Animal activist Ashley Fruno with her dachshund Ginger.

Former Surrey resident leads PETA’s animal rescue work in Japan

PETA Asia first international group to reach disaster zone

Hours after the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan March 11, veteran animal rescuer and former Surrey resident Ashley Fruno was in the Manila airport, waiting for a flight to Tokyo.

The PETA Asia senior campaigner managed to get a seat on the very first flight into Tokyo’s re-opened airport and immediately travelled to the worst-hit coastal areas of Japan.

Walking for kilometres a day and sleeping in her car, Fruno provided vital food, water and care to animals that were abandoned when citizens fled to evacuation centres.

Because of Fruno’s immediate action, PETA Asia was the first international animal rights group to reach affected areas in Japan.

“So many animals were left to face this disaster on their own when their guardians were forced to evacuate without them,” said Fruno. “We urge families around the world to make emergency plans for their animals today – before disaster strikes – because nobody should have to make a heartbreaking choice between their dogs and cats and their own safety.”

Because many evacuation centres in the area do not allow companion animals, many people have had to choose between staying in unstable, damaged homes with their dogs and cats and abandoning them to fend for themselves.

Fruno visited the worst-affected areas in the city of Sendai in search of animals who needed help, assisted crowded animal shelters, and distributed dog food to families who were unable to purchase their own supplies.

The animals helped by Fruno included a cat who had been retrieved from a decimated house by a soldier and an injured dog, Shane, who swam through floodwaters to be reunited with his owner.

Although her mother grew up on a dairy farm and her grandfather was president of the local rodeo board, Fruno has always cared about animals.

Now, Fruno is based in Manila, where she coordinates campaigns, web pages, marketing projects, investigations and the internship program for PETA Asia.

In addition to her animal rescue efforts – including in the Philippines following Tropical Storm Ondoy – she has participated in eye-catching demonstrations in Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, and elsewhere around the world.

For more information, visit PETA.org.

Just Posted

Surrey talk by a woman Oprah calls an ‘astonishingly gifted intuitive’

Canadian tour brings Carolyn Myss to Bell theatre in February

Ocean Park laboratory to relocate

Services will be held out of Peace Arch Hospital, starting March 2

Langley ball hockey group rounding up equipment

A new initiative will help provide equipment for families facing financial hardship.

VIDEO: Indoor pumpkin patch plans unveiled as Langley nursery wraps up from Glow

A first-ever indoor light show and Christmas market proved so popular organizers are looking at other ideas.

WestJet appeals lost bid to scrap harassment lawsuit

Airline argues judge was wrong to have dismissed the company’s application to strike the legal action

Can U.S. border guards search your phone? Yes, and here’s how

Secretary of homeland security explains a new policy that let’s border guards check phones

‘Beautiful writer’ Nancy Richler dies of cancer in Vancouver hospital

Montreal-born author spent most of her adult life in B.C. as a fiction writer and novelist

B.C. commuters vote to rename bus service to ‘Jeff’

The company asked and the people of Facebook answered

Students frustrated by UBCO response to harassment allegations

Students on the Kelowna campus were unaware of resources and worried about lack of communication

Sexsmith set to suit up for Giants

Vancouver signs ninth overall pick in 2017 WHL bantam draft

Women’s March Canada Fraser Valley slated for Saturday morning

It’s a march for women’s rights and social justice for the most marginalized

Police investigate sexual assault of teen girl on Abbotsford school grounds

Incident occurred Wednesday night on elementary school grounds

Most Read