Fukushima Rescue Dogs   23 comments

Dogs at Minami Soma, Fukushima Rescued by Japanese Volunteers

Japanese volunteers from a Sheltie Rescue, some in radiation suits, and others in only vinyl raincoats for protection ventured into the nuclear exclusion zone to rescue stray dogs left behind in the empty streets of the abandoned town, Minami Soma in the City of Fukushima, near the nuclear plant, who were still waiting for their owners to return.



Photos of the pack of Shelties wandering the abandoned streets were displayed on Asahi.com, the website of the Asahi Shimbun newspaper from which information regarding their whereabouts were obtained by Estimi Ogino, a 56 year old volunteer at an animal shelter in the Chiba prefecture. β€œMy heart trembled. They looked just like my dog (13year old Kein) I started searching for them right away.” Estimi passed on the details to the Sheltie Rescue Team who had been receiving emails from dog lovers around the country about the abandoned pack.

The group contacted the Fukushima city branch of the Japan Collie Club, and via emails and internet research they were able to track down the owner, a breeder in Minami Soma. She was contacted by phone at a shelter and gave her go-ahead to rescue the dogs.

Seven volunteers left Tokyo early Sunday morning driving over wrecked roads and past ruined houses to meet three other volunteers in the ghost town that Minami Soma has become. Some had prepared radiation suits and others wore simple vinyl raincoats. The first two to arrive found the pack around the Odaka train station, near the owner’s home, where Associated Press writer Eric Talmadge and accompanying photographer Hiro Komae last saw the dogs in Minami Soma on April 7. The dogs had been left some dry food, and weren’t starving. It took a while to entice them with snacks, and six or seven were bundled into each car. The group saved 20 dogs in all.

They were reunited with their happy owner, who did not want to be identified, after being taken to a veterinary clinic in Kanagawa prefecture just west of Tokyo. Others are being cared for by individuals in other areas. But one volunteer Tamika Nakamura said that despite their best efforts there are still dogs out there also waiting for their owners, not yet rescued. Some of the dogs in the Sheltie pack ran away and countless others are still stranded in the evacuation zone. These they are concerned about and it is these the animal rescue team wish to return for.

23 responses to “Fukushima Rescue Dogs

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  1. Lovely story. Handsome dogs.

  2. This is an amazing story Icywolfy of the Icy Realm and one that needed to be told, I always feel sorry for the animals and birds, etc in these types of unprecedented crisis, whether it be Floods, Hurricanes, Tsunamis or Nuclear disasters such as this one, as they always seem to be left behind…

    I also liked the rescue of that dog which was stranded on the floating house, it was on the news a few weeks ago and it survived and was successfully returned to its owner, so how wicked is that, I like a happy ending don’t you?

    Now this wonderful story here that you are now sharing with us, it is truly excellent to know that peeps care enough to enter such dangerous environments to save innocent animals, and these dogs certainly deserve that second chance of life, and I sincerely hope that they are allowed to return for the others…

    Yes I really like this posting of yours Icywolfy of the Icy Realm and thank you for adding such a nice positive contribution for us in what is a harsh and most terrible of landscapes, as is the backdrop of the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant failure…

    Have a wicked rest of evening now…

    Androgoth XXx

    • Yes…I figured a slightly more positive post wouldn’t go amiss lol πŸ˜‰ Always good to know our compassion for other speices beside just our own, is still alive and well amidst these dark and frightening disasters. And the ‘floating house rescue dog’ is indeed a wicked success story πŸ™‚

  3. That was a heartwarming post Wolfie, all credit to the rescuers, I hope the others who are still there are also lucky.
    Thanks for ‘liking’ my painting.

    • I hope so too Arlene, but it is set to become a far more difficult task now the Japanese government have made the exclusion zone a legal no-go area, with risks of fines and detention if the order is defied. One 2hr return visit per household isn’t long to find and rescue them in. But!! Where there’s a will there’s a way! That certainly wouldn’t stop me if it was one of mine, and I’m sure the Japanese people will react the same way!

  4. NBC Nightly News ran a story about this a while back. It reminds me of all the abandoned animals in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Always sad to see but re-assuring that something is being done for them.

