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Animal rescue work continues one year after the tsunami

Decontamination of dogs in JapanOne year after the Tohoku earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear accident, the Humane Society International continues their work in Japan, including creating a second animal shelter for the Fukushima Prefecture to better house displaced pets being brought out of the Fukushima "hot zone."

In 2011, contributed more than $391,000 to these efforts, a contribution that is still reaping benefits for the animals and the citizens of Japan today.

In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, HSI sent their disaster response team, giving immediate assistance to local organizations, including supplies, medical advice, and techinical expertise in dealing with large scale emergencies.

“As with all of our global deployments, HSI got to Japan quickly, made a thorough assessment, got involved with direct care and rescue, and put together a long-term plan to benefit affected communities and animals in Japan,” says Kelly O’Meara, director of companion animals and engagement for HSI.

HSI also distributed a number of cash grants to local animal groups including a $50,000 grant went to the Japan Animal Welfare Society (JAWS) for emergency animal response in Fukushima; $100,000 to Save Animals in Iwate; and a $200,000 grant to support the construction of a much-needed second shelter for animals at Miharu-Machi. Today, this shelter still houses more than 80 dogs and 24 cats awaiting reunion with families still trying to stabilize their lives following the disaster.

HSI also hired Japanese specialists to continue the necessary work as well as conduct surveys and data collection concerning displaced animals.

By gathering information on the impact of radiation on animals affected by the Fukushima nuclear plant accident that will be shared with the international rescue community, HSI hopes to improve emergency response worldwide in case of another such terrible accident. In 2013, HSI and and the Japan Coalition of Animal Welfare (JCAW) will co-host a conference focusing on this subject.

Today, HSI grants and personnel continue to assist the many Japanese citizens who, with their pets, are still living with the terrible consequences of the events of March 11.'s support of HSI's efforts was made possible by the Gifts That Gives More [tm] program and other contributions from The Animal Rescue Site.

Photo copyright courtesy of HSI: Decontamination. Taken by Iwane Miyachi.

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