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Pet Survivors: Dog and Cat Orphans from the Japan Tsunami

Updated on August 8, 2013

Animals Affected by Japan Disaster

As everyone around the globe no doubt remembers, on March 11th, 2011 an earthquake of 8.9 magnitude hit the northeastern part of Japan, with devastating results. A massive tsunami was then triggered causing immeasurable damage to life and property. While the earthquake and tsunami have passed, recovery efforts have been underway to rebuild the destruction. Although there are many ways to help the numerous pet survivors and the pets orphaned by this disaster, entering Japan was initially discouraged for most of the general population because of Japan's disabled transportation system and water shortages making the recovery process much more difficult.

As an avid animal lover, the first thing that comes to my mind is the animals, as they are victims of this tragedy as well. In many ways, even more so because our pets are so dependent on us for everything from their next meal to their timely walk around the block - What will the orphaned and surviving pets do without us and the normal regime of every day life they have grown so accustomed to? It is a heart wrenching thought, and I can't help but remember a news clip of the New Orleans Floods, with images of frightened dogs afloat on pieces of discarded debris. I wonder about the fate of all the animals in Japan that have been affected by this recent disaster and what can we do to help?


Pascoe is one of many adorable puppies now homeless from the TOHOKU-PACIFIC earthquake and tsunami.
Pascoe is one of many adorable puppies now homeless from the TOHOKU-PACIFIC earthquake and tsunami. | Source


MooMooko is just one of many cats & kittens looking for a home after being displaced by Tsunami
MooMooko is just one of many cats & kittens looking for a home after being displaced by Tsunami | Source

What can we do to Help

However helpless we may feel as we view horrific visions of this unfortunate disaster, there are still ways to help. Fortunately there are a number of kind and devoted animal lovers that have come forth, committed to helping these orphaned pets find medical help and homes. The Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK), is a Japan-based non-profit animal rescue organization that is expecting to receive a huge increase in the number of animals in need and are looking for volunteers or donations. Pascoe, pictured to the right is just one of many adorable orphaned animals that are available to adopt from Osaka and Tokyo.

There is also the Japan Cat Network, Heart Tokushima and Animal Friends Niigata, who have combined forces under the circumstances to work together on rescue and support missions to assist animals in crisis. They have also created a Facebook Page to keep those interested in rescue efforts up to date.

Watching over a Best Friend

Dog Survivor's Best Friend

This is an extremely touching video and a must-see for any animal lover. The fact that it is in Japanese doesn't seem to matter much, as you will see, the dog's body language is universally heartbreaking and apparent. This video depicts both the urgent need for animal rescue efforts in Japan as well as the loyalty of this emotionally distraught dog, lost and alone as he anticipates the fate of his canine pal. Ohmidog website reports that people in Japan are writing to the TV station asking them to disclose the location of the dogs so that they can be rescued. Unfortunately, the outcome of this tragic event are unknown at this time -- we can only hope and pray that both dogs are now safe.

A few words of hope

In closing, I know that I am not alone in saying that the American people have a great deal of compassion and empathy for the human victims in Japan, their suffering is unimaginable. For many of the survivors, however, when all is said and done the only thing they may have left is their four-legged family members. Because of the destruction of homes and even neighborhoods, there is a genuine need for temporary shelter for many of these surviving pets, with the hope that once the human victims are able to re-establish their own living quarters, or obtain housing elsewhere, they can then be reunited with their families. We owe a great deal of gratitude to all the wonderful agencies everywhere that have come forward to assist Japan and all of its inhabitants until rebuilding and reuniting efforts are complete. 

Last Chance for Animals - Japan Rescue Efforts


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    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Greetings Eiddwen! The thing that really touches me is that there are so many caring animal lovers on HP! Maybe it's the writer in us that gives us that special bond with creatures who don't have the ability to use words to express, just a theory! Thank you so much for your kind words!

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      I can't believe I hadn't come across this one before now.

      So beautifully told and very touching.

      Here's to so many more hubs to share on here.

      Take care


    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Thanks for commenting william, I know what you mean, after seeing the destruction it is hard to imagine how! I was especially worried about the viral video dog pals but I guess all is well with them! So many more that need assistance though, it is daunting.

    • william.fischer29 profile image

      william.fischer29 6 years ago

      Glad to hear there are animals survived after the tsunami.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 6 years ago from California

      Thanks Kitty, I know isn't he cute, I am sure he will have no problem finding a home, it's devastating the help they still need with the pets (and everything) - Wish I was in a position to go to Japan!

