Theodore's World: Japanese Risk Radiation to Rescue Stranded Dogs

« Obama: I Was Born In Hawaii And I Don't Have Horns ~ Another LIE by Obama Because He Continues To Hide His BC and Other Documents | Main | Congressman Allen West (LTC. Ret) Warns Hateful, Radical Leftists: Don't Mess with Me! »

April 15, 2011

Japanese Risk Radiation to Rescue Stranded Dogs

Japanese risk radiation to rescue stranded dogs


When Etsumi Ogino saw a news photo of a pack of shelties wandering through an abandoned town near Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear plant, she thought of her own 13-year-old canine Kein and jumped into action.

"My heart trembled," said Ogino, a 56-year-old volunteer at an animal shelter in Chiba prefecture. "They looked just like my dog. I started searching for them right away."

She and others around Japan called, the website of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper, which had run the photo. An Associated Press photographer had snapped that photo and others of the dogs on an empty street in Minami Soma city, an area evacuated because of radiation fears.

On Saturday, the AP gave her details of where the dogs were spotted.

Ogino relayed the information to a team of animal rescuers called Sheltie Rescue. By then, the group had been getting emails from dog lovers around the country about the abandoned pack.

Through emails and Internet research it was established that the owner of the dogs was a breeder in Minami Soma. The group contacted the Fukushima city branch of the Japan Collie Club, tracked the owner down by phone at a shelter and got her go-ahead to rescue the dogs.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, seven volunteers left Tokyo and drove over broken roads and past demolished houses to meet three other volunteers in the ghost town that Minami Soma has become. Some had prepared radiation suits and others wore simple vinyl raincoats.

The first two to arrive found the pack around the Odaka train station, near the owner's home, where the AP team had last seen them.

"They were waiting for their owner," said Tamiko Nakamura, a volunteer who went with the group from Tokyo.

The dogs had been left some dry food, and weren't starving.

It took a while to entice them with snacks, and six or seven were bundled into each car. The group saved 20 dogs in all.

Most were taken to a veterinary clinic in Kanagawa prefecture just west of Tokyo. Others are being cared for by individuals in other areas.

The owner, worn down by the disaster and worrying about her dogs, was "extremely happy," Nakamura said. She said the owner did not want her identity revealed.

Nakamura only regrets that some of the dogs in the pack ran away and countless others are still stranded in the evacuation zone.

"There are still some left behind," she said. "I'm concerned about them and want to pull them out."

Wild Thing's comment.........

What an incredibly touching story.

I always worry about the animals when there are disasters that occur. The bottom line is also that dogs would do anything for us, even if they were aware of the radiation they would come to our rescue. We have all heard of fantastic stories of an animal coming to help their owner or even others they do not know at great risk to their own lives.

....Thank you Tom for sending this to me.

US Army Aviation
Vietnam 1966-68
US Army Special Forces

Posted by Wild Thing at April 15, 2011 05:50 AM


I'm a sucker for feelgood animal stories. This Japanese disaster is of monsterous proportions with many sad events. This tale of the dog rescue is like a light in the darkness.

Another positive to come out of this story is to see how the dogs fare over the next few years. That will be fodder for medical researchers and give them a basis on what to expect from human exposure to the radiation.

Posted by: TomR, armed in Texas at April 15, 2011 12:23 PM

Tom, thank you for this story. I am the same way, I love animal stories. That is the perfect way to put it " a light in the darkness".

Posted by: Wild Thing at April 15, 2011 11:23 PM