Sunday, July 10, 2011

I learned that the Fukushima Secured Zone Veterinarians Rescue Team, which is made up of volunteer veterinarians, would be going out to rescue the dogs and cats left in the 20 km off-limits zone for 3 days between July 16th and the 18th. The prefectural government of Fukushima is sanctioning the rescue. This is, without a doubt, great news. However, private animal welfare organizations like us are not going to be allowed to participate in the effort. Considering thousands of animals still left there, as many willing and experienced rescuers should be allowed to go there.

From what we’ve seen, in all aspects, the disaster areas haven’t received enough manpower to solve the enormous problems and damages they were left with. In the area of the animal rescue, we as a long time animal welfare volunteer group would very much like to contribute in Fukushima, and have indicated our will quite clearly many times to the authorities. Rescuing of cats is especially difficult. Unless you know what you are doing, even spotting them can be hard. It is a very frustrating situation, if we are allowed to go with the vets team, I’m sure we can save hundreds.

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The animals in the disaster areas are at a very critical point now. Even house cats and larger hardier males are all emaciated, just barely surviving. We have been inundated with calls from grief stricken pet owners who were allowed to go home for a brief visit. So many of those people found their pets dead or missing.

Even though the initial response from the authority was negative with regard to us participating in the 3-day rescue effort, I was hoping the situation would change. But the answer I received today was that we would not be accepted. The only people allowed would be the volunteer vets teams I mentioned earlier. Those veterinarians are brave people who responded to the volunteer recruitment the Nuclear Disaster On-site Countermeasures Headquarters posted for animal rescue in the area. It will be 15 teams with 3 people in each team. The fact they’re going is a very valuable endeavor, but clearly, I must emphasize that more manpower is needed to rescue thousands of dogs and cats.

We cannot get a permission to enter the off-limits areas. We have the know-how and willingness, but we would not be able to help those dogs and cats in great distress. I am tormented by the authority’s decision.

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ARF JAPAN

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Message from Akiko Yui, President and Founder of TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital
I believe that helping animals in need, existing in symbiosis with animals, and fostering a loving heart lead to an improvement in one’s character of kindness and generosity. The killing of animals due to decisions made by administration goes against my firm belief in preventing cruelty to animals. Animal Rescue Fund’s most important goal is to reduce the number of animals killed in Japan to zero by urging administration to change, reform, and improve the prevention of cruelty to animals. In order to reduce the number of animals in need, we work to raise awareness and support for the importance of sterilization operations. Each year, we spay and neuter more than 1000 stray cats. We are always putting animals up for adoption to help those lives already born in finding a loving home.

TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital:
We first opened our TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital in February of 2011 in an effort to make our dream a reality - to lower the number of dogs and cats killed in Japan to zero. At our hospital, we spay and neuter cats to reduce the number of unfortunate stray cats. Our hospital strives to help unfortunate animals in need of medical care.
The lives of numerous pets and livestock were lost as a result of the unprecedented earthquake and tsunami that occurred in Japan on March 11th 2011 and the radiation disaster caused by the stricken Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. Animal Rescue Fund goes directly to the 20km evacuation zone around the stricken Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant to rescue animals.
Animal Rescue Fund is based in Kanagawa Prefecture’s TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital. Therefore, the animals that we rescue from Fukushima Prefecture are brought to TNR Japan Animal Welfare Hospital located in Kanagawa Prefecture. Here, the rescued animals receive medical care and are returned to their owners or are put up for adoption.
We also work in urging the government and administration of Japan to support the protection of animals in need.


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