Friday, March 18, 2011

Furry, frightened and brave

(photo credit: Associated Press)

If you know me in real life, you're probably aware that I kind of like animals more than people. Friends have been known to complain that they get a mere 'hello' from me before I drop to the floor and enthusiastically greet their cat with effusive praise and chin rubs. I adore both dogs and cats, but I'm openminded about ferrets, snakes, birds, even lizards. I just LOVE animals.

In the aftermath of the earthquake and tsunami, I was sad about the people, but I was more upset about the animals, especially the dogs (cats have a way of taking care of themselves). Pet dogs rely on humans so completely for affection, care and information. They are creatures of routine and when stripped of it, they become anxious.

If you haven't seen this video of two dogs who survived the tsunami, you MUST! It broke my heart a little:

I read one translation of the dialogue that implied that the dog was barking at the camera man to 'keep him at bay'. But that dog wasn't guarding his friend, he was seeking out help for him. I could read it in his body language; he was trying to draw attention to himself.

His actions spoke louder than any words. This dog spotted two humans. He ran a little bit closer to have a look, and yes! They're definitely humans! Humans (as all dogs are aware) have oposable thumbs and food. Humans can bring comfort. He barked once at the humans, then turned on tail and ran back, to lead them to his injured friend.

He patted the other dog gently with his paw. Maybe he was comforting him, maybe letting him know that help had arrived, or maybe he was using the gesture to bring human attention to the other canine (my dog has done this a million times - either tapping my arm to get my attention, or tapping her food bowl to remind me that it exists and it needs to be filled).

I burst into tears the first time I viewed it. I was moved by his survival, his compassion for the other dog and his courage in standing by and trying to get help.

If you look closely, you can see that he's filthy, wet and shaking. He's wearing a pretty chain collar with a fancy silver nameplate, obviously someone's beloved pet.

When something horrible like this happens, there is no civil alert siren for dogs and cats. They don't know what's coming and it's incredibly confusing and disorienting for them. Their worlds are literally turned upside-down. Emergency shelters won't take animals, so pets are frequently left behind to fend for themselves.

I know that there are thousands of humans suffering and many have died. And yes, I've made my donation to the Red Cross. But dogs and cats are suffering too and with the lack of resources and shelter space, it's rumoured that animals who manage to survive are being euthanized if unclaimed.

Below, I've compiled a list of organisation that are committed to helping stranded, lost and injured pets in Japan. A donation of 2000 yen is equivelant to $25 US dollars.

Please consider donating to one of these organisations. The first link offers information about the group, the second links directly to a donation page.

(photo credit: unknown, found at Huffington Post)

World Vets - donate

Animal Rescue Kansai - donate

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support - donate

The Animal Humane Association has started a Japan fund. 100% of donations will go toward animal rescue in Japan - donate

Japan SPCA - donate

Japan Cat Network - donate

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


Loo said...

Whaaaaa! oh pet stories kill me. I saw that video on facebook and the whole time I'm yelling "help them! stop talking and help them!" I'm glad someone finally did. Money will be sent. Thank you for posting the links!

Haley-O (Cheaty) said...

I share your love of animals! And it is breaking my heart to think of all the animals in Japan right now (and animals right in this country, of course). Thanks for sharing the video and for posting the links!

Claudia said...

Yes the video is very sad, devastating, had me sad God bless them!

Anonymous said...

Science has proven that it's impossible to watch that video with a pet on your lap without clicking one of the links... Thank you for the reminder that the animals need separate donations!

エスタ said...

Yeas, please everyone donate. They were saying in that video that help was coming, for those two dogs. People have also been rescuing the pets, we received phone calls looking for people to take them in. Work is being done, but donations will help see it through further. x

Dianabol said...

How sad, thanks for sharing.
We are all with them in our hopes and prayers.