    • kittythedreamer profile image

      Nicole Canfield 6 years ago from Summerland

      Voted up and awesome. Pascoe is absolutely adorable! I can't stop saying "awwww" now! So happy the little fella made it out okay and I hope he has a great home for the rest of his doggie life.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you R. - I think it's great too the way that people do seem to come together and help one another -- Most of time anyway. That's the part I like to focus on ... So glad you visited - it is always nice to see you!

    • RTalloni profile image

      RTalloni 7 years ago from the short journey

      It's an amazing thing to see how people will find a way to help each other, as well as to help all of creation, when given the chance. Not everyone can join and work for an "organization" that is established to give aid to victims (and I try to be careful not to judge someone for not jumping on a particular issue because I don't know what they may be dealing with on a personal level at any given moment) but I do think that most people will help in some way or another when needs such at this come up. Highlighting organizations that offer help so people can give to them is important work. Thanks! Voted up and useful.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you Jalus, very nice of you to comment, I felt the same way and was very relieved to hear that they were ok, or as good as they can be under these circumstances...

    • profile image

      Jalus 7 years ago

      I am so glad to hear those dogs were rescued. It actually hurt my heart to watch that video. I can't imagine the fear and confusion those poor animals must feel after a tragedy like this. I'm grateful there are organizations and people like yourself that do what they can to make sure they are not forgotten. Thank you.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you for commenting sligobay - I just read your very stirring Hub on this disaster and although it is hard for us to view images of such suffering, it is part of what's happening in the world right now and as humans we must do what we can to find compassion for each other! I am glad that you stopped by!

    • sligobay profile image

      sligobay 7 years ago from east of the equator

      Your compassion and lovely writing style are apparent in this important Hub. I just finished Haiku inspired by the catastrophe at Fukushima. Thank you.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you tokowinfo, I am now wondering how they are doing a few weeks later, hope things are improving.

      I appreciate your comments!

    • toknowinfo profile image

      toknowinfo 7 years ago

      This great article, filled with compassion. You did a great job of making us aware of the toll the earthquake has taken on animals and humans. Thanks for a well written and heartwarming hub.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you Purple Perl, with all of our efforts and prayers, I hope things will turn around soon-it is so sad to witness the destruction. I am glad you stopped by however!

    • Purple Perl profile image

      Purple Perl 7 years ago from Bangalore,India

      Thanks very much for creating this hub. Heart rending to note that so many pets are homeless in Japan today. Also glad that organizations are doing their best.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you so much Joy, I know, with such an awful disaster the first consideration is the destruction and impact on people's lives - and then I saw a story on lost pets and countless homeless animals, all you can do is hope and pray for the best...I am glad you stopped in!

    • Joy56 profile image

      Joy56 7 years ago

      Great subject for the challenge, I would not have even thought about the animals, but of course they need our thoughts prayers, and well whatever else we can offer, this is a lovely hub.....

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thanks Katie-I have been doing the same, good thing it's so far away, they would be in my garage otherwise - poor babies.

    • katiem2 profile image

      katiem2 7 years ago from I'm outta here

      Oh the dear little pets, animals and friends of Japan. I'll maintain the most positive thoughts for love, healing and recovery for them all animal and human alike. :) Katie

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thanks Sharyn, I know you are an animal lover too :)

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you ChatKath for this fabulous and necessary hub. I am 100% with you about loving animals and wishing to see every one saved from the disastrous event in Japan. I saw the news footage of the dog who would not leave his companion. I hadn't heard any followup information. Thank you for the very overwhelming video. I am a native Californian and will be returning within several months after having lived in SE Kansas for the past 4 years. I can't wait to be back in enlightened California. But, I'll miss the animals many in need of help. Please read my profile and you'll see how close we are when it concerns animals. Kathy aka Lucky Cats

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 7 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      Thank you so much for putting this information out there CK. Nicely done!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thanks for commenting xxmissamandaxx, I feel the same way about animals, they are totally non-judgmental and all they really want is love and some very basic care! Good thing my space is limited or I'd have have a shelter in my apartment....

