Rescue Dogs Assist Search Efforts in Quake-Hit Hokkaido

Society Lifestyle

Atsuma, Hokkaido, Sept. 12 (Jiji Press)--Not only humans but rescue dogs played critical roles in the operations to search for people buried under massive landslides triggered by a recent giant earthquake that struck the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido.

Mixed-breed Yumenosuke was among the dogs that joined the search and rescue mission by Self-Defense Forces troops, police officers and firefighters in the Hokkaido town of Atsuma, which was hit hardest by the 6.7-magnitude temblor on Thursday last week.

About eight years ago, the male dog, then three to four months old, was rescued by nonprofit organization Peace Winds Japan when he was about to be euthanized at a facility in Hiroshima Prefecture, western Japan.

Yumenosuke made his debut as a disaster rescue dog after being trained by PWJ, which is based in the Hiroshima town of Jinsekikogen.

"Because he was an abandoned dog, Yumenosuke is very shy," Kaori Nishi, his 23-year-old handler, says.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press