Information on pets missing after Noto Peninsula quake available on website

Japan's Environment Ministry and Ishikawa Prefecture have launched a website offering information on dogs and cats found in areas that were hit by the Noto Peninsula earthquake on New Year's Day.

Prefectural officials say they have been receiving numerous inquiries from people whose pets went missing during the evacuation.

Ishikawa prefectural public health centers and other facilities are taking care of dogs and cats that are believed to have been separated from their owners.

The new website displays photos of the animals taken into protective custody, their characteristics, where they were found, how to contact the facility where they are now and the cost of getting them back.

If the pet is being kept at a prefectural public health center, for example, a handover fee would be 4,000 yen, or about 27 dollars, plus nearly three dollars for each day spent there. The cost would be reduced for owners who suffered quake damage.

Environment Minister Ito Shintaro told reporters on Tuesday that his ministry has been supporting pet owners by offering temporary custody service and allowing pets to live at temporary housing facilities.

He added the ministry will step up efforts to send out information on missing pets, which is important to the survivors.