I received the following message/update yesterday evening from Ingrid Newkirk, the president of PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals):
"At first glance, my team and I didn't realize how devastated the area that we were driving into really was. It was only when we started seeing cars with their windows broken from the force of the water in the middle of rice fields that we realized we were in one of the hardest hit areas. There appears to be no animal survivors in these areas.
At the first possible opportunity, after queuing for gas, we visited Sendai's city animal shelter and offered assistance. There had been an influx of animals at the shelter since the earthquake, as well as many reports of missing animals. The facility is not yet full, however, and will continue taking in lost and abandoned animals. Workers said that the shelter's phone line was just restored today, so they know that the worst is yet to come—many people with animals simply may have not been able to get through.
We spent the rest of the day today at evacuation centers handing out pet food and asking for any leads on abandoned animals. One of the center coordinators told us a very touching story about his Akita, named Shane. After notifying his neighbors, he tried to get back to his house after the earthquake to get Shane, but the tsunami was rapidly approaching, and he was forced to go to the local school on higher ground. He said that he had given up hope of ever seeing Shane alive again. However, six hours later, one of the people staying in the center mentioned seeing a dog outside. Shane had never been to the school before, but somehow he managed to swim through chest-high water before being reunited with his guardian. We instructed the guardian on how to clean Shane's wounds and provided some ointment to help ward off infection. We were able to leave fuel with the local veterinarian; he will return to check on Shane and provide antibiotics to ensure that the dog's wounds heal.
The local veterinarian we had contact with will serve as the "mobile vet" for Sendai. He is working on obtaining a list of local evacuation centers and will visit all of them, distributing food and administering veterinary care to animals who need it."
The situation for animals in Japan is desperate. Right now, Ashley and her team are on the ground providing food, water, and care to animals in some of the country's most devastated areas. They are helping Japan's animal survivors however they can—and linking desperate guardians throughout the region with urgently needed veterinary care and pet supplies.
We need your help TODAY to support Ashley's team in Japan and prevent the needless suffering and deaths of animals whose lives are at risk because of calamities such as last week's earthquake and tsunami. Please take a moment to make a special gift to PETA's Animal Emergency Fund.
The Animal Emergency Fund was created to support lifesaving efforts for animals both before and after disaster strikes. It has saved countless animals by providing guardians and media outlets with vital information to keep companion animals safe from nature's worst. This fund not only helps teams such as Ashley's but also supports the rescue of animals in other crises throughout the world, from Hurricane Katrina in 2005 to last year's massive earthquake in Haiti.
Efforts such as these are funded through the generosity of individual donations from people like you, and animals in danger—in Japan and around the world—need your support now more than ever.
Please make a special donation right now to support our Animal Emergency Fund and our urgent work to help animals who are in harm's way.
For everything that you do to help animals in need, thank you.