Dog Once Destined For Gas Chamber Hunts For Earthquake Survivors
One search-and-rescue dog currently on the ground in Nepal - scouring the rubble for survivors of a devastating earthquake that left over 7,000 people dead - is just paying it forward.
The nonprofit Peace Dog Japan saved Yumenosuke from a shelter in Hiroshima when he was 4 months old, then trained him to be a tracking dog deployed in disaster relief.
In Japan, a country where purebred puppies are on trend, over 80 percent of shelter animals are euthanized each year, typically in gas chambers. (In U.S. shelters, for comparison, 31 percent of dogs and 41 percent of cats are put down each year - though the total number of animals euthanized is much higher than in Japan, as more animals enter American shelters to begin with.)
Through grassroots education, in addition to rescue and rehoming efforts, Peace Dog is determined to drive the number of shelter dogs killed in Hiroshima down to zero.
Yumenosuke went from death row to front page after earning his chops assisting with the aftermath of Hiroshima's landslide last year.
Now the local hero has been dispatched to Kathmandu as part of Peace Dog's small rescue team of six humans and two special canines.
Shelter pups trained as search-and-rescue or service dogs can save lives - but not if we don't save theirs first.