Race is on to save pets in Japan

In Japan’s earthquake-ravaged areas and in parts of the country threatened by radiation from the crisis at a nuclear power plant, massive numbers of pets have been found lost or abandoned by rescue groups working to save them.

CNN reports that World Vets, a U.S. organization that helped rescue lost and abandoned pets following Hurricane Katrina, is working with local rescue groups in Japan including Animal Garden Niigata and Japan Cat Network, among others, to find ways to shelter and feed rescued animals. A coalition of three Japanese rescue groups, including Animal Garden Niigata, Japan Cat Network and HEART-Tokushima, has formed as Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support to combine resources and information as they work to find and care for these pets.

Meantime, as the U.S. State Department recommended that U.S. citizens voluntarily evacuate areas that could be affected by radiation from the Fukushima nuclear plant, many people are leaving pets behind as they flee, the CNN article reports.

Officials at the U.S. Naval Base at Yokosuka, located about 43 miles south of Tokyo, where many civilian family members are opting to leave, has reminded residents of base housing–via the command’s Facebook page, where many dependents are getting their information–not to abandon their pets. Family members struggling with the decision whether to stay or go must also contend with a two-pets-only policy on flights leaving from the base, according to the Facebook page for Commander Fleet Activities Yokosuka, along with catching up on all the paperwork and vaccinations needed to transport their pets back to the United States.

Paws Corner will continue to post updates and information on ways you can help Japan’s pets in the coming days.