Whilst training shelter workers in Japan, I wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to visit Elizabeth Oliver of animal rescue ARK.
I had met Elizabeth and numerous ICAWC conferences and was fully aware of her fantastic work. Her new shelter site is in Shitsugawa, Sasayama and adding to the existing facilities in Nose.
Elizabeth has had a fascinating life moving to Japan in 1969 to teach but now spends all of her time and efforts caring for abandoned and unwanted animals.
The older existing shelter is a collection of homely kennels and runs perched on terraces in beautiful surroundings. On the day of my visit, about 120 dogs, 50 cats (many gorgeous Japanese Bobtails that would be quickly snapped up here in the UK), rabbits and two goats were being cared for.
A silver fox is a permanent resident; his release is not a viable option.
Staff and volunteers carried out their jobs with patience and kindness to the animals. I observed one volunteer teaching basic dog obedience with its ration of supper.
An excellent practice, which enhances the dogs stay in kennels, improves behaviour and increases the chances of being adopted.
The new shelter site is positioned in absolutely stunning countryside with a mountain stream running through the property. Elizabeth and her team have excellent aspirational plans for the new shelter, including educational facilities and lodgings for visitors.
I wish Elizabeth and her fantastic team the best of luck with the new shelter development. If you would like to find out more about ARK or donate towards the new shelter, please get in touch with Animal Refuge Kansai.