Live Love Animals Festival’s ‘Always Be Together’ Project: an activity supporting pet owners struggling after the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake

Live Love Animals Festival
An activity supporting pet owners struggling after
the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake

The ‘Always Be Together’ Project
Starting now!

■Purpose: Provide Support to Pet Owners Victimized by the Great Eastern Japan Earthquake
 With our understanding of the typical problems faced when trying to keep pets following natural disasters, we know that one key task is to offer both material and emotional support to evacuees who wish to move with their pets and recover their independence post-disaster.

  

  The ‘Live Love Animals Festival’ which has been generously supported by so many of you originally began as a Kobe 21st Century Restoration Commemorative Project, an event where people could share the sense of gratitude and joy at being survivors, and spend time with our pets after overcoming so many difficulties.

*click here for more information about the ‘Live Love Animals Festival’    (Japanese Only)

  There are many pet owners who are still combating great difficulties in trying to ‘be together’ with their pets after the tragic earthquake and tsunami. But there are also many people who believe that, ‘at times like these, the pets are a lower priority’. The result of this is that owners are suffering both mental anguish as well as physical hardship.

But all of us understand their situation acutely. We truly know how they feel. It is through our pets that we gain the strength to remain standing.

Already there are several animal rescue efforts and activities underway, but we are still hearing from people linked to Live Love Animals asking

‘why we cannot offer even more support and offer it more directly?”

Our supporters are wanting “to provide both emotional and physical support more closely.”

So here we go !

 

 The ‘Live Love Animals Festival’ is a regular event which had its beginnings under the auspices of the Kobe 21st Century Restoration Commemorative Project after the Kobe Earthquake. It has developed from strength to strength.

 The earthquake which hit the Tohoku Region of Eastern Japan on March 11th was almost unprecedented in its scale. We who live in Kobe (Western Japan) had the misfortune of a similar experience 16 years ago. As such we have felt that, if any one group of people ought to be able to help, it should be those of us still active within this Restoration Commemorative Festival. We know better than most the importance of not being separated from our animals.

 What we learned from the Kobe Earthquake was that the bond between people and animals is a real and vital one.
 For some people, their whole sense of existence is determined by their relationship with a fellow creature. It is because of their pet that they have been able to hang on under unimaginable hardship. Having a pet is a large part of their daily life and, for many, provides a strong purpose in life. Because we have been through an almost identical experience in Kobe, we deeply sympathize and are anxious to turn this emotion into positive action by giving material and emotional support. To this ends we have set up a project to protect the one precious part of the victims’ former lives that remains intact after the quake – their bond with their companion animal. We need to join all our resources and strengths to develop this project. Firstly we have started off by gathering monetary donations and kind messages. The donations focus on supporting the construction and moving costs for people as they move into temporary housing units with their pets. Securing such shelter is essential.

 We therefore ask for your further generous support. We plan to forward your signatures and words of support as depicted in the diagram below. By creating awareness through proactive communications that there are a great many people who support the need for the victims to stay together with their pets, we can win more help and cooperation from multiple directions and many other areas of our society. We ask for your kind support.

 The ‘Live Love Animals Festival’ is an on-going project that originally began as a Kobe 21st Century Restoration Commemorative Project. It was (and continues to be) organized by then-NPO (now PIIA) Knots, a group founded by some of the people who took action to rescue animals after the 1995 Great Hanshin-Awaji (Kobe) Earthquake. Once a year, the festival is held with a ‘dog sports’ meet as its core event, combined with several promotional activities for assistance dogs and adoption support, as well as sales of dog related products. This is a fun day out for dogs, their owners and people who love animals.. 
 
  Many of the festival participants experienced the Kobe Earthquake directly, or have close friends or relatives who did. This festival was one of the first where citizens could remember the earthquake, share their feelings and express their gratitude for post-quake recovery.

  One result of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake was that people came to realize the strength of the human-animal bond, and its great influence. At this sad time we give our thoughts and prayers to the people in the North-Eastern part of Japan (Tohoku) and those who had to be evacuated with their pets. More than ever before we feel ‘they should never be apart’ and we want them to know that they have friends here in Kobe, people who have also struggled to ‘be together’


