March 11, 2011. Disaster strikes in Japan, registering in at a deadly 9.0 on the Richter scale. Thousands of people dead, missing, injured and hurt. Many animals were also left abandoned and starved. However, little of the world-wide news showed efforts to relieve the abandoned animals and wildlife that were also greatly affected by the natural disaster.
One article shares of a handful of Animal Foundations that aimed at relieving some of the troubles that animals faced after the Earthquake and Tsunami. These included local Japanese organizations such as Animal Refuge Kansai which took in animals to care for at its shelter. The American Humane Association raised awareness and money for relief through asking for donations through text message. Search and Rescue efforts were also present following the disaster.
The Search Dog Foundation (SDF) pairs rescued dogs with trained firefighters as a search-and-rescue team for natural disasters. On March 13, 12 SDF dogs and their handlers arrived in Japan, and then traveled to the Ofunato City area on the northeast coast of Japan, searching for survivors. The dogs are trained to give a “bark alert” when finding a possible survivor, and the teams work together extensively before they are deployed. It currently costs SDF $15,000 to train their canine-firefighter teams for important life-saving missions.
Is this enough? It is inevitable that many animals will die of such unexpected natural disasters, but should our country alongside the world have more animal rescue organizations in place, in preparation of disaster? Well of course under idealistic settings more animal rescue groups would be present but I do understand that this is greatly unreasonable. People are suffering and abandoned also in these disasters and in many ways, the rescue groups present for humans is reflected in the amount of rescue providers for animals. More humans rescuing humans, more humans rescuing animals and vice versa.