    • xxmissamandaxx profile image

      xxmissamandaxx 7 years ago

      My heart breaks when I read or hear about things like this situation. I can not imagine leaving my pets, they are my children! But in all the devastation you really see the care that people are capable of showing, I wish it could be shown without the cause of catastrophe. If it were up to me I'd take in every stray animal that needed a home lol. Great Hub! I love the compassion you show!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you rmcrayne, kind of a sad topic, as animals always bring so much joy to our lives but this time they need our unconditional support - appreciate the comment!

      Thanks Martie- I know, I think everyone has shown such compassion for all the victims of this disaster, it could happen anywhere...

      Thanks AliciaC- I love your avatar, my favorite! The dog video brought tears to my eyes, I was so relived to hear that they were, for now, ok. There have actually been quite a few adoption requests they broke so many hearts :) Appreciate your comments!

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 7 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      Thank you for a wonderful hub. The video of the two dogs was heartbreaking. I’m so glad that the dogs were rescued and I hope very much that the injured one survives. The situation in Japan is tragic for the people living there, but people don’t often think about the effects of the disaster on the animals. Thank you for the information.

    • MartieCoetser profile image

      Martie Coetser 7 years ago from South Africa

      My heart goes out to all those animals as well as to their owners. The situation is unbearable for all!

    • rmcrayne profile image

      rmcrayne 7 years ago from San Antonio Texas

      Great topic choice. Welcome to HubMob.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you VocalCoach-I know how you feel, I would probably have an entire block of rescued animals if I could and I worry so much about my own Baby (my cat) when her time comes, I will be devastated. I am so glad you came by to check out the page!

      And thank you Mr. Epigramman- the one who initially brought my attention to this incredibly touching dog pal video. I am so glad this turned out ok but I worry about all the others, so many need help, what to do....?

      I am grateful that so many people love animals the way that I do! Thanks and Cheers!

    • epigramman profile image

      epigramman 7 years ago

      ....well I know you are a beautiful person anyway but this incredible hub subject is truly a labor of love and is full of your unmatched passion when it comes to animals and pets. Animals and pets all over the world are affected not only by natural disasters but wars too - and even in your own country when there are disasters in New Orleans it affects the animal population.

      This is an essential hub to let people know what is going on and bravo to you for doing so Miss K - I will let some of my buddies know to come here and check out

      this very important subject made even more timely and essential because of someone special and noble like you!

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 7 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      Love your compassionate and moving article so much! I cried as I viewed the video...I love dogs more than anything! I am so happy that they are ok now. If it were possible, I would rescue all animals. My own sweet Clancey is my very life, is ill and I know that I must prepare for the inevitable. But, at his point, I can't. I want to thank you with warmth and appreciation for being who you are...a beautiful, loving and empathetic person. Blessings to you. vocalcoach

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      I know Nell, when I got the word that these dogs on the video were safe I was too happy! So many more to worry about though.... Thanks so much for your comments!

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      I am glad you stopped in Genna, it is so awful to see what happened to everyone, including animals. :( Hope things improve soon...

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you Green Lotus, it is so sad, I wish I could do more! From what I understand, there is help on the way (hopefully)!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 7 years ago from England

      Hi, I am so pleased that the dogs were rescued, it is so sad the whole situation, thank you for bringing the animals to our attention, nell

    • Genna East profile image

      Genna East 7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      And the devastation continues. As an animal lover, I say Kudos, Chat for this wonderful hub. These animals are suffering as well, and I hope they find the help and shelter they need as well.

    • Green Lotus profile image

      Hillary 7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      The whole event is so sad and seems so overwhelming. I am at a loss for words except to say I hope help arrives soon.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Hi Kashmir-

      I figured this cutie might be Tanya after reading your Hub about Pumpkin but I wasn't 100% sure. What character she has!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Chatkath glad you like my profile picture, that is my dog Tanya in her ski goggles !

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      I know r, it is so incredibly sad but from what I understand, these pups are ok and I know that many organizations are coming forth to try to help all in Japan. Thanks for commenting!

    • rpalulis profile image

      rpalulis 7 years ago from NY

      That is such a sad video, I do hope that all the animal survivors are able to be rescued and found new homes. So sad.

    • Chatkath profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from California

      Thank you Kashmir - I can see from your profile image that we have a common interest! Bravo! Thank you for your visit and support!

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 7 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Chatkath, A very informative and awesome hub, Hopefully all the surviving pets will get found and get the much need help ther need .

      Awesome and vote up !!!

    • profile image

      Priti 7 years ago

      Hi - both dogs were rescued! You can read the full story at this link!


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