  5. Heart warming and caring post Wolfie, must admit if it was my animal I would tend to ignore it, and try to find it.

  6. Hi there Europaicewolf… I seem to follow your Howls from blog to blog, lol.. so Im howling on your doorstep!… I hope that I get a waggie tail… of Recognition … LOL;-)

    This is a heart-warming story that at least some one is recuing these stray dogs.. there must be many out there.. We forget about the many animals whose own suffering still in on going as well as the human suffering..

    Lovely site you have created…
    Wishing you a howling day… of Doggie delights..
    An old acquaintance.. Dreamwalker πŸ™‚

    • HoooOOOWWWWLLLLllllooooooo Dreamwalker πŸ™‚ Wiggly waggie wolfie greetings from the icy heartlands of the Europa System! Very nice of you to “follow my howls from blog to blog”…lol….you are always very welcome in the world of the wolf and it is lovely to see you here. Life has been a little complicated of late and I haven’t been able to get online much but “normal service” should resume soon and I will than pad over to check you out πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping by Sue…! Europasicewolf πŸ˜‰

  7. Hi Timid one.
    A very nice story indeed, warmed the cockles of my heart. Seeing dogs or indeed any animal or bird suffering, upsets me so. As Sue, “Dreamwalker” Say’s. “at least someone is rescuing the dogs. I dread to think what is happening to those that are left behind. Best strike that thought from my mind.
    take care Timid one.

  8. Off the subject, but I was wandering round your wolfish world, but couldn’t find any links to other places you go. Is that just me being dim, or is it just not your style to clutter the place up with such a list?
    Just wondering.

    • Lol…no you’re not being dim πŸ˜‰ There isn’t any list there – I guess it’s a hangover from “Spaces Live” days when I had the equivalent set to private – wolves are very timid creatures! There’s also the question of how to create a “custom list”, which I’m yet to get to grips with on here…or is that just Icewolf being dim? lol πŸ˜‰ I will see what I can do if I can find 30 secs between blog hopping!

  9. Awhhhh Icewolfie, such a heart warming story! I got tears in my eyes of bittersweet joy. Love that pic of the rescued in a cage it looks happy to be going somewhere. It is so good to see good things. Thank you xox

  10. Good news! ~ The environment ministry has announced that it will attempt to rescue the thousands of pets that were left behind when residents were ordered to leave. At least 5,800 dogs were owned by the residents of the zone, although it is unclear how many remain alive two months after the earthquake and tsunami struck. ~ Daily Telegraph (13 May 2011) ~ (By Julian Ryall in Tokyo)

    • That is great news!!! I am thrilled they are doing this there were so many. Two months is a long time but I do hope for the best. Thanks for posting this.

      I checked out your link to Endeavor’s Final Flight….WOW what an awesome event. Sad to see these missions come to an end.

      warm feathery hugs, Rx

      • Hi Raven, great to find you flapping so enthusiastically around the Wolfish Icescapes of Europa, most inspiring for the Icewolfie spirits πŸ˜‰

        It is sad to the missions end, but new aims are on the horizon and I am sure that when one airlock closes another will open! And so long as Icewolfie is not sucked out of it when it does…lol…then I am sure there will be exciting times in space exploration ahead….maybe Raven-flight will be on the agenda!!

  11. Thants GReat News Wolfie, Thats alot of Dogs, Lets hope many have survived and havent suffered too badly.. Wishing you A Great Week πŸ™‚

    • It is indeed great news and restores a little faith in humanity. It must be heart breaking for their displaced owners who aren’t allowed to bring them to the evacuation shelters and so had no choice but to leave them, even when they were then told they wouldn’t be allowed to go back…maybe not ever. Those who did bring them out of the exclusion zone have had to tie them up to cars or anything else they could find and leave them outside in the freezing cold…But at least they are faring better than the 1000s of cows, pigs and horses in the mandatory exclusion zone that are now being destroyed…Too many innocent animals are dying in this new and latest “Land of Wolves” and it is such a tragic waste. But thankfully there is still compassion enough to try to save “man’s best friend” πŸ™‚

  12. So glad they were rescued. The Japanese revere their dogs! YAY!

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