Urgent message

From Akira Honda (Taicho) owner of Nyander Guard:

I have an important update on the shelter situation. It is long but very important so please read it to the end.

Two years ago, I heard about the terrible difficulty Animal Friends Niigata, an animal shelter, was having. I went to see the shelter and met with the director and the staff. I was confident I could save the shelter and turn it around. The staff was too busy to think or even notice how smelly or dirty the place was because they had their hands full performing their daily duties. They knew they had to do something to change the situation, but every day was a struggle. They were too exhausted to properly discuss the situation with the former director.

All of the staff had warm loving hearts towards animals. I wanted their pure desire to protect these animals to light up in their eyes again. I wanted to make a happy comfortable home for the animals. That small wish, however, has become more and more difficult to achieve. The financial situation since I took over the new shelter took a nosedive around last summer. Costs related to the transfer of ownership and the time necessary for the transfer did not go as planned. At the same time financial support and donations decreased drastically, and my personal funds that I used to supplement it had finally run out.

The situation became far more difficult than I had ever thought possible. I started to have big financial problems operating the two shelters and had to face reality. I wanted to avoid the worst case scenario of both shelters being shut down. It was time for me to stop this useless struggle, but if there was even a thin ray of hope, I wanted to find a way.

The conditions at the newly acquired shelter improved last year thanks to the cooperation of the staff and volunteers. The animals can live comfortably now, and the refurbishing did not incur big costs. The better working environment increased the morale of the staff, which in turn led to better care for the animals. All the animals were neutered and spayed, which was not the case before I took over.

I have a tendency to rush ahead without thinking things through. Being over-confident, another trait of mine, works well in situations like after the big disaster in Fukushima, but it also got me involved in an awfully challenging case like this.

The number of volunteers and donations of goods to the new shelter have started to increase, but monetary donations have dwindled significantly. I had to supplement the funds with the donations I received for my main shelter, Nyander Guard, and my own money.

I caused trouble not only to myself, but to the operation of Nyander Guard. I am sorry that I created difficulties for the staff working there. But regrets don’t help pay the bills or save the lives of animals.

I will not give up on the animals and the staff is doing their best, but I can’t depend on their good will any longer. They need to support themselves. I am truly sorry I can not do more for them.

Currently there is only 90,000 yen ($813) left in the Nyander Guard bank account. I reported a few months ago that I could no longer pay the staff. That situation remains unchanged. We may not be able to pay for utilities next month. During this hot and humid season, no air conditioning will be detrimental to the animals.

The photo exhibitions in the US which I did to increase support was criticized by many people. Despite that opposition I worked hard for one year. Unfortunately my efforts did not gain the expected results.

Since last September four photo exhibitions were held and I went to the US three times. It was meaningful that we could show the real situation in Fukushima, and it was also a good learning experience for me. Animal welfare is more advanced in the US, and I learned what is lacking in Japan and what needs to be done in the future. Only one year has passed, so it may be too early to say that nothing was gained.

Financially, these exhibitions did not take a loss, but they did not make big enough profits to help the operation of the shelters. I do believe though that they contributed in increasing the number of supporters abroad. But now I need to work on finding new measures to create support that can help alleviate the current financial difficulty. I can not find time to organize another photo exhibition in the US.

Whatever mistakes I made in the past, I can assure you that I will not do anything to harm the animals. This is one promise I will make. The welfare and happiness of the animals is the only thing on my mind.

We need funds to pay facility bills, medical bills for the animals and salaries for the staff.

The staff still has hope and will not give up. I am committed to doing my utmost, but we need your help to continue the operation of the shelters.

Please save the animals and donate now.

Thank you very much.

Summary: 2017-07-02 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-299.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Pī-chan

  • Pī-chan moved rooms!
  • When she first came to this room, she was picking fights with other cats.
  • She’s gotten a bit weaker lately, so she was being overwhelmed by Saku and Sakura.
  • She started defecating in her bed and vomiting often, which was worrying.
  • We got her tested but there was nothing wrong with her, so we decided to move her to Room 1-A.
  • Right now she’s interacting with the others from within her cage, but the little ones in this room are very gentle. As long as she isn’t a bully, she can spend her time peacefully here.
  • Pī-chan has some mood swings, but she loves being pet and will purr happily. Volunteers, please spend time with her(*^_^*)



Summary: 2017-07-01 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-298.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Miharu Town Rice Paddy Art

  • After coming back from my hometown, the amount of work that built up here at the shelter is so overwhelming that my blog updates will be irregular for a little while longer.
  • Right now we only have two staff members here at the shelter, so we’re really low on manpower.
  • I’m so absorbed in taking care of the animals so I have practically no desk hours, but reporting to all of you is also part of my job.
  • Please allow me a bit of time to catch up with everything before I get back to updating daily.
  • Miharu Town’s rice paddy art isn’t exactly famous, but we are having an exhibition!
  • It’s not quite grown in yet, but our art here is the Year of the Rooster and Takizakura.
  • In the town we are even having a stamp rally event.
  • You can even walk your dog around here, because the asphalt isn’t too hot under the shade of the trees!




