Friday, April 29, 2011

Urgent: Animals in Fukushima

You might be aware that the government of Japan has set a policy that prohibits entry of the Nukushima Nuclear Power Station within a 20km radius. This is to protect people from radiation, but the problem is that there is an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 domestic animals still left behind in this zone. The no-go zone has been enforced since April 27, 2011, which is seven days ago. This means it has been seven days since many animals have received any food or care by local citizens and rescue groups. There are many willing individuals and organizations that want to go in and rescue the animals NOW before it is too late.

The video above will give you a rundown on the situation and show you exactly why we, people all over the world, need to step in and help. I'm sure many of you would agree that animals are like our family and children. It brought tears to my eyes to see the misery of the animals left behind in Fukushima- you can see their dampened spirits in their saddened eyes and their emaciated bodies. In the video, you can see pets staying loyally at their homes, waiting for their families to return.

JEARS (Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support) is one group that is actively pursuing efforts to save as many animals as possible. You can follow their facebook page to keep updated on the status of their rescue efforts. Here is a photo from their facebook shared by one of their volunteers with the following caption:

"This kitty seemed to be waiting for someone to come home. When she realized that I was really there, she literally ran up to me and jumped into my arms! I am so glad that I was combing this particular area for kitties, as the house was set back from the road and we may never have seen her. She is emaciated and suffering from an upper respiratory infection, but ate non-stop after joining me on my lap in the van; she is now receiving medical attention at the shelter in Niigata."
If you feel impelled to help, as I am, there is one direct and immediate way to reach the Japanese prime minister's office. You can send them a message to save pets in the exclusion zone through this page:

This is my brief but straighforward message to them:

In all due respect, I am a graduate student from the U.S. and have heard that there are thousands of animals that are suffering in Fukushima. Animals are our children and family, and I am disappointed that their lives are being treated with less regard as they are being left behind due to the 20km policy. My heart is breaking as I know it has been one week since many of them have had any food. Please allow willing local citizens and rescue groups to save the beloved pets of your nation in one mass effort before it is too late. Thank you.

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