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Cherubims Pet Rescue Group Plans to Build No-Kill Shelter

By: Chizu Kobayashi

Date Posted: 2000-11-23

Okinawa suffers from a problem of too many people abandoning their pets. The situation is even worse on a small island to the south of main island of Okinawa, with dramatically increasing numbers of abandoned pets. In the northern part of Okinawa, abandoned pets upset the environmental balance by hunting endangered species in the jungle, such as the Yanbarukuina rail bird.

One proposed solution has been to capture and kill all stray dogs and cats in northern Okinawa. Such a drastic solution cannot be right, because it is humans who are responsible for the increase in abandoned dogs and cats in northern Okinawa. One destination for captured pets is the Okinawa Prefecture Animal Protection Center. Cats stay there for four days, and dogs for five days before being killed. In Okinawa prefecture, 17,817 pets were killed last year.

In order to improve the destinies of abandoned pets the Cherubims group was started in January 1997. They have many projects underway at the moment.

Their “Dogs and Cats Adoption Fair” takes place every weekend on the second floor of Korinza shopping mall. People who cannot keep their pets or who have temporarily taken in abandoned animals bring them to the fair in the hope of finding the animals new homes. The cats and dogs waiting in cages there for new owners are sleek, clean and surpisingly beautiful, with their names and brief histories attached to the cages. It seems hard to credit that some were thrown, unwanted onto the street. Prospective owners have to sign a pledge that they will take care of the animals permanently. The cats and dogs must also be inspected and registered flea and disease free. New owners must also attend a mandatory pet care session. Because this is in Japanese and the group does not have anyone able to deliver it in English, at the moment, pet adoption is only open to locals or families containing a Japanese speaker.

There is also another option for people interested in acquiring a pet without going to a pet shop. They can visit Cherubims’ internet site and view pictures of pets needing homes.

The charity is also undertaking a campaign aimed at spreading microchip use. This scheme involves inserting a microchip between shoulder blades of a dog or a cat, which identifies the animal’s owner in case it becomes lost. Cherubims also run a Neighborhood Cats Operation with the intention of decreasing the number of street cats, through a spaying program. Neighborhood cats that have been spayed carry a red mark on their ears and a red collar. The charity hopes that all these activities will help reduce the number of pets killed for no reason.

The Cherubims group is at the moment taking care of 160 animals, of which 120 are cats and 40 dogs. This large number of charges in a limited space is making it more difficult to take in more pets that people bring. In addition the lease of the Cherubims shelter will run out at the end of this year. So there will be nowhere to keep the animals unless a new shelter is built. The group are appealing for anyone who could lease a suitable property for them, to get in touch.

The group hopes to build a new “No-Kill Animal Shelter” large enough to accommodate 300 pets, as soon as possible. Cherubims had recently hoped make use of a property donated by a generous owner, but it looks unfortunately as though the offer has fallen through. Meanwhile the group has considerable expenses, just making sure the animals are fed and sick ones taken for treatment to a vet. Cherubims are appealing for anyone willing to help them either with donations, or with their time.

For more information
098-890-6477(Japanese Only)
inuchan55@hotmail.com (English OK)
Cherubiums (Japanese Only)

To Donate Money
At any post office off base.
The Account No. is 17040 11176631
Shelter Setsuritsu Kikin

Or Go to Korinza Shopping Mall(2F) on Saturdays and Sundays between 13:00-17:00

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