Society | Jan 19

Dog Rescued 66 Hours After Quake

Ishikawa, Jan 19 (News On Japan) - An 87-year-old woman's beloved dog, Muumu, was saved from the rubble of her collapsed home almost 3 days after the massive earthquake hit her town on New Year's Day.

Mitsue Wada, the 87-year-old owner, expressed her relief and joy, saying, "Muumu is my treasure."

The rescue took place in Tachinomachi, located in the eastern part of Wajima City, Ishikawa, an area that had become isolated following the earthquake which measured a strong 6 on the Japanese scale, completely destroying several houses, trapping Wada and her 9-year-old poodle mix, Muumu.

Wada’s son, Shigezo Sakamoto, recalled their bond, "After my father passed away 10 years ago, Muumu was always with her, even sleeping on her futon. He was her constant companion for 24 hours a day."

While Wada was rescued by local residents, Muumu was separated and left behind under the rubble.

Sakamoto said, "My mother had given up hope for Muumu, becoming deeply depressed and exhausted."

A specialized animal rescue team, 'Team U-Nyan,' based in Funabashi City, Chiba, and led by Usa, a 56-year-old representative, was en route to the disaster area. This team specializes in searching and rescuing pets during disasters.

Following a family's SOS on January 4th, Usa and his team overcame landslides on foot to reach the site. Confronted with the immense pile of debris, Usa said, "The house was almost completely collapsed, we didn’t know where to start looking."

As they stood bewildered by the wreckage, Usa called out, "Muumu! Muumu! Stay there, good boy!"

Hearing Muumu’s faint cries from under the house, Usa exclaimed, "He’s alive!"

Soon after, with the assistance of two Self-Defense Force members who arrived by helicopter, the team carefully removed the debris. Muumu was found trapped in a space under a bed frame, unable to move due to a pipe bent in front of him.

Usa managed to slide into the narrow gap in the rubble and reach Muumu. By enticing him with food, he successfully pulled Muumu out despite the looming danger of aftershocks.

"It was truly gratifying to save a life, a part of the family," Usa reflected on the rescue.

Miraculously unharmed, Muumu was safely returned to his family. He was later reunited with Wada, who is now living in a shelter in Itami City, Hyogo.

When the reporting team visited Wada and Muumu on January 18th, she emotionally recounted, "When I saw him alive, I was so happy. I just wanted to see him. He is my treasure."

Website: Team U-Nyan

Source: FNN


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