It is very important that you understand that the animals that are adopted from Ozato cannot be returned if the adoption does not work out.  Ozato is not like the shelters in America and they will not take the animals back, so please be absolutely sure you are financially and emotionally ready to provide an animal with a LIFETIME home.   We have the expectation that you will take the animal with you when you leave the island.  Any rehoming of animals adopted through us or straight from Ozato has to be done through us. We will list the animal and find another suitable home. You will be responsible for housing the animal until another home can be found and the dog/cat MUST be fully vetted and up-to-date on monthly preventatives.  Depending on the length of time that the animal has been in the home, we may require a current heart worm test (for dogs).

Adoption Stipulations 

After a period of 10 months where Americans were not allowed to rescue/adopt animals from their facility, the Okinawa Prefecture Animal Protection & Control Center (Ozato) started allowing Americans back into the facility in February 2011 to rescue & adopt animals.  In the past, some irresponsible adopters did not honor the commitment they made when they signed an adoption agreement with Ozato and this resulted in the termination of adoption/rescuing privileges from the facility for all Americans.  We were given rescuing privileges in Feb. 2011 and are the only American rescue group registered with the center to help Sofa Status members adopt a new pet from the center.  In order to be able to keep rescuing animals from the center, we must place any rescued animal in a home with responsible pet owners who will honor the commitment they make to the animal and follow the stipulations in the adoption agreement that they sign.  We have to abide by the rules that have been set by the officials at Ozato, and it is these rules that make up the adoption stipulations below.

 Below is a list of the paperwork and vetting you will be required to provide to an animal coming out of Ozato.

  • Signed adoption agreement with Ozato
  • Map of where you live
  • Copy of your lease stating you can have animals or pet deposit receipt (if you live off-base)
  • Copy of receipt for all vaccinations including Rabies and micro-chipping.  We need a copy of the health record for the dog/cat that shows the Rabies tag# and the micro-chip #.  
  • The adopted pet must be kept on monthly Frontline (flea/tick preventative) or equivalent and a heart worm preventative like Heartgard or equivalent.  
  • Registered at Kadena Vet Clinic (required for all Sofa Status individuals). 
  • Dogs registered at local city/town office if you live off-base (required for any individual that lives off-base).   
  • Spay/Neuter (if the dog/cat has not already been spayed/neutered) and must provide a copy of the receipt or a “Proof of Spay/Neuter” form filled out by the vet that performs the procedure.
  • We cannot consider families that have children under the age of 2 years old or families that are expecting a child. That age may be adjusted upward depending on the individual dog/cat for safety reasons (to protect the animal or to protect the children). 
  • ​ Families must live in pet friendly housing and can provide proof of such (copy of lease if you live off-base). Please note that dogs are not allowed above the second floor in any of the Tower buildings on any of the bases. Only two pets (total) are allowed in base housing as per housing regulations. Please consult your housing packet for more information.
  • ​​If your family already has a pet(s), the pet must be fully vetted (vaccinations, micro-chip, spayed/neutered),  All pets must also be registered at Kadena Vet Clinic if Sofa Status, and if a family lives off-base, all dogs must be registered with the local city/town office. We will require a copy of your current pet's veterinary status (copy of health record from Kadena Vet Clinic, copy of receipt for off-base registration or a picture of the tags). If you get your current animal's veterinary care at an off-base clinic, your pet still needs to be registered at Kadena Vet Clinic and still must be micro-chipped (as per Sofa Status requirements)
  • If your family already has a pet(s), please be aware it may not be safe to add a new pet if your current pet is too young. We receive a lot of inquiries from people that already have a kitten or very young puppy that they are looking for a friend for. While adopting out siblings (kittens and puppies) is common we do not regularly place puppies or adult dogs in homes with smaller animals because of the risk of them getting hurt. 
  • All family members must be on island and able to meet with the dog/cat and an adoption coordinator.  If a family member is off island (deployed, TDY, etc.) the family will have to wait for their return to meet any potential animals.​ All family members must also have current sofa status. 


We strive to find the best possible home/fit for all of the animals that we rescue. We are looking for families/individuals that will provide a loving, stable, and PERMANENT home for the dog or cat. Pet ownership is a luxury and adopters need to be financially prepared to provide the necessary veterinary care, food and supplies. Pet ownership is very rewarding, but it does require work, time and commitment.