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Rules for keeping pets (dogs and cats)

Dog registration

If you have a dog that is more than 90 days old, you are required to register the dog at the city, ward or town office. Upon completing registration, you will receive a dog tag or certification. Your dog will need this tag for his/her lifetime, and it is a good idea for you to attach the tag to the dog's collar. In the event that your dog runs away, the person who finds the dog can contact the municipal office or health center and report the information written on the tag. The municipal office or health and welfare office can then identify the dog's owner. Therefore, lost dogs with tags will almost always be able to return home safely. When walking your dog, please carry cleaning tools for their droppings. It is your responsibility to clean up after your dogs. Before welcoming a pet into your home, please confirm with your landlord about their rules for pets. There are very few apartments that allow pets in Japan. Also, please make sure to leash your dog to avoid biting accidents or any trouble to others.

Rabies vaccination

The owner of a dog that is more than 90 days old is required by law to have their dog vaccinated against rabies once a year. The owner of a registered dog is sent a notification letter for a group vaccination session once a year. The information for the vaccination period will also be on the newsletter issued by your municipality as well. If the owner cannot have their dog vaccinated at the group vaccination session, the owner can take their dog to an animal hospital to have their dog vaccinated. When vaccinated at an animal hospital, you will be given a vaccination certificate. You should take it to your municipal office and apply for the certificate of vaccination completion.

The local health and welfare offices can protect and provide shelters for dogs that are lost for six business days (Sundays and national holidays are excluded). If the dog's owner is not found within six days, the dog will be disposed of. Please contact your local health and welfare offce when you realize your dog is lost or you find a lost dog.

Click here to see information on lost dogs and cats (Japanese only). Information on sheltered dogs is entered into the records at the health and welfare offices. The information includes when, where and how the dog was found. When the health and welfare office receives a notice of a lost dog by his/her owner, they will confirm if the dog is being sheltered there. If they find a dog that fits the description, they will contact the owner. Also, health and welfare offices have scanners to read microchips embedded in dogs, which include the information of the dog's owner.

When you are no longer able to keep your pet

We suggest you take responsibility and keep your dog until the end, but if you have reasons you absolutely must give up your pet, please try your best to find a new owner for your dog. If you cannot find a new owner after trying, please contact the health and welfare office in your region.

When your pet dies

When your dog passes away, you may be able to cremate it according to your local office's policy. Some municipalities allow pets' cremation, but some do not. Please contact your municipality to see what their policy is.

List of health and welfare offices in Gunma (Consultation and inquiry in Japanese)

Shibukawa Health and Welfare Office
(Shibukawa City & Kita Gunma-gun)
0279-22-4166
Isesaki Health and Welfare Office
(Isesaki City & Tamamura Town)
0270-25-5066
Annaka Health and Welfare Office
(Annaka City)
027-381-0345 
Fujioka Health and Welfare Office
(Fujioka City & Tano-gun)  
0274-22-1420
Tomioka Health and Welfare Office
(Tomioka City & Kanra-gun)
0274-62-1541
Agatsuma Health and Welfare Office
(Agatsuma-gun)
0279-75-3303
Tone-Numata Health and Welfare Office
(Numata City & Tone-gun)
0278-23-2185
Tobu Health and Welfare Office
(Ota-City)
0276-31-8241
Kiryu Health and Welfare Office
(Kiryu City & Midori City)
0277-53-4131
Tatebayashi Health and Welfare Office
(Tatebayashi City & Oura-gun)
0276-72-3230
Prefectural Health Management Division
(Gunma except for Maebashi and Takasaki)
027-224-5300 
Maebashi City Hokenjo
(Maebashi City)
027-220-5777
Takasaki City Hokenjo
(Takasaki City)
027-330-2323 

(Effective January 2013)

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