Summary: 2017-06-27 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-297.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Comet-san

  • A little while ago we found someone in Namie Town that may have been Comet’s owner, but he’s not very friendly so I was doubtful.
  • They visited the shelter and said that their pet cat was a girl, so it could be Comet.
  • Wait. Wait– wait? Comet’s… a girl, right? I double checked all our information, and confirmed with staff, and… yep, Comet’s a boy(^_^;)
  • Comet-san transferred to our organization and when we took him in we thought he was a girl.
  • Usually stray cats that have been spayed or neutered have clipped ears, but this wasn’t the case with Comet.
  • Comet is currently roaming the room freely, coexisting with Kanna and Tsumu.
  • He isn’t friendly with humans yet, but he’s still become such a good boy.
  • He was a little one fighting to survive in Futaba Town. We’d like to find him a home before he gets too old, but it’ll be a bit difficult.
  • This year we’ve had two pet owners come looking for their pet cats from the time of the disaster.
  • Compared to last year, this number has dropped significantly.
  • It’s been six years since the disaster, and most people have given up. They’ve started new lives, and gotten new pets.
  • There’s nothing wrong with raising another pet, but how many of those people have prepared enough to prevent this from happening again?
  • Pets are family. But I don’t know how many people believe this.
  • I can’t help but feel the lack of love and care for animals in Fukushima.


Summary: 2017-06-26 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-296.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Omi-kun’s Graduation

  • Omi-kun graduated♪ Omi-kun was born last year in an area in Motomiya where lots of stray cats live.
  • We did TNR on the mother cat and rescued the kittens.
  • For a while we couldn’t find a home for him, but a volunteer from Nagoya was looking for a cat that would pair well with their existing cat, and Omi-kun seemed like a good fit!
  • This lined up with my visit home, so on the way to Shizuoka I passed through Nagoya to deliver Omi-kun.
  • Our staff member I-san really loves Omi-kun, and they were so happy to see him find a home!




Summary: 2017-06-25 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-295.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Sorry for the long absence.

  • Sorry for the lack of updates! Upon returning from my hometown in Shizuoka I haven’t been able to work on this blog. I also couldn’t update the Facebook page from home because the internet connection wasn’t great. Sorry if I worried anyone! I’ll be back to updating every day(●^o^●)
  • Thank you to staff and volunteers who walked Shuwa and Rika while I was gone!
  • One thing I noticed while walking my parents’ dog was the fact that people will brush their dog’s hair at the park benches and not clean it up. It’s pretty gross!
  • As a dog owner I find it unpleasant, but I can’t imagine how people who don’t own pets feel when they find these unidentifiable piles of hair at the park.
  • The parks belong to everyone. You may think the fur will just fly off somewhere, but even that isn’t a good result.
  • I can understand why people like brushing their dogs outside, but please, take it home with you!

Summary: 2017-06-20 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-292.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Feeding and Rescue Activities Report

  • I will be gone from the shelter for a few days. I’m returning to my hometown for a short while. It’s the second anniversary of my father’s death; I can’t believe time has flown by so quickly. Being far away from my home makes me want to believe that he’s really alive there.
  • I really love hydrangeas, which are blooming in the evacuation zone.
  • In this dead town with no people there are animals living and plants growing and it’s like a bipolar living town as well.
  • Weeds are also growing strongly. Some homes are overrun with them, and the fields and paddies have willows that will make it hard to do agriculture again someday.
  • Because I’m returning home soon, I couldn’t do activities for both days.
  • In the morning we went to Namie for a final check and to set rescue cages. Unfortunately, we only caught a raccoon.
  • Namie Town is slowly starting to come to life again. A Tōhō Bank opened!
  • Lately my favorite place to go is a small marketplace near the town hall. I came here so often that the workers here came to know me! There are lots of delicious local foods here.
  • This is our seventh year of feeding and rescue activities. They’ve changed into such gentle activities where we can afford to take a break.
  • It used to be like every second was so important that we were moving at almost dangerous speeds.
  • Our activities won’t come to an end any time soon, so we have to keep our spirits up and keep fighting on.
  • This time I couldn’t go to Katsurao Village. But at the end of this month I will work diligently on my two days of activities.




Summary: 2017-06-19 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-291.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Walking Along the Leadwort

  • During Rika’s walk, I was curious about this plant I kept seeing. Thanks to our volunteer, I now know its name, which is leadwort.
  • Even though Miharu Town hasn’t entered the rainy season yet, the sky would go between stormy and bright. The weather just can’t calm down.
  • We also saw a rainbow on our walk!





Summary: 2017-06-18 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-290.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Chai-chan

  • Chai-chan was a mother cat rescued a year ago.
  • She’s such a young mommy! About 2 years old. And yet she had six babies, all of whom graduated.
  • Seeing photos of Chai’s beautiful children that bear her resemblance at their new homes makes me smile.
  • But Chai-chan has some habits that make finding a home difficult.
  • She’s so cute, and she loves to play, but she doesn’t like to be touched. But even her little feet giving me a punch are so cute(^_^;)
  • She must think humans are a bit scary. But we hope she’ll find an owner that will spend enough time with her that she’ll come to love being pet.
Chai’s babies
Chai’s babies

Summary: 2017-06-17 Entry

ORIGINAL ENTRY: http://nyanderguard311.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-289.html

ORIGINAL AUTHOR: Nyander Guard Staff


Title: Robert is a Handsome Cat

  • After Robert’s good buddy Tomikichi graduated, he seemed so lonely that it was worrying us…
  • But then he got close to Chai-chan and Mumu-tan, even sleeping cuddled up with them!
  • I guess you never have to worry about handsome boys being lonely!
  • He may be a popular cat, but he’s still not quite used to humans. He is quite wary and is typically on guard, but he’s getting better.
  • When he’s in a good mood he’ll roll around and expose his belly.
  • If you approach him slowly, he’ll let you pet him. But if you linger too long, he’ll give you a punch and then flee!
  • Obviously there’s some conflict in his heart. But soon we’ll get him to think, “This human is trustworthy.”