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Update: Loyal Dog & Friend’s Safety STILL UNCONFIRMED

UPDATE PHOTO loyal dog rescue in Japan tsunami 350x200 Update: Loyal Dog & Friend’s Safety STILL UNCONFIRMED

RELATED:

3/13/11 – Watch: Loyal Tsunami Dogs video

3/17/11 – Help: How To Help & Donate To Japan’s Lost and Injured Pets

3/19/11 – Editorial: Read more details of Kenn Sakurai’s interview

3/20/11 – Related: Global Animal Readers Donate $18,000 to Japan Animal Rescues

3/25/11 – Editorial: Still No ‘Proof Of Life,’ Despite Rumor Mill

3/28/11 – Related: Global Animals Donate $27,000+ To Japan Animal Rescue

4/1/11 – Related: Japan: This Week In Animal Rescue (PHOTOS)

4/1/11 – Related: Tsunami Dog Found After Drifting In Ocean For 3 Weeks

GA

UPDATES:

GA

4/15/11 – UPDATE: Nearly Five Weeks After Tsunami, Still No Proof Of Life

In our fifth week of updating this page, still no independent and verifiable evidence has emerged that the disappeared “loyal tsunami dogs” were rescued or are receiving veterinary care. At this point, the controversy has died down, as have the fabulist Facebook rumors. And so have the attacks on Global Animal for seeking a second source to verify the wellbeing of the two dogs who captured our hearts and became the symbols of the animal victims of Japan’s earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011.

This is a good thing because as we’ve been reporting, there are still many animals within the radiation zone that desperately need attention and help. We hope that animal lovers who have been caught up in the emotion of this story can take a step back and focus their attention on the animals that can still be saved. We are all passionate, we all love animals, and Global Animal hopes we can all work together helping the animals of Japan, as well as animals around the world that desperately need vocal advocates.

To that end, we will no longer be updating this page on a weekly basis every Friday. No news is simply no news, and addressing the rumor mill feels counterproductive. If real evidence or news emerges about the two loyal tsunami dogs, we will immediately report it in an update here. Nothing would make all of us who’ve been concerned about the dogs’ wellbeing happier. But at this point, and unfortunately, in keeping with our concerns from the very beginning, it does not seem likely.

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4/8/11 – UPDATE: Nearly A Month After Tsunami, Still No Proof Of Life

Nearly a month after Global Animal sought to confirm news reports taken from a single Facebook page that the “loyal tsunami dogs” were rescued and receiving veterinarian care, still no verifiable evidence, photograph or witness has surfaced.
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A week after promises that a picture of the dogs now existed, none has materialized. All ‘news’ of medical procedures, pending reunions with guardians, and other claims, still come from one individual’s Facebook page, which are repeated as unquestioned fact in a few blogs. What we do know is that beyond the claims of Kenn Sakurai, no one has reported to have seen the dogs since they were filmed by the FujiTV crew, which left the area before witnessing any alleged rescue.
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Global Animal has been acknowledged by journalists and a groundswell of concerned animal lovers for adhering to ‘Journalism 101′ and seeking to verify one person’s uncorroborated claim. We only wish the initial concerns GlobalAnimal.org raised almost four weeks ago about the absence of any evidence proving the well-being of these two dogs would have been resolved by some proof of life. This would allow many hearts, who care about all victimized animals, to rest one way or the other.
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Sadly, in this case, no news is not good news.

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4/1/11 – UPDATE: Three Weeks After Tsunami, Still No Proof Of Life

Despite countless words written on Facebook and elsewhere, despite rumors of photos and medical “updates” of an amputation performed on the Brittany (the healthier dog) on various blogs, Global Animal regrets to report that still no verifiable evidence, photograph, or reliable corroborating witness (like a veterinarian) have surfaced this week. Global Animal continues to investigate and will post a weekly Friday update here if no legitimate and verifiable news breaks earlier in the week. Like so many animal lovers around the world, we are hoping for the best for these two tsunami survivors who have disappeared since being filmed by FujiTV nearly three weeks ago. Meanwhile, Global Animals are showing extraordinary generosity and support for the animals they can help through Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue & Support and other excellent non-profits organizations. This week there have been many successful rescues to give us all hope.

