ARK in Japan

I’ve been doing something very unusual recently, in fact, something I never thought I’d ever do.  

When I lived in Japan I got involved with an animal charity called ARK (Animal Refuge in Kansai). It was started by a resourceful English woman called, Elizabeth Oliver, who was horrified at the way animals, especially dogs and cats, were treated. Unfortunately, my beloved Japan is not hot on animal welfare (to put it mildly) and Liz wanted to do something to help the animals. She started ARK with the help of a few friends and has now become a respectable and respected voice for animals in the country. I used to help out with dog walking whenever I could and always thought that Liz was a superwoman to have achieved what she has in a country where change is very difficult to achieve and mindsets towards animal welfare were set so strongly against the animals. If anyone deserved an honour from our Queen it was her.

And that should have given you the clue to what I’ve been doing. Yes, I have been in touch with the Cabinet Office, got the necessary forms and have been researching, form filling and finding people to back up my claims for putting Liz forward for an honour.

It’s surprising how long all this takes, and while I was in full swing and just about to submit my recommendation, it was announced that Liz had been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s latest honours list. I’d been beaten too it !

It doesn’t matter who does it, as long as the result is good. So, many congratulations to Elizabeth Oliver of ARK.

If you’re interested to see Liz in action, please check her webpage She’ll be terribly embarrassed to be called Wonder Woman, I know, but she certainly deserves the accolade. She’s not done all of this alone of course, but it’s under her leadership, courage and determination that ARK has flourished and helped so many animals. Check out her work with ARK staff and volunteers at the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster area to get a small example of the strength and courage that is needed.

Also, check out her fantastic new sanctuary which is being built at this very moment. What vision this woman has; what courage to take on something as expensive and groundbreaking for Japan. What a difference that will make to the animals and the good people of Japan, who will be able to see just what can be achieved when you look at animals with respect as more and more of the people are doing.