JoAnna Lou
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How to Help Pets in Japan
Many organizations are taking donations to help dogs in need
The photo that inspired the agility community to raise money for fellow dog lovers in Japan.

Over the past week, I've been glued to the news watching the unbelievable devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

The Japanese are known for how much they love their dogs, and I've seen many heartbreaking images of people evacuating with their pets tucked under their arm. The evacuation shelters appear to be pet friendly because I've seen many photos of people with their dogs at these places.

In looking for ways to help these animal lovers, I found the following organizations:

Ark Bark is a rescue group based in Japan that helped hundreds of animals after the country's Kobe earthquake in 1995. The organization expects a huge influx of homeless pets soon and is preparing to transport animals to emergency shelters when the roads open.

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is a collaboration between HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata, and Japan Cat Network. They have already helped several animals, including the famous dog who wouldn't leave his injured friend.

World Vets is a volunteer organization that provides veterinary aid to areas in need. They have already sent a first-responder team to Tokyo to do an “on the ground” assessment and to provide initial help.

The American Kennel Club's Companion Animal Recovery Canine Support and Relief Fund is taking donations to support search and rescue dogs looking for survivors and to aid in disaster relief for pets.

Additionally, agility lovers have been rallying to raise money for Japanese dog sport enthusiasts after spotting a photo in the news showing an incoming wave seconds before covering a backyard with agility equipment. This picture really made the tragedy “real” for those of us in the sport.

Even those low on funds can help out. The Annenberg Foundation has pledged $100,000 to the relief efforts if 100,000 people 'Like' the Dog Bless You Facebook fan page in the next 10 days. If that number is reached by Sunday, the donation doubles to $200,000.

I am always amazed at how the dog community supports each other and this tragedy has been no exception. Over the past week, I've seen people all over the world step up to organize efforts to help the Japanese and their pets in this toughest of times.


JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Kyodo/Newscom.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by LOYAL DOG & FRI... | March 18 2011 |

Im happy whenever I see anyone doing this kind of research on behalf of animals, but I've researched today as well. Prompted by the heart wrenching video of the loyal dog & standing by his injured friend; problem is there is NO PROOF anyone saved these two daogs although it seems some are getting credit for it. Check some more & you might find my findings are correct. Also, as of today, March 18, 2011, I read on World Vets website they haven'st sent anyone to Japan, unless they left today & just havent updated their website. No one from Peta in USA has headed over. And IFAW- here's what their website says as of today: "IFAW continues to closely monitor the situation and the radiation from the Fukushima nuclear reactor. As soon as the situation stabilizes and ensures responder safety, our IFAW team intends to be on the next plane in to begin our animal relief mission." Is anybody really HELPING or SIMPLY SAYING THEY ARE?

Submitted by Anonymous | March 20 2011 |

Thanks for writing this JoAnna!! I've watched this all unfold and am happy to see how many have found a way to take their dogs with them! Continued thoughts and prayers out to those contending with this disaster.

-Marcy and the aussie pack

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