Wednesday, March 16, 2011


OMG Japan.  I cannot imagine what it must feel to go though such a traumatic experience and to be unable to be at peace even almost a week after it happened.  News of a possible nuclear catastrophe and the continuous aftershocks that continue to strike this area of the world, are sparking fear and a sense of uncertainty that would drive anyone mad out of their senses.

My nearest earthquake-related experience was almost four years ago, when the southern city of Pisco literally fell to pieces after it was hit by a 7.9 magnitude quake.  This was 230km. south of Lima, but GOD did we feel and GOD did it feel like it lasted forever (about 2:30 minutes).  Though I managed to stay quite calm and to calm those around me (I was with a friend at her shop and with her salesgirl) while it happened, I was traumatized for months, thinking it could happen again at any moment.

Like many animal lovers,  one of the things that worries me the most about tragedies like these, is the fate of most pets.  I have read that in Japan, most shelters will not allow people to come in with their animals and that they have been faced with the tough choice of leaving them behind in order to guarantee their own safety.

But within this tragic situation, there is hope.  People like Ashely Fruno, PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner, and Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata are taking care of those pets who have been abandoned amidst the mess of debris left by the quake and the tsunami that followed.

From PETA Asia-Pacific's blog, The Hot & Sour Scoop.
One of the first members of an international animal rights group to reach the disaster area, PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner Ashley Fruno has been in Japan with Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata since taking the first flight to Tokyo after the airport opened Saturday night. Ashley and Isabella are providing food, water, and care to animals abandoned when their guardians fled to evacuation centers, and are also providing food to animals whose guardians are having a hard time getting supplies of food because of long lines of hundreds of people waiting to get into stores. They've encountered many citizens who have stayed in their badly damaged homes for days because many evacuation centers are not allowing companion animals inside.
"The damage is absolutely horrific," Ashley says. "These dogs and cats need rescue for the sake of the anguished people who were forced to choose between seeking refuge in evacuation centers and taking their beloved animal companions with them."
Despite long waits at gas stations, Ashley and Isabella continue to visit the worst-affected areas in search of animals who need help, and their team remains in touch with the volunteer relief center, city office, and prefecture office, which plans to set up a temporary shelter for animals in the north of the city. Ashley is also talking to reporters and asking them to alert her if they spot animals in need.
Fortunately, there is a way WE can help too.  PETA's ANIMAL EMERGENCY FUND provides grants to organizations that do rescue work in situations like the one going on in Japan right now.  All you have to do is visit this link and make a donation.
To finish off, and in an attempt to make you click on the link above, here's the touching video of a dog who took care and would not leave his injured companion after they both survived the tsunami.  For your mind's sake, both have already been rescued (the thought of them being left alone tortured me for quite a while).

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