Concern Raised over Pet Boom amid Epidemic

Society

Tokyo, Feb. 23 (Jiji Press)--With more and more people in Japan welcoming pets into their homes for comfort amid the prolonged novel coronavirus epidemic, related groups are voicing concerns that shortsighted decisions may lead to the animals being abandoned.

While prices of pets are skyrocketing on the back of rising demand, animal care centers and other organizations are seeing increases in requests from people who want to surrender their pets shortly after getting them. Animal protection groups are urging pet owners not to forget that they are responsible for the animals' lives.

According to the Japan Pet Food Association, the number of dogs and that of cats that were newly welcomed into homes last year were both estimated to have increased by over 60,000 from the preceding year.

A pet store operator which runs shops across the country saw sales double when the country's first coronavirus state of emergency was in place between April and May last year.

The increase came as people "spent longer at home due to the spread of remote working amid the epidemic and felt stress over having to refrain from" doing various activities, an official of the pet store operator said.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press