|Rescuing a dog in Japan (Kinship Circle)|
Sister Michael Marie spent close to two weeks in Japan following the devastating Earthquake and Tsunami on March 11. She was there to help pet owners and farm owners cope and find hope amid the despair. Before joining the convent she was a veterinary technician.She travels the world after natural disasters to help animals, she says it is her calling its what she is passionate about and she can help. Her skills as a trained Veterinary Technician come in useful after disasters when the animals she helps find and reunite with worried owners are sick or hurt.
She was helping to reunite owners with their pets that they had to leave behind when the Tsunami warning occurred not thinking that they would not be able to go back to their homes. Many Japanese stayed with their animals despite the dangers in the Exclusion Zone in Fukushima prefecture. For the families that stayed behind she would stop by to visit them, say hello offer them some new clothes and food which she brings with her from the US and basically just offers support during this horrible time in Japan.
|Rescuing a Rabbit after the floods in Brazil (Columbus Dispatch)|
This isn’t her first journey into troubled lands and won’t be her last. She is a volunteer for Kinship Circle. The organization is working with Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue And Support (JEARS) — a coalition of local Japanese NGOs, including Animal Friends Niigata, Japan Cat Network, and HEART-Tokushima. When out in the field on the ground in disasters Sister Michael Marie wears her full nun’s habit.
In disasters, animals are “a great consolation for their people, when so many things are changing or uncertain,” Sister Michael Marie said. And, “when you help the animals, you automatically help the people,” because then they don’t have to direct energy or resources toward keeping their pets alive.