How You Can Help Japan’s Injured and Homeless Animals

Japanese man reunited with puppy after earthquake and tsunamivia

The picture here pretty much sums up the enormous emotional relief pet owners feel once they’re reunited with their missing four-legged companions.

Following Japan’s earthquake and tsunami, relief workers immediately began addressing human needs, but as it turns out, animals are also a part of rescue efforts, and they need our help, too.

Here’s how animals are assisting in disaster relief and how you can help Japan’s homeless, injured pets.

How Animals are Helping

Pet Captain reports that The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has deployed 6 teams to Japan. The organization was founded in 1996 and seeks to strengthen disaster response by recruiting and pairing rescued dogs with firefighters and first responders. Disaster Search dogs are different from other public service dogs in that they  work off-leash, navigating treacherous terrain, and are also required to be certified by the U.S. government. In Japan, the dogs serve a critical role in helping to  locate people trapped in rubble. Learn more about the dogs and handlers deployed to Japan and view the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation’s donation page.

How to Help Animals

Tashirojima  (Cat Island)

People and cats on Tashirojima, known as the Cat Island due to its large population of stray cats, are reported to be safe but short on food. The Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support organization, a coalition of three animal rescue groups (HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata, and Japan Cat Network) is aware of the situation and making efforts to help. For news on their efforts and to lend support, visit  Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support’s Facebook page.

Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK)

This Japanese animal rescue group’s efforts to help animals affected by the terrible disaster are underway. Elizabeth Oliver, ARK’s founder and chairman, reports that tragedy keeps unfolding but that ARK will accept as many homeless animals as possible. Many people in shelters will be forced to give up their surviving pets, as they have been left with nothing. Visit ARK’s site to learn how to donate via PayPal, or where to mail donations.

Pet Captain lists several other organizations working to help displaced and injured pets, including Japan Cat Network and the American Red Cross. View Pet Captain’s full list of links.

Plus: Visit AOL for a remarkable post about the canine heroes from the Los Angeles County Fire Department  and Fairfax County, Virginia, Urban Search and Rescue Team.

Sources: Pet Captain, The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation,,

Become more interesting every week!

Get our Read Up newsletter

how we use your e-mail
We will use your email address to send you this newsletter. For more information please read our privacy policy.

Funny Jokes

Some people like to travel by train because 
it combines the slowness of a car with the cramped public exposure of 
an airplane.

Dennis Miller

Funny Jokes

I think my pilot was a little inexperienced. We were sitting on the runway, and he said, “OK, folks, we’re gonna be taking off in a just few—whoa! Here we go.”

Kevin Nealon

Funny Jokes

“I can’t wait until your vacation is over.” 
—Everyone following you on Instagram


Funny Jokes

A man knocked on my door and asked for a donation toward the local swimming pool. So I gave him a glass of water.

Comedian Greg Davies

Funny Jokes

Just found the worst page in the entire dictionary. What I saw was disgraceful, disgusting, dishonest, and disingenuous.


Funny Jokes

Client: We need you to log in to the YouTube and make all our company videos viral.


Funny Jokes

My cat just walked up to the paper shredder and said, “Teach me 
everything you know.”


Funny Jokes

“Just because you can’t dance doesn’t mean you shouldn’t dance.” 

@yoyoha (Josh Hara)

Funny Jokes

My parents didn’t want to move to Florida, but they turned 60 and that’s the law.

—Jerry Seinfeld

Funny Jokes

Q: What do you call an Amish guy with his hand in a horse’s mouth?

A: A mechanic.