Japan Cat Network Logo

What make us different

We are an animal welfare organization that helps people.

There are good and kind people interested in helping animals all over Japan, and we are here to help them do it better. We don't think this kind of work should have to be done alone, and we believe that when people get help, they can do so much more. We also believe that we can have the biggest impact on the problems for animals by starting with the source--people.

We are not interested in building one big shelter.

Our shelters, and the sheltering efforts that we support, maintain a population of under 50 animals, spay and neuter every intake (with the exception of severe health conflicts), and have strong rehoming or fostering programs. We believe that quality of life is paramount, and that animals should not live in cages long term. JCN shelter space is reserved almost entirely for pets that are being helped by those active in doing regular rescue work or for the pets of people who have lost their homes suddenly. Other rescued animals are kept by rescuers in their homes, with advice and often material support, until permanent homes can be found. We believe that sheltering should be small, community based, and manageable by local volunteers. In the future, we hope to support the start up of small sheltering efforts across the country.

We are a network.

We are forming an army, rescuer by rescuer, and this helps us to better support each other. Our members have come together to transport kittens across the country, to answer health and behavioral questions, to grieve over the loss of our much loved furry companions, and to be there for physical and emotional support during the stressful time of finding animals in need. Like all families, we have had our share of conflicts, but we have weathered those conflicts and we are growing stronger together every day.

We don't take problems away.

We won't take the kittens that you don't want or the cat that you saw on a street corner. We'll help you rescue the animals that you see in distress, by providing advice and other means of support. We'll help you to find low cost spay neuter for your pets or for the cats outside that you feed. We'll help you catch the ones you can't touch, and we'll tell you how to address your neighbors' concerns about the cats living outside in your neighborhood. We'll also advise or support you in finding new homes for friendly pets that you can't keep.

We have a very low budget.

We have run for nearly 15 years, helping hundreds of people and their animals across the country, on an all volunteer staff. Much of our work is funded by individual rescuers, and much of our earlier sheltering expenses were funded completely out of our founders' full time teaching salaries. We have set up a rescue base in Fukushima, completely staffed by the hundreds of volunteers that have visited, lived in, and otherwise supported, since March 2011. We remain dedicated to keeping our organizational running costs as low as possible. Our Fukushima shelter operational costs currently run under 200,000 Japanese Yen per month, on a regular basis.

We are No Kill.

We believe that animal rescue means a lifetime commitment to the animals that we take into our care, for better or for worse. The only reason we choose to euthanize an animal is because we feel that animal's quality of life is severely threatened and there is also little to no chance of recovery. We do not believe that being No Kill is a license for overcrowding, and that we must carefully consider every new intake, making the animals already in our care our first priority.

We are committed to the spay and neuter of all cats and dogs.

We believe that the problem of unwanted animals will not be solved until there is an increased commitment to population control. Our members have had to see kittens and puppies bound for destruction at animal welfare centers. We have had to nurse dying cats that have contracted unnecessary diseases, as a result of the mating process. We have seen overcrowded and completely unmanageable animal rescue efforts, with regularly exploding populations and terrible quality of life. We have had to pick up dead animals from beside roads, which they very likely wandered across in search of mates. So, we know for certain that there should not be one more unwanted animal brought into this world unnecessarily, and that spayed or neutered animals have safer and healthier lives. Spay and neuter is our number one focus in helping people help pets, and it is more important to us than any other single aspect.