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How You Can Help the Effort in Japan

A brief update from Elizabeth Oliver, founder of Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK), from a quick phone call we had with her:

The situation is obviously catastrophic and chaotic. Basically half the entire country was directly affected by the earthquake and the tsunami. It’s very difficult for anyone other than government and military people to get into the area affected. No other vehicles are allowed in right now.

As well as humans, animals of all kinds are affected, and millions of them are undoubtedly dead. Horses and cattle are affected, and some who are found are being taken to ranches inland.

ARK is doing all it can to take in any animals who are brought out of the quake area. Right now, there are foreigners who are trying to leave the country and who have pets they can’t take with them. “If you can get an animal to the airport in Tokyo, we can take them from there,” said Ms. Oliver.

Many of the 450,000 people currently in evacuation centers are saying that they have animals at home whom they had to leave behind and who have no one to feed them.

“We’re doing whatever we can to reach them,” Oliver said. “But even here in Tokyo and all over the rest of the country, the power is out for much of the day.”

Over the coming days and weeks, however, there will be animals rescued, and ARK will be taking them in. “Rescue teams are asking us what to do when they find animals, and we’re letting them know to get them to wherever they can so that we can collect them from there,” said Oliver.

How you can help

The best thing anyone can do who wants to help is to make a donation. Go directly to the ARK site, and donate online via PayPal.

Other rescue groups

Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support is a coalition made up of Japan Cat Network, Animal Garden Niigata, and HEART-Tokushima. You can support their rescue work by donating directly here. They are attempting to get to the quake zone and have updates on the Facebook page.

If you want more information on the overall crisis response efforts underway, please check out this page.

Zoe will post updates as we know more.

See also: Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue