Monday, June 13, 2011


Isabella looks after our dogs when we travel. Apart from being a lovely woman, she is a true hero. This article gave me goosebumps and might make you cry.

Animal shelter in Niigata helps Tohoku pets, owners - Japan Times

"Three days after the quake, Gallaon-Aoki packed her car with food, water, gasoline and supplies and set off eastward with two others. "This was at a time when the authorities were saying, 'Don't come.' . . . Just feeling our way around, we got in and asked around where the badly hit areas were." The rescue party made its way into what they found to be "a completely devastated landscape, without a single living soul." After going to a few areas, it "was very, very obvious that nothing would have survived," Gallaon-Aoki says. "The tsunami was just complete. Everything was wiped out, be it human, animal, whatever."

In the ensuing days, however, Gallaon-Aoki realized there were indeed those in need of help, the survivors of the tsunami who had fled with their pets and were now desperate to get help for them or even to be allowed to stay with them.

"It was the usual story, people with animals not being allowed into evacuation centers, animals in distress, no medication, no kind of medical care of any kind, no food," Gallaon-Aoki says.

Gallaon-Aoki traveled from evacuation center to center, leaving food and her contacts, letting authorities and people in need of help for their animals know that she could provide it. She was also able to come to the aid of animals that had been rescued but had no one to care for them. One, Gallaon-Aoki says, "was a Corgi that survived floating on a roof for three days, swept out to sea with the owner. The dog was rescued, alone. Gallaon-Aoki took him in and remembers how he had been at the time. "I have never seen a look in any dog's eye like the look in that dog's eye when he first came. It was complete terror."

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