Now, rent a pet for periods ranging from an hour to a week!

November 25th, 2007 - 4:40 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 25 (ANI): Ever wanted a pet only for a few hours or few days? Well, you may be in a bit of a pleasant surprise for eclectic arrays of domestic animals are currently available on rent in Japan, for periods ranging one hour to a week.

From dogs, cats and rabbits to birds, ferrets and turtles, any domestic pet can be rented out for costs as low as 1,500 yen (6.30 pounds) for an hour.

Dog is the most popular rental animal and the practice is as accessible as it is popular.

Pet rental is currently booming in Japan. The number of companies dedicated to renting out pets in Tokyo alone has risen from 17 in 2000 to 134 today.

The reasons behind the fuelling demand for part-time pets are shortage of space and apartment regulations banning animals.

Janet Village in Tokyo boasts 48 carefully coiffed dogs for rent.

A comprehensive canine menu is displayed at the front of the shop, which displays snapshots of each animal and also lists each animal’s vital statistics, including age and personality traits.

For instance, there is Mimi, a two-year-old Italian Great Hound, who has a “graceful walk” and enjoys running around; or Yuki, the Chihuahua, who loves people but “gets tired on long walks”.

According to the shops owner, Manabu Araki, as many as 60 people rent dogs over the weekend, with another 20 rentals between Monday and Friday.

“We match the personality of the dog with the person renting,” the Telegraph quoted Araki, as saying.

“There are people who cannot have pets in their apartments, young families trying out dogs before buying and senior people who are a bit lonely. Some come every day.

“I started with a pet shop but there is much more demand for rental, he said.

Dr Julia Berryman, a senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Leicester, said: “People’s lives are busier, more women are in paid work, people are taking more holidays, families are smaller and there are more single people.”

“All these may make pet ownership more desirable whilst also causing a problem if people are not around at home for large parts of the day, she added.

However, Keiko Yamazaki, a human-animal relations academic and board member of the Japanese Coalition for Animal Welfare, criticised the practice.

“Renting provides easy access to a cute pet without the responsibility but it’s not healthy for the animals,” Yamazaki said. (ANI)

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