The Japanese Law concerning the government “Taking Custody of Dogs and Cats”
From the Act on Welfare and Management of Animals (Act No. 105 of October 1, 1973)
Article 35: Taking Custody of Dogs and Cats
(1) Prefectures, etc. (which means prefectures, designated cities, core cities set forth in Article 25222(1) of the Local Autonomy Act [hereinafter referred to as "core cities"] and other cities specified by a Cabinet Order [including special wards; the same shall apply hereinafter]) shall take custody of a dog or cat when so requested by its owner. In this case, the prefectural governor, etc. (which means the heads of the prefecture, etc.; the same shall apply hereinafter) may designate the place where the dog or cat is to be taken into custody.
(2) The provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to the case where a prefecture, etc. is requested to take custody of a dog or cat of which the owner is unknown by its finder or any other person.
(3) A prefectural governor may seek the necessary cooperation from the mayor of a municipality (including a special ward) (such mayor shall exclude the mayor of a designated city, core city or a city specified by a Cabinet Order set forth in paragraph (1)) concerning custody of a dog or cat under paragraph (1) (including the case where it is applied mutatis mutandis pursuant to the preceding paragraph; the same shall apply in paragraphs (5) and (6)).
(4) A prefectural governor, etc. may commission custody of dogs and cats to an organization established for the purpose of animal welfare.
(5) The Minister of the Environment may, after consultation with the heads of the relevant administrative organs, prescribe necessary matters with regard to the measures to be taken in the case where custody has been requested pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (1).
(6) The national government may, within the scope of the budget, grant a subsidy to a prefecture, etc. for a part of the costs related to custody set forth in paragraph (1), pursuant to the provisions of a Cabinet Order.
Article 36: Measures for Notification by Finders of Injured Animals, etc.
(1) A person who has found an animal such as a dog or a cat that has a disease or is injured or the carcass of an animal such as a dog or a cat on a road, in a park, in a plaza, or in any other public place shall endeavor to notify promptly the owner when the owner is known or the prefectural governor, etc. when the owner is unknown.
(2) A prefecture, etc. shall, when a notification under the preceding paragraph has been given, take away said animal or animal carcass.
(3) The provisions of paragraph (5) of the preceding Article shall apply mutatis mutandis to the case of taking away an animal pursuant to the provisions of the preceding paragraph.