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UPDATE: 7:30 PM PST, March 27, 2011 – FujiTV Did NOT Witness Any Rescue Of The Two Dogs

Yesterday, Global Animal shared FujiTV’s official statement that the “loyal dogs” were rescued by “an animal protection group” at the site where the film crew shot the video. FujiTV’s statement:

Fuji Television has received countless inquiries regarding the two dogs our camera crew met in the earthquake/tsunami ruins. As we have explained in our news program, shortly after, they were both rescued by an animal protection group that has professional knowledge regarding animal rescue. The brown dog is doing very well. The white dog was weak at first, but was given an IV injection and is currently with a vet. Both dogs had ID chips and their respective owners have been identified. Many pets are still stranded in the ruins looking for their owners. Fuji Television is relieved that our footage captured the attention of our viewers and resulted in the rescue of at least those two dogs.

Initially we were delighted at this news, so Global Animal inquired about the details behind the statement with a staff member at FujiTV, communicating by both phone and email. We wanted to be sure and confirm FujiTV’s press release. We specifically asked whether the TV crew stayed and met the rescue group they described as having professional knowledge, and if they witnessed the dogs getting rescued. She said no. The camera crew left and never met any rescue group. The international representative of FujiTV wrote via email:

Actually, our news crew wanted to air the outcome of the two dogs and contacted Mr. Sakurai, but he would not give us information on the vet. Therefore, we do not have any information on the vet nor the whereabouts of the dogs.

Unfortunately, all the information Fuji Television has about the dogs comes from Mr. Kenn Sakurai. This is true for everybody pursuing the truth, from journalist to mobilized animal welfare groups, to donors, to animal lovers worldwide. All roads lead to one person: Mr. Sakurai, who started the story on his Facebook page.

At this time, there is still no hard evidence that the dogs were rescued by Mr. Sakurai (who has never seen the dogs himself) or anybody with whom he is acquainted. The only truth is that ever since the two dogs were videotaped, no new concrete evidence has emerged that they survived, are getting care, or have been reunited with their guardians.

We are sorry to report at this time all ‘news’ is still all speculation. For a full accounting of Mr. Sakurai’s changing story, read “Still No ‘Proof Of Life,’ Despite Rumor Mill.”

UPDATE: 10:45 AM PST, March 24, 2011 – FujiTV Releases Statement About Dogs

Finally, there is a substantive statement regarding the wellbeing of the two loyal tsunami dogs. FujiTV released a statement that the dogs were rescued by a professional animal rescue organization at the site where the film crew shot the video. Both dogs received medical attention, and the white dog is still at a vet. Thankfully, the two dogs each has an ID microchip and their guardians are identified.

The following is the email response issued by the international desk of FujiTV:

Fuji Television has received countless inquiries regarding the two dogs our camera crew met in the earthquake/tsunami ruins. As we have explained in our news program, shortly after, they were both rescued by an animal protection group that has professional knowledge regarding animal rescue. The brown dog is doing very well. The white dog was weak at first, but was given an IV injection and is currently with a vet. Both dogs had ID chips and their respective owners have been identified. Many pets are still stranded in the ruins looking for their owners. Fuji Television is relieved that our footage captured the attention of our viewers and resulted in the rescue of at least those two dogs.

A big thanks goes to Global Animal reader Joanne Langan who posted FujiTV’s above response in GA’s comments section and another reader who also contacted us.

Global Animal is actively pursuing a conversation with FujiTV in their Tokyo bureau by phone to verify the statement as well as provide additional details, including the contact information of the professional animal protection group that rescued the two dogs. We are also pursuing a sharing of information with the FujiTV bureau in Los Angeles. Global Animal has also alerted a long-standing animal rescue group in the area where the dogs were found to locate any other stray pets who are stranded in the ruins, as noted by FujiTV.

