April 13th, 2011
06:15 PM ET

Pet rescuers brave Fukushima danger zone

Kyung Lah and Whitney Hurst

Tokyo (CNN) - The image was horrific: A whimpering beagle, ribs showing through its fur, tethered to a post inside the no-go zone around the worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl.

The scene was captured by freelance journalists who drove through towns within a few kilometers of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, and who left food for the animal. But animal rescue activists who have braved the exclusion zone around the plant say there many others like it.

"I understand the nuclear danger and everything, but they're just being left to starve to death, basically," said Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support.

Gallaon-Aoki and others like her have been slipping into the 20-km radius around Fukushima Daiichi to retrieve pets and feed livestock left behind when their owners were forced to evacuate. Pet owners have sent her group their addresses, accompanied by pleas to rescue their animals, left behind when they fled for what was supposed to be a short time.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Bonnie

    I am thrilled to see the footage on the animals in Japan, however you are failing to recognize the only US Animal Disaster Aid organization on the ground helping JEARS with their efforts. Kinship Circle is a non-profit all volunteer group that has been sending teams into Japan since March 26. The green Tshirts are worn by Americans who are there helping because animals are their passion. Many of these same volunteers traveled to Chile and Brazil when no other American Animal Agency sent ground teams to those countries either. Please give Kinship Circle at least a mention in your coverage reports. It will help raise donations to continue to send volunteers into Japan for the animals through the end of May and train Japanese volunteers animal handling skills to continue the effort for the long months ahead.

    April 14, 2011 at 12:12 am |
  2. rodney

    Why have we changed our focus from human suffering to the suffering of pets? which is more important?

    April 14, 2011 at 12:05 am |
  3. erica

    I went through a traumatic event last week and i didnt abandon my pet. I braved the elements and got to mine.

    April 13, 2011 at 11:59 pm |
  4. rodney

    I find it interesting that the focus in the nuclear reactor site area is now on the pets instead of the people. Don't get me wrong ,I love animals. Instead ,the time & resources would better be spent on the human tragedy and their relief. I find it sad that people are more concerned for deserted animals than needy people. Have we lost the value of HUMAN LIFE over ANIMAL LIFE?

    April 13, 2011 at 11:58 pm |
  5. erica

    You show mostly dogs on air, what about the other domesticated animals? I guess dogs are dumb enough to stay and wait for their humans, cats arent..

    April 13, 2011 at 11:56 pm |
  6. Kim Clark

    Anderson, please please help send a rescue group for that chained beagle. You have the contacts and resources to get this done. At least the free roaming dogs can look for food and water. How can that journalist sleep at night knowing he left that dog to die after it had been chained for over a month?

    April 13, 2011 at 11:35 pm |
  7. Frank Lapp

    Were they able to rescue that poor beagle? Seems like they could get it's location from the reporters that tried to help him/her.

    April 13, 2011 at 10:59 pm |
  8. Darwin

    HOW COULD that ignorant reporter leave that poor starving dog chained thinking that it's owner would get him after nearly a month already there. I would do serious harm to that journalist if that was his response to me!!

    April 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm |
  9. Pat Erickson

    Someone please do something about that beagle tied to the post in Japan! It breaks my heart. If the journalist who found the dog is concerned about the owner, then leave a note giving your phone number and a message of where you took the dog. But please don't leave it to suffer! That dog is relying on humans to help!

    April 13, 2011 at 9:45 pm |
  10. Michelle H.

    It is heartwrenching to see so many abandoned animals; I'm sure that their owners are feeling helpless and tormented having left them behind. TEPCO is responsible for this mess, and at the very least should assist not only in rescue efforts for these animals, but also provide shelter and care for them as well.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm |
  11. Robert Stroney

    It's very sad these Japan animals are suffering a double-whammy; they are just being left to starve; very sad. I hope some one steps up to the plate.

    April 13, 2011 at 8:07 pm |