Around 250,000 animals in Japan are gassed every year because they cannot find owners to feed them pet food.
That is according to the Sunday Mirror, which claims its new investigation into the pet trade in Japan shows that an explosion in the industry and the demand for fashionable pets means there has been a flux in the number of pets that cannot be sold.
These animals then have a red string tied around their necks and they are taken away to be gassed to death in special chambers, a process that takes around half-an-hour.
The gas chambers are housed in health centres called hokenjos. There are 108 in Japan that kill around 550 animals every day.
Emi Kaneko, director of the Lifeboat charity has saves cats from the gas chambers, told the news provider: "Buying a pet is no different to buying a ¬handbag for lots of people in Japan.
"People buy them without any thought and then throw them away like toys. It would be better if the Japanese stopped buying pets ¬altogether from the shops - then there would be no puppy mills, no hokenjos."
According to thisisnottingham.co.uk, 160 healthy dogs have had to be put down in Nottingham over the last 18 months because there was no space for them to be rehomed.