To ensure the wellbeing of the two dogs, as well as prevent any publicity disruption for the attending vet and the professional animal rescue group, we do not plan to publish location specifics. Global Animal is, however, committed to receiving photographic verification and speaking to a credible source who can solidly confirm the FujiTV statement above. Additionally, Global Animal has been in communications about these dogs with a New York-based photojournalist who is leaving for Japan today to cover the events and rebuilding in the northeastern prefectures for several newspapers.

We hope to have verifiable answers later today or tomorrow on the dogs’ health and status and will publish our findings as soon as possible.

Thank you to all Global Animals for their concern for all the people and animals in Japan. We can all recognize that these two lost and injured pets are only two of far too many in what’s surely an overwhelming situation. We have seen through the outpouring of support to numerous animal welfare charities and rescue organizations, many of which are unrelated to the loyal tsunami dogs, that individuals worldwide care deeply and equally for all who are suffering. There is no contradiction in having empathy for two while having empathy for all. Compassion is boundless, unrestricted – and that is its power. GlobalAnimal.org will report as facts become available.

UPDATE: 10:30 AM PST, March 19, 2011 – Mr. Sakurai Talks To Global Animal

The co-founders of GlobalAnimal.org spoke by phone this morning with Mr. Kenn Sakurai, who last week claimed in his Facebook Page that he assisted in the rescue of the two dogs in the “Loyal Friends” video. Given the apparent health of the dogs in the video, particularly the white dog (pictured right), it remains unclear whether they have survived. We have asked for photos of the dogs to confirm their survival and safekeeping. Given the unconfirmed reporting of the fate of these two dogs, Global Animal is awaiting the requested photos to verify the rest of Mr. Sakurai’s story about the dog’s rescue before printing it. Mr. Sakurai clarified in our interview that the donations he is accepting on his Facebook page are not for these two dogs or their care.

UPDATE: 12:14 AM, March 18, 2011 – Tsunami Dogs Safety Unconfirmed

Truth is a moving target, and sometimes comes in the form of uncertainty, without being wrapped up in a quick happy ending. Global Animal has received many inquiries regarding the loyal tsunami dog video (above) and we now regret to say that sources saying these two dogs are safe are unconfirmed. Susan Mercer, from Heart-Tokushima, one of the three rescue organizations connected with Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue And Support, wrote the following to Global Animal:

“We are amazed at the amount of support we are receiving from the International community and are deeply grateful.  Isabella and team searched until dark for the two dogs that appeared in the YouTube video but were unable to locate them.  It has been rumored that they were rescued but we have yet to see any photos or videos of them post-rescue.  We will update you when we find documented proof of their well-being.”

In Global Animal’s follow-up interview with Susan Mercer, she categorically stated that Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support did not rescue these two dogs, even though they went searching for them. So, the three legitimate rescue organizations connected with JEARS don’t know the dogs’ whereabouts, despite reports from CNN and The Telegraph UK. CNN’s video report by Jeanne Moos reported the dogs were rescued, citing a Facebook entry by a man named Kenn Sakurais.

From a member of Nevada Voters For Animals, an animal rights group in Nevada, comes this:

“There still is NO CONFIRMATION those dogs were rescued. Many requests have been made to Kenn Sakurai, who claims to have rescued the dogs to provide some definitive proof of rescue (video, pics) and he refuses. A local investigative reporter in LV, NV has made requests and he will not respond. CNN reported rescue based on his FB updates, however, NO PROOF has been provided. This guy is either a Saint or a Fraud, not sure which. I requested on his Facebook page to provide some sort of proof of the work he is doing since he is requesting donations and he quickly blocked me from his page and I believe he deleted my posts. WHY WILL HE PROVIDE NO PROOF? People from all over the world are donating to his organization but I fear he may be a fraud. I hope someone will prove me wrong by providing some sort of update on those dogs who have made him famous. Please do not perpetuate this fraud by asking people to donate to his org until he provides some shred of evidence of the work he is doing. How hard is it to snap a picture on a camera phone and upload? He had no problem posting updates on Facebook and asking for money.”

Global Animal has sent a message to Kenn Sakurai’s via his Facebook page asking him about the whereabouts of the dogs and for photographic proof that they are safe. We have not heard back yet. Global Animal is also in the process of finding the names of the veterinarians supposedly caring for the dogs to establish proof. Too little is known at this time of his intentions. If Ken Sakurai responds to us with photographic proof, Global Animal will report it immediately. Such is the nature of news in the social media age. Until proof can be established on the safety and whereabout of these dogs, Global Animal cannot recommend that donations be made to Kenn Sakurai on his Facebook page.

Our aim is to keep Global Animal readers updated as we continue to find out what is happening in a chaotic and often desperate situation.  The truth is important. To this end, we will post continuous updates on this story and will notify Global Animal’s Facebook friends (“like” us on Facebook to receive updates). Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is doing exceptional work. Susan Mercer explained to Global Animal that donations will provide food and water for the animals who are in evacuation sites with their guardians. Plus, they are actively trying to transfer lost and injured pets out of the devastated areas to safe undamaged areas, such as the HEART -Tokushima shelter.

There are terrific organizations and people on the ground working on behalf of animals. It’s important these organizations receive the help they need and not be lumped in with one person who may or may not share their impeccable actions. For those who want to donate to animal rescue efforts, Global Animal recommends that donations go directly to Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support and organizations that are supporting them and/or the other agencies on our “How To Help Japan’s Pets.”

GA

(TRANSLATION OF JAPANESE FILM CREW THAT FOUND THE DOGS) Many people questioned what the two men who found the dogs were discussing. The summary of the mens’ conversation in Japanese is: at first the two thought the injured dog was dead. They immediately called a vet for assistance for both dogs. The men say they wish they had brought food to give the dogs. You can hear their empathetic tone as they discuss the dogs and it seems their actions and follow-up  got the dogs rescued.

(REGARDING ADOPTION INQUIRIES FOR THESE TWO DOGS) In response to those seeking to adopt the dogs, first efforts will be to find their guardians, then to find a home for them both in Japan. Global Animal will post an adoption update here if the dogs are available for adoption after these two options are exhausted.

Previous posts, now unconfirmed:

(UPDATE): 1:50 pm PST, March 16, 2011 – CNN Reports Dogs Receive Medical Attention

CNN and The Telegraph UK are reporting that both dogs received medical attention. The injured dog is currently at a veterinarian in Mito and the loyal white and brown spaniel friend is at a shelter with vet services in the same town. Everybody is hopeful for their full recovery.

(UPDATE): 2:20 pm PST, March 15, 2011 – Kenn Sakurai Reports Both Dogs Rescued

According to a Facebook entry, a resident of Japan, Kenn Sakurai, is reporting that both dogs were found alive in Mito, Ibaraki. And thanks to the efforts of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support, the two dogs are currently in the care of a local shelter.

We wish all the people and animals of Japan heartfelt love during this incomprehensibly difficult time. We know that the people of Japan will respond like these two friends, sticking together in this time of need. Ganbatte kudasai! (“Don’t give up!”) – Global Animal

How To Help & Donate To Japan’s Lost and Injured Pets

Read about  Shane, the Akita dog who swam the tsunami to reunite with guardians

Another amazing story of animals caring for each other through a disaster:

Two Katrina Survivors Teach Love Is Blind

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163 Responses to Update: Loyal Dog & Friend’s Safety STILL UNCONFIRMED

  1. Milly London July 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Please can we have an update, does anyone know where these dogs are now?

  2. Milly London July 19, 2011 at 11:25 pm #

    Please can we have an update, does anyone know where these dogs are now?

    • dog lover July 25, 2011 at 5:19 am #

      i also would like to learn about these two dogs’ current status. they’ve touched my heart for a very long time, and i’ve been trying to follow there news. no news is just as bad as bad news. =( i pray that the group/person who helped them step forward or else i will have to assume the worst.

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