A "Paw"fect Pet Shelter

by Whitney Adams
Yokota Air Base

Being military children gives us so many wonderful experiences that we would not have if we were “regular kids”. On Sunday, April 3, our multi-age class from Yokota West Elementary paid a visit to the Capin pet shelter, a sanctuary for the lost or wounded strays of Japan. Many of the animals survived the 2011 Tsunami or the floods of Ibaraki Prefecture in the fall of 2015, but they lost their families. The volunteers who work at the shelter have made it their goal to devote their lives to this pet shelter, and believe that there is meaning in every life, no matter how small, fluffy, or soft. Therefore, they come to this animal safe-haven nearly every day, on their own accord. You see, these amazing people give up part of their time, money, and most importantly, their everyday lives to help these poor, homeless creatures. The only pay they receive is the satisfying feeling that they have saved lives. In my opinion, that is the best payment anyone could ever receive

In order to help our Japanese neighbors, our class donated two dog houses that we built as part of a STEM project. This past January, Ms. Patrea’s Class went to the arts and crafts center at Yokota Air Base and worked together to build the two dog houses. We designed, measured, constructed, and painted these dog houses, and we really hope the animals at the shelter enjoy this example of our own planning and handiwork.

Anyway, we cherished this trip. The volunteers were so kind, and it warmed all of our hearts, (mine in particular) that these citizens would do this. The trip was a lot of fun, and we had the opportunity to meet some amazing animals with all kinds of stories. One of our families even arranged to adopt one of the homeless dogs named “Seven” because he was rescued at a local 7-11 store.

The dog house project was a fun, bonding project, and we were very proud to get to donate our houses to the shelter. We all also believe that it was a truly beautiful thing that we got to experience, this pet shelter, and we all loved it. The animals were very kind, and so were the people. We would like to thank these wonderful volunteers for letting us come to visit them and their furry friends, for it really does mean a lot.

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