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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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