saw a story only last month where about 30 dogs for breeding were being kept on the top of an apartment building in Tokyo with no shelter. Disgraceful grubs who do this, and turn a blind eye to it.

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Why is it shameful of me to consider the monetary cost? What do you think the owner's first thoughts were? "Oh, those poor dogs!" or "O hope my wife paid the insurance premium this month!"

Everyone on here knows it was the latter - we would be lying if we said the first!

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As pet ownership has been increasing in Japan, I think that more people are becoming aware of animal welfare. In 1999, the law for the humane treatment of animals was amended and fines for abuse were increased significantly. Unfortunately though, there will always be people around who abuse animals for their own financial gain.

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there will always be people around who abuse animals for their own financial gain.

And it isn't only (or even mainly) pets. Almost every animal that ends up on a plate is factory-farmed.

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the sound of igniting kerosene? "woof".

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In a normal country this 62yr old wud have been shut down or arrested long ago.....I agree with most here that most J-pet owners shud simply not have pets, the people & govt of Jpn dont give a damn, if they did there wud be laws & some enforcement but there is nothing here.

I love my pooch & the 2cats we have(rescued 4kittens, found homes for 2 & the other two are on the couch beside me snuggled up with my dachs all keeping warm), the vast majority of cats & dogs where I am live dismal lives & too many live much worse than that!

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Exactly, GW...but then again who cares about animals? In Japan, no animal protection laws. The Backwards and outdated system at its best.

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Very sad story!

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In Japan, no animal protection laws.

wrong. there are laws.

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If you want to see animals, go out and see them in the wild. Hope that >Mr. Hashimoto will change some of the laws regarding the pet industry in >Japan

Mr Hashimoto died in 2006.

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No, it is not 'typical of the J-folks'. It is typical of a certain type >of person who sees animals as nothing more than merchandise. It is certainly not typical of the 'J-folks' in my family, who would >never dream of treating any animal in such a way, and I find the >suggestion that they might, highly offensive.

From my personal experience I find J-folks out in the "inaka" much more understanding of the needs of their dogs, not to mention that the dogs get some room to actually excercise. City dwelling dogs particularly the small breeds do tend to get treated like toys or objects more, but that isn't just Japan, it can be seen in most major cities. Nevertheless I do think a revamping of pet ownership laws in Japan is clearly in order. Off on a tangent but besides dogs/cats, I think Japan permits faaarr too many exotic animals to be kept as pets as well.

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I wonder how many dogs are destroyed each year because nobody wants a mutt from the animal shelter?

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Knackerz; In 2008 Japanese local autorities killed over 100,000 dogs by comparison Britain killed 8,000.

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According to police, the dog houses were built with no walls and poles supporting the roof

Beats my imagination...Floating roof?......No walls and its a house?? Really confusing!!

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No walls and its a house??

No walls, just poles holding the roof up. Basically an open-air enclosure with a roof. A bit like the cells at Guantanamo, I imagine (but without the balmy Cuban climate). At least most factory-farmed animals destined for the table get a bit of protection from the elements.

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Knackerz; In 2008 Japanese local autorities killed over 100,000 dogs by >comparison Britain killed 8,000.

Could you post the link for that info? Thanks.

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Cleo, although I respect your dietary choices, this thread is not the place to espouse your brand of vegetarian evangelicalism. Indeed, like dogs, human beings are omnivores. Furthermore, if this was not the case, then we would all have calluses on our knees.

Moderator: All readers back on topic please.

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OssanAmerica, I don`t know if these facts can be found online. I got the info from the last Animal Rescue Kansai(www.arkbark.net)newsletter and was a great place where i also adopted my great cross breed dog.Check it out, they do a great job with limited funds and are actively against teh way many breeders and pet shops operate in Japan.

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Actually fires in pet shops and breeding establishments (puppy mills) are quite common; partly we might guess for insurance but also as a means to get rid of the old stock in one swoop and then start all over again. Accurate data on killed numbers of dogs and cats in Japanese 'kanri ' centres can be found on the ALIVE (All Life in a Viable Environment) website.

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actual number destroyed by the hokensho (animal control) is around 300,000

http://www.alive-net.net/english/en-companion/g_shelter2009.html

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