I hope you're not all frozen! Given that it's almost February, I hope it warms up soon. I'm excited for the upcoming plumb season.
Today I want to talk a little about a special UK charity which I sometimes mention to students. In Japan, what do you do if you see a sick or dying animal in the street? What do you do if you know that your neighbour mistreats their dog or cat? Do you call the police, or regretfully overlook the situation? Even if you call the police, would they take any action?
In the UK, you can call a special charity! A nationwide group called the RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), founded in 1824, is poised and ready to respond to any call about an animal in need of help, whether it's a wild animal or a pet, a little bird in your garden or a pet horse. It's a bit like the police/ambulance service for animals, and they have offices and animal shelters across the whole country. It's a great service, because the limited police force is usually too busy dealing with serious human-related crimes to respond to cases of animal cruelty.
The RSPCA are often successful in investigating cases where an animal is being abused by its owner, and bringing people to a criminal court for violating animal rights. In some cases, the owner gets a fine or actually goes to prison. In other cases, the animals are simply removed from the owner and placed in care in a shelter.
There are so many animals in care with the RSPCA: wild animals, stray dogs and cats, and pets who have suffered under bad owners. The wild animals are usually released again when they're healthy. As for the strays and the pets, you can adopt them for free from RSPCA animal shelters and give them a nice new home.
In Japan, I sometimes come across animals that need help. When I was living in Tokyo, I could hear dogs crying outside at night for a long time near my apartment. In the UK, in this kind of case, I would usually call the RSPCA and someone would go to the nearby apartment and check on the dogs' conditions. But in Japan, I didn't know who to call, or what I could do for the dogs who sounded so unhappy. I feel the same way when I see a cat in the street, clearly a stray, with unhealthy skin and eyes - I want to call the RSPCA and ask them to care for it, but there's no Japanese RSPCA! And I'm not allowed to take animals into my apartment.
I know that Japan is a nation of people who like animals and love their pets , so I think that an RSPCA alternative would be a great idea here too to make sure that the animals of this country don't have to suffer from sickness in the wild or from abuse at the hands of an owner.
If you'd like to know more about the RSPCA, there's a lot of information online. And, of course, you can ask me too! I'd like to know if there's any local kind of animal protection service here in Hitachi or Ibaraki, so if you know anything and you'd like to tell me about it, please do!
I hope you have a fantastic week! Take care of yourselves.