Yves Trevalec, a television producer from Luxembourg with the City TV Network was the successful bidder of a charity auction to benefit Last Chance for Animals efforts in Fukushima Japan. His guest was Pierre Biver, a producer with Hollywood Star Footage based in Los Angeles. The popular Cafe Med on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood was the meeting place for this lively lunch co-hosted by Paul Mason, executive producer of "Hachi: A Dog's Tale". Avid animal supporters, Yves and Pierre are developing a screenplay based on a wealthy Palm Beach couple who meet a homeless man- and learn the meaning of true friendship and devotion through their relationship with their dogs.
Chris DeRose, the respected and well known animal activist, shared his stories and gave everyone a copy of "In Your Face"- his first hand account that delves into the dark forbidden world of animal research and pet theft. Chris also shared his HBO Emmy nominated documentary "Dealing Dogs". Desperate to close down one of the most notorious dog dealers to research labs- Chris placed one of his undercover agents for six months inside C.C. Baird's Arkansas kennel to videotape the hideous crimes being committed against the dogs.
Chris is one of the most outspoken and passionate defender of animal rights around- and you've got to read his inspiring stories! It was a delightful afternoon, and we all had one common goal: speak up for animals who can't speak for themselves.
Thanks for Alma C who passed on the following news update: The latest article from the Japan Times states that the area in Fukushima's 20-30 km zone is opening up. The Hachiko Coalition has received reports that animal rescue groups are laying food at the perimeter so the animals can be rescued. However, first person accounts report that there are still lots of road blocks. People can only return to their former home areas for a couple of hours, and are not allowed to take out any animals. We will follow more developments.
Charles Harmison and Yoshiko his partner have rescued many, many cats, a couple of dogs and some roosters on their solo mission and brought to safe shelters. Isabella Gallaon Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata has been an angel to many animals and has safely sheltered them. The Hoshi Family continues to feed many animals and is working to build a shelter.
Various groups such as Nippon SPCA, UKC Japan, SALA and RJAV are continuing their rescue efforts, as well as small shelters and individuals who are acting on their own. It's magnificent to see how many kind and altruistic people and groups have been helping these left behind animals
Fittingly, tomorrow the 4th of October, is the Catholic celebration of St. Francis D'Assisi, patron saint of the animals. It appears he is looking out for our animal friends in Japan.
Vicki Shigekuni Wong
I first spotted Hachiko's statue many years ago at Shibuya Station. Upon returning home, I adopted a dog and named him Hachi. When he passed away, I missed his reflective, welcoming and calm ways. We can all learn from the innate emotional grace of our animal friends and the Way of Hachi. I love sharing the story of the loyal dog of Japan, and hope he inspires more people to "Be Hachi"!