Live Love Animals Support activities for pet owners affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The ‘Always Be Together’ Project - and beyond
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An activity in support of pet owners affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake
The ‘Always Be Together’ Project
Kobe city itself suffered a catastrophic earthquake in recent memory so we have some understanding of what people must be going through in Tohoku. We also acutely feel the ever-present need to realize a society within which ‘always being able to stay together’ (with our pets) is accepted as a norm. This is not just an issue to be addressed in times of disaster because there are several problems which the best of owners cannot solve by themselves even in times of non-crisis. So let us consider how to find solutions together.
This project later grew into;
Workshop 4 of the ‘Live Love Animals: 2nd International Conference on Animal Care Kobe, 2012 held at the Portopia Hotel on Feb 19th 2012. The title of Workshop 4 was ‘Always Be Together: Protecting the Normality of Daily Life for Owners and Pets’.
There are many forms of crisis other than those caused by natural disasters and the capabilities of owners to cope in such circumstances eventually reach a limit. From the viewpoint of ‘protecting everyday life’, the workshop provided the opportunity to think about the social relationship between people and their pets.
“We will always be together”: When we first welcomed our pet to the family, we made this promise to our pet. Society expects owners to take the responsibility of caring for their pets till their very last day. However, if an owner’s ability to fulfill this obligation becomes limited, we think there should be a system in place to support such situations.
For example, many older people wish to take care of and send off their pet as they near the end of their own lives. However, their own advanced age and infirmities may prevent this, which must be a terrible worry. But what if there was a support system? Imagine if they could spend their last days with their beloved pet in happiness and without that worry. Statistics show that a major reason for pets being given up is the increasing number of owners growing too old. Behind the statistics there is obviously a great deal of sadness. We should be able to do more for the realization of happy society where people and pets can live together till their respective ends.
So, alongside the actual support work during the crisis, the ‘Always Be Together’ project has been examining the question of ‘what makes up a society in which people can be with their pets all the time?’ We intend to work towards such a society as we continue on with support work.
The Start of Support Work ‘Ann Project’
Thank you very much for your donations to ‘Always Be Together’. We have raised 126,169, and decided to donate it to the ‘Ann Project’. (We will be sending 124.489 which is the total amount after handling fees)’.
The ‘Ann Project’ is a support program to help pet owners living in temporary houses and led by Veterinarian Yoko ABE of the Abe Animal Hospital in Ishinomaki City. (Dr. Abe was one of those who gave a talk for Workshop 4 at the ICAC KOBE 2012 conference). We would like to help those owners who are trying to move and establish new life from the temporary houses.
Ann Project Ms.Youko’s Message
Ann Project Activities – Supporting animals in temporary housing
It has been one year and five months since the Great East Japan Earthquake. On that day many people and animals lost everything including their daily livelihoods all at once. The trauma of losing so much has never gone away and still remains. The animals have suffered these traumas as well. The stress of changed living environments and moving from refuge to temporary housing must have been almost unbearable. Both people and animals have been in great need of help and support.
The temporary housing being supported by the Ann Project reaches two cities and one town, namely Ishinomaki City, Higashi Matsushima City and Onagawa Town in Miyagi Prefecture. Fortunately the temporary housing in those places does allow for pets living together with owners. However in reality, the people living in those temporary houses originally come from different neighborhoods. So they have had to cooperate with strangers in day to day life and inevitably encountered concerns such as the barking of animals. So many owners are feeling the stress. The animals themselves have, in many cases, become highly nervous about the changed environment and people around them. They too have experienced the terror of an earthquake and tsunami so there are many instances of behavioral problems such as barking, uncontrolled excretion and an aversion to being separated from their owners.
On the other hand, it is also true that for people to be with their animals brings psychological support and comfort to both the animals and the people living in the temporary housing. The Ann Project is providing therapy and counseling to those people and their life companions, helping to rectify or improve the problematic behavior. They also provide manners classes, trimming services and supply support products. The project wants to make daily life within temporary housing a happy and positive experience and, by the meeting of new people, expand a network that supports a better, more comfortable lifestyle. From now on people will begin to move into restoration housing. Sadly, it may be that some of them are not able to live with their pets because of the likelihood of causing nuisance (complaints about poor manners etc. and so on). But it is important for the animals, and for achieving a comfortable living environment for them, that they are accepted by the pe
We are creating a network to alleviate problems that people sometimes face when living with pets in temporary houses, both the people who own the animals and people who don’t. Through such support activities we seek to help people overcome their difficult situation and ensure that people can remain with their animals together in these places.
‘Getting you and your pet to safety, quickly!’
The ‘Always Be Together’ Project
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
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