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Dog gets hugs from owner after tsunami rescue

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A rescued dog is held by a member of the Japan Coast Guard after it was transported from the earthquake and tsunami devastated city of Kesennuma to Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, northeastern Japan, Saturday, April 2, 2011. The dog, wearing a collar but no address on it, was found Friday drifting on the roof of a house floating 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles) off Kesennuma. (AP Photo/Yomiuri Shimbun, Reiri Kurihara) JAPAN OUT, MANDATORY CREDIT

TOKYO >> A dog rescued from drifting ocean debris immediately jumped to her owner and wagged her tail at their reunion more than three weeks after Japan’s tsunami.

Toshio Suzuki described Monday’s reunion at the animal shelter he heads in the tsunami-wrecked Miyagi region of northern Japan. The owner of the 2-year-old mixed breed named Ban saw Friday’s rescue on television.

The woman was not identified for privacy reasons. Suzuki said she has an adult daughter and that the family suffered tsunami damage but was not specific.

Public broadcaster NHK aired images of the reunion with the woman hugging Ban and the dog warmly wagging her tail.

A coast guard helicopter crew spotted Ban more than a mile off the tsunami-hit town of Kesennuma in Miyagi. It wasn’t known how long the dog had been at sea.

Suzuki says the shelter keeps 19 dogs and several cats separated from their owners after the March 11 tsunami.

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