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Japanese Native Gives Back to her Long Island Community

Restaurant owner Yasuko Yamaguchi, member of the Board of North Shore Animal League America, shares her home and heart with animals in need

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Yasuko Yamaguchi is a well-known businesswoman in Port Washington, NY, a charming town on Long Island’s North Shore. She and her husband Akiri own and operate one of the area’s favorite dining spots, Yamaguchi Restaurant, which is packed with happy customers for lunch and dinner every Tuesday through Sunday.

The restaurant’s long-running success is a testament not only to its delicious Japanese cuisine, but also to the graciousness of Mrs. Yamaguchi, who greets every diner with a warm, welcoming smile. She knows many by name, and is always interested in their stories as she makes her rounds to visit each table.

But Mrs. Yamaguchi’s kind spirit isn’t only extended to those who return again and again to her highly rated restaurant. Her warmth also extends to the animal kingdom—especially to the stray and feral cats that depend on her kindness for their survival.

Mrs. Yamaguchi is the proud owner of nine beautiful cats who reside with her family in their Port Washington home, but the dedicated animal rescuer doesn’t stop there. Over the years, she has cared for dozens and dozens of innocent homeless cats, feeding them and tending to their medical needs by bringing them the Alex Lewyt Veterinary Center, part of North Shore Animal League America, the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization.

Her dedication to animal welfare made her the perfect choice to join the board of directors of the Animal League, just minutes from her home and restaurant in Port Washington. John Stevenson, President of the Animal League, cited her business experience, community perspective and passion for animal rescue when he named her to the board in February 2012.

“Yasuko Yamaguchi has demonstrated over and over again that her devotion to animals knows no bounds,” said Stevenson. “She shares our passion to find permanent, loving homes for Mutt-i-grees—the wonderful dogs, cats, kittens and puppies from shelters.”

Mrs. Yamaguchi, a native of Yokohama, Japan, takes incredibly good care of all of her own indoor cats, all of whom are rescued, as well as those who (very wisely) find their way to her yard. Although she’s hesitant to name “favorites,” she does have a special place in her heart for Patrick, a tough cat with a heart of gold. “He used to fight with all my other male cats,” she said, “but he’s gotten much better.”

Having Mrs. Yamaguchi as their caretaker is clearly a very healthy experience for all the felines who have been fortunate to find their way to her home. Her cat Midi lived to the ripe old age of 22, and she adopted a 17-year-old cat, Sari, from the Animal League when no one else had taken the elderly cat home.

“The Animal League is close to my heart,” said Mrs. Yamaguchi. “As an animal lover in Port Washington, I’ve seen the Animal League grow to the national organization it is today, and I appreciate the significant strides it has made in the no-kill movement.”

ABOUT NORTH SHORE ANIMAL LEAGUE AMERICA
North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved 1,000,000 animals since its inception. “Like” us at www.Facebook.com/TheAnimalLeague, follow us at www.Twitter.com/AnimalLeague. To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.

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