Adopt, not buy, pets from Japan shops
PET shops and cafes in Japan have taken on the role to protect abandoned dogs and cats from official cullers by providing safe shelters and finding owners without charging an adoption fee.
Chouchou, a pet store in south-western Honshu's Okayama prefecture, has stopped selling cats and dogs in April last year.
Instead, it has been introducing potential new owners, free of charge, to dogs it has taken in from pet shelters, reported the Japan News.
The store covers the cost of housing the animals but has seen its in-store and online sales of pet goods rise due to customer support for the programme.
Manager Takashi Sawaki said he would rather play rescuer than continue as profiteering seller in the knowledge that hundreds of dogs and cats are being killed every day in Japan.
Official statistics show that the number of cats and dogs euthanised in Japan came to about 100,000 in 2014.
The Neco Republic, which has four cat cafes across Japan, allows customers to adopt the felines whose company they enjoy, including the rescued ones.
A "new-style" cat cafe is one that works with animal protection organisations and still turns a profit, Japan's RocketNews24 news blog pointed out.
The biggest rescuer so far is the P's-first pet-shop chain, which has seen nearly 600 rescued dogs adopted since March 2013. AGENCIES