 
    Given the choice, having pets and animals near to us is part of our normal life and quite natural. For some of the people who have lost their homes or livelihoods due to the earthquake and tsunami, pets are the only ‘normalcy’ they still possess. To be subsequently forced to separate again would cause these people to experience the same loss a second time. Some owners feel that they should not talk about their pets during such difficult times of hardship. As a result, their sadness and suffering may multiply. This is especially so for older people who are now less able to handle change in their lives. If they lose what little they have managed to keep there will be a double tragedy
 Furthermore, having pets close by can be a source of empowerment for such people. The sense of being depended upon by a pet can help people towards independence.
 Early on, very soon after the Kobe Earthquake, there were arguments about the right place to keep pets. However, in the end, it became possible for people to keep pets in the temporary residential houses, concessions that were continued with the construction of collective public apartments and led to the Hyogo Animal Well Being Center being set up. (The current Headquarters for the Relief of Animals in Emergencies was founded based on the animal rescue operations organized at the time of Kobe Earthquake)
 We must remind everybody that the purpose of gathering donations and becoming involved is not to physically rescue animals. (It is the owner’s who should rescue their pets). Our objective is to support and help protect each and every individual who wants to save the small but precious lives of animals.

■Let’s send a message, a special “We are also together with you” message.

 
A person facing great difficulties needs to feel that he or she is not alone
 Therefore we want to get a message out there that they are not alone. 
 Many people are standing with them supporting their wish and their need to be together with their pets’.

  Therefore if you agree with our policy supporting ‘Always Be Together’ please send your name to one of the email addresses designated below.  You can write your own individual name or the name of your company, store, group or organization. We would like the people who need our help to see as many names as possible.

 For Individuals

For Organizations

Designated email addresses.
– From Individuals –
Please send your name and email address to the address below.
zutto-e@knots.or.jp

 – From Organizations –
Please send the name of your organization, name of your representative and e-mail address to the address below.
issho-e@knots.or.jp

 

Thank you very much for your signatures and donations. This activity came to a close at the end of July.


■ ‘Always Be Together’ Donations

 

   For owners and pets to be able to be together, the most important thing is having a habitable place to live.
  While there was much debate about this at the time of the Great Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake, in the end, it did become possible for people to keep pets in the temporary residential houses, concessions that were continued with the construction of collective public apartments and led to the Hyogo Animal Well Being Center being set up. (The current  Headquarters for the Relief of Animals in Emergencies was founded based on the animal rescue operations organized at the time of Kobe Earthquake).

  Because the main concern shared by pet owners who have lost their homes is to secure a place to live which will also allow them to keep their pet, we will use all donations to subsidize housing solutions that accept animals.

*click here for information about our donations policy


– Post Office-:
Account # : 00920-6-0109995  
Name: 公益社団法人Knots  (Koeki-shadan-hojin Knots) 
-Banks- :
1) Mitsui Sumitomo Bank,
Shukugawa Branch (branch no.374), ordinary account no. 4120523 Sha) Knots
2) Japan Net Bank,
Suzume Branch  (branch no.002), ordinary account no.3623967Sha)Knots
※to indicate purpose, please put ‘55’ in front of your name. (e.g. 55John Smith)

Payment by Paypal is also acceptable
(If making a donation from overseas, we recommend Paypal)

Thank you very much for your signatures and donations. This activity came to a close at the end of July.

<Originator>
PIIA Knots/ROKKOSAN COUNTRY HOUSE/  Japan Frisbee Dog Association Hyogo Branch / Satoshi Iwahori ( Managing Director, Pethealth co., Ltd. ) / GIG RACE Association/ CERESPO CO.,LTD/cuisine de la campagne MOMOKA / SUN CHLORELLA Corporation Domestic Sales Department / R-ground Rakuinuseikatsu/ VIGORE/Spice☆Kitchen SANSARA/Dogs Life /Happy Dog Ken/DOGTREE Co.,Ltd./ inunouta-Ken TOKUDA/d-ma&co/NPO Orchestra Pit small scale workshop, Patch’ / – Links on the mother Earth – A Society to address the psychological development of special needs children and their families /
Japan Riding for the Disabled Association / Factory Trim /Digital Sun Gallery /COSMIC WanNyan Club / Hanshin Police dog Training Place   Nestle PURINA

<Supporter>
Shigeo Fukuchi (Adviser to the Board, Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd.) / Astushi Okuno (The Mainichi Newspapers Co., Ltd.)/ Hiroko Shibanai,(Advisor, Japanese Animal Hospital Association / Director, Akasaka Animal Hospital )/Japan Service Dog Association / Japan Hearing Dogs for Deaf People / Tomoko Adachi (Quilt Café)/ C’est la Vie Resort IZUMIGO Co., Ltd / TINO INC. / Veterinary Association of Hyogo Prefecture / Haruo Masuda (NPO The Promotion of Dog Education & Socialization (OPDES)) / Lab & Peace / Japan Frisbee Dog Association

Special Thanks to :  Tim & Yumi Lemon, Ryo Yamashita, Akane Moriuchi, Satoshi Ogura