charities helping animals in Japan's disaster zone
Excuse me if this is not the right section of the forum, but I wanted to recommend some charities working here in Japan that are taking care of the animals impacted by the earthquake/tsunami here in Japan.
As you may know, France, Germany, China, Russia, the US, Singapore and many other countries are evacuating their nationals from an increasingly large part of Japan. Of course there is the nuclear situation, but besides that we are also having daily blackouts even in Tokyo, as well as empty shelves in the supermarkets, gas stations shuttered, and train services completely out for large chunks of the day. We are in really bad shape and very physically and emotionally fragile, after 540 earthquakes here in the last 7 days (almost all over M5.0 and many many many over M6.0... check out this link... takes about 45 seconds to get interesting, but I promise, it gets interesting):
For the US, for example, the State Department announced this morning that two flights would be chartered to depart Tokyo TONIGHT and if we wanted to be on the flight we had to head to the airport NOW. As a result there are hundreds of animals being abandoned in Japan as people do not have the ability to prepare their documentation to take their pets with them. This is a situation that exists on top of the already difficult situation of dealing with the animals up north affected by the tsunami. People are calling in tears saying, "I left three cats in my apartment with a month of food but we might not return at all; can you help us?"
The rescue groups in Tokyo are helping as they can, but with the nuclear situation the way it is in eastern Japan, the groups in western Japan are stepping in and doing amazing amounts of work, scrambling to pick up and then shelter all these animals. Train fare alone is a small fortune, as is gasoline (over $5/gallon even before the earthquake).
This is not to minimize the suffering of the people up north in any way, but if anyone is interested in donating to help some of these groups make it through, please consider doing so now.
Some of these groups are getting requests that people would like to adopt a cat/dog from the affected areas. This is not realistic considering the costs involved, both time-wise and monetarily, to move a pet from the affected areas. Please instead help support these groups with what they really need, which, to be very blunt, is funding.
Many of the older pets coming into care will likely NEVER be adopted and these groups will have to provide lifelong care for the animals coming in, so funds will be needed for animals long after the initial emergency rescue period.
I recommend this group first and foremost--
Japan Cat Network
An American couple runs this place. (Disclaimer: They are currently housing 6 of my dogs-- I evacuated Tokyo.) The couple running this shelter are an absolutely lovely, salt-of-the-earth couple that do genuinely amazing work on a shoestring budget. Every last dime of your donation goes to help their animals. They have excellent accounting for every penny received. They are 100% no-kill. Highly recommended.
I also recommend this group:
Extremely well-respected coalition of three 100% no-kill groups. Highly recommended. (Disclaimer: One of the groups in this coalition is the group I mentioned above.)
They were the #1 group on "5 ways to help animals in Japan" and they have a team in Sendai right this minute evacuating animals. See this link:
Animal Refuge Kansai (#2 on that list) is also a very well-respected group, and has the longest history of the groups mentioned on that page.
When you choose a group to donate to, please consider donating to the smaller groups as well as the larger ones. The smaller groups have the less flashy websites and have trouble getting around to answering their emails in a timely way because they don't have professionals on staff-- run purely by volunteers-- but those are often the groups right there in the trenches that need donations the most.
Please remember us here in Japan. We are nowhere close to being out of the woods yet.
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Wonderful information. My heart goes out to the poor people and animals. I know I can't even comprehend what it's like there. I will be checking out those links.
Thank you for posting these as I trust a local's word and want to donate to people who really help animals AND the people of Japan.
I will pass these along to my other animal loving friends. TP you are wonderful, how are you getting internet access? I can't imagine what it's like over there. Are there areas that are ok??
Thank you for the links and the info, TP--I'll be checking out those links, too! Japan, its people and their pets are in my thoughts and prayers daily.
This is very good to know I will spread the info about these websites through my facebook, twitter, YT.
Blessings for the people and animals of Japan :pray:
video update from Minami Soma
Just wanted to pass on a video link to the group that has been working there in Fukushima, about 25km (15 miles) from the nuclear plant, searching for abandoned animals in Minami Soma. This is the area in which people have been urged to stay indoors at all times.
(Maybe it is only moving if you know where Minami Soma is... to clarify, it is the very same town that appeared in this video that went viral a week ago.)
So, there are some very, VERY gutsy rescue efforts going on there.
It is an agricultural area and many farmers are said to have had no choice but to just abandon their cows. (At the end of the video (3:28) you see the Rescue Team approaching a cow standing in a rice field... sad.)
And this below is the group's main site, different from what I posted a couple of weeks ago, where you can see better (more frequently) updates on their activities.
Please don't forget us. This is not over by a long shot.
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