Japan’s forgotten victims: pets

March 25, 2011 11:24 a.m.  •  2 comments

The people of Japan are not the only ones suffering because of the disaster. Many pets have been separated from their families and forced to fend for themselves. The lucky ones are in shelters.

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A woman holding her dog reacts after evacuating following a tsunami warning in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country’s east coast.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Uragami Associated Press Link

“This is a big calamity for pets, along with people,” said Sugano Hoso of the Japan branch of the U.S.-based United Kennel Club. “Many are on their own, and many more are trapped in evacuated areas where people have left.”

Associated Press Link

A family takes a rest with their pet dog at a shelter at Minamisanriku town, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Monday, March 14, 2011, three days after a powerful earthquake-triggered tsunami hit the country’s east coast.

The Yomiuri Shimbun, Daisuke Uragami Associated Press Link

Two elderly Japanese women and a pet dog pass by a ship that washed into their neighborhood by the tsunami as they try to make their way to search for their destroyed home in the leveled city of Kesennuma, in northeastern Japan, Thursday March 17, 2011.

David Guttenfelder Associated Press Link

The biggest concerns are reuniting them (pets) with their owners and getting them food, medical treatment and shelter.

Associated Press Link

Akane Ho embraces her dog Mei at an evacuation center in Natori near Sendai, Miyagi prefecture, Japan, Friday, March 18, 2011. Mei was returned to her today, seven days after she went missing following the earthquake triggered tsunami on March 11.

Mark Baker Associated Press Link

A dog waits for its keeper in front of a devastated house in Higashimatsushima, northern Japan, Monday, March 21, 2011, after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

Kyodo News Associated Press Link

Evacuated children and dog rest at a shelter in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami-destroyed city of Ishinomaki, northern Japan Tuesday, March 22, 2011.

Kyodo News Associated Press Link

A dog is tied to a fence at an evacuee center, Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.

Wally Santana Associated Press Link

Luna, a beagle, sits in her makeshift home at an evacuee center, Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. Japan, famous for drilling its citizens on how to prepare for all manner of natural disasters, has done far less to prepare those who live near its many nuclear reactors for emergencies.

Wally Santana Associated Press Link

Thousands of pets have been left behind in evacuation zones affected by radiation from the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear facility, which was swamped by the tsunami and remains unstable. Those animals also face radiation-related issues

Associated Press Link

An evacuated dog is played with a woman at an evacuee center, Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.

Wally Santana Associated Press Link

Lady, the cat, is cared for at an evacuee center Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, Japan. As Japan struggles to deal with its disaster, aid groups are beginning to bring food for tens of thousands of pets left isolated and starving in the devastated areas.

Wally Santana Associated Press Link

“Evacuees are under a stressful situation, working on reconstruction and searching for missing family members,” Ryo Taira said. “I think they cannot really have much energy to pay attention to their pets. So we want to do what we can to help reduce their stress.” Ryo Taira’s pet shop and animal shelter in Arahama, near the city of Sendai, is caring for 80 dogs and cats whose owners are unable to bring their pets with them to tsunami shelters.

Associated Press Link

An evacuated dog is taken for a walk at an evacuee center, Thursday, March 24, 2011 in Fukushima, Fukushima prefecture, Japan.

Wally Santana Associated Press Link


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