For 134 years, American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services™ have responded to national and international needs for animal disaster relief. Immediately following the natural disasters in Japan on March 11, the Red Star team reached out to international partners to form a global coalition to help animal victims of the tragedy. The team set up a Japan Relief Fund, with 100 percent of donations going directly to help animals in Japan.
On March 11, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake hit Japan, followed by a deadly tsunami and ongoing nuclear emergencies. In addition to the thousands of humans killed and displaced by this tragedy, countless animals also became victims. When disaster strikes and evacuations take place, animals are often injured, lost or forgotten. With a reported 690,000 people evacuated or displaced from their homes, it is possible that up to a quarter of a million pets may require rescue and emergency sheltering.
Already, American Humane Association’s Japan Relief Fund has contributed $10,000 and shipped a load of critically needed animal sheltering supplies to support local animal relief efforts in Japan. These funds went to the Japan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (JSPCA) and the Japan Animal Welfare Society (JAWS) — two local organizations that are providing shelter to animal victims of the disaster.
The Red Star team continues to work with national and international partners to finalize plans for animal relief support in Japan. Through these ongoing efforts, the animal victims in Japan will receive the food, sheltering, medical treatment and care that they need until they are reunited with their families. With 59 percent of Japan’s population owning dogs and 31 percent owning cats, the scale and longevity of the impact of this relief work is huge.