Dog Escapes Being Euthanized, Becomes Rescue Dog in Japan Landslides

An abandoned dog that narrowly escaped being euthanized years ago was an active participant in rescue efforts in Hiroshima, after recent landslides killed more than 50 residents and left many missing.

Asia & Japan Watch reports that Yumenosuke, a male mixed-blooded dog, was dispatched to the rescue effort from non-profit organization Peace Winds Japan. The organization found Yumenosuke at an animal welfare center when he was just four months old. From Asia & Japan Watch:

Yumenosuke was supposed to be put down that same day, but his turn did not come since many dogs were scheduled to be destroyed.

The puppy was adopted by the NPO. But little Yumenosuke hardly seemed suited to be a rescue dog because of his cautious nature.

Yumenosuke gradually leaned to follow commands, and spent years training to search for survivors in the mountains. His debut search and rescue effort took place in the Yagi district of Hiroshima's Asa-Minami Ward on August 20. From Asia & Japan Watch:

Around 1:20 p.m. 4-year-old Yumenosuke stopped near a house, the first floor of which was buried in mud. Unlike many other rescue dogs, which are trained to bark when they find a survivor, Yumenosuke kept gazing at the fallen lumber.

The dog's handler, Hiroyuki Sano, soon found a man's body in the debris.

Sano told Asia & Japan Watch, "A dog abandoned by people is now rescuing them. It is a proof that Yumenosuke deserves to live."

[image credit: Lori Carpenter, Shutterstock]