Akita dog honoured by Japanese police after coming to rescue of elderly woman in her 90s

The 12-year-old akita dog, called Mame, found the elderly woman slumped on the road side and alerted its owner. The dog and its owner will be given a certificate of appreciation on April 1, 2019. PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM YOUTUBE/ ANNNEWSCH

An akita dog will be honoured for distinguished service after coming to the rescue of an elderly woman in Japan.

The 12-year-old dog, called Mame, found the woman slumped on the road side in Senboku, Akita prefecture, while out for a walk with its owner around 1am on March 23, Japanese police said.

Mame then alerted its owner about the woman in her 90s.

The elderly woman was wearing pyjamas and was unable to provide her name or address to Mame's owner, Kyodo News reported.

The dog owner notified staff at a nearby convenience store, who called for help. The woman was later taken to a hospital.

Mame and its owner will be given a certificate of appreciation for their efforts on Monday (April 1).

Japanese police commended Mame for dealing with the situation in an appropriate manner and assisting the elderly lady, noting that the honour for distinguished service is rarely given to a pet dog.

Akita dogs are one of six breeds of Japanese dogs recognised as "natural treasures" by the country's government.

The breed was popularised by the story of Hachiko, an akita who in the 1920s waited patiently each day at Tokyo's Shibuya station for its master to return from work.

The faithful pet continued waiting at the same station for a decade after its owner died.

Hachiko's story and the akita breed gained further recognition following the release of the 2009 film Hachi: A Dog's Tale.

In 2018, Russian Olympic figure skating champion Alina Zagitova received a three-month-old akita inu puppy by a group dedicated to preserving the akita breed.

According to Kyodo News, the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics gold medallist fell in love with the breed while training in Japan and had asked her parents to let her have an akita inu puppy if she won at the games.

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