Japan Earthquake

The scale of the devastation in Japan is horrifying, and as rescue organizations from around the world rally to assist the recovery efforts, our thoughts and prayers go out to the people and animals affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

The organizations below specifically help with animal rescue efforts in the affected areas.

Japan earthquake man with dogWorld Vets is a non-government organization (NGO) providing veterinary aid around the globe in collaboration with animal advocacy groups, foreign governments, US and foreign military groups and veterinary professionals abroad. They are getting supplies and a first responder team ready to deploy to Japan.

March 15 update: World Vets is also accepting donations of veterinary supplies and medications at their Fargo, ND headquarters.

The American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services Team is monitoring the situation closely and is reaching out to its international partners in order to provide a joint response to this global emergency.

The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation has deployed search and rescue teams to Japan.

The Animal Refuge Kansai is an organization in Kansai, Japan, that is preparing for a huge influx of animals from the disaster areas.

Japan Cat Network, together with Heart Tokushima and Animal Friends Niigata has formed Japan Animal Rescue and Support. They are providing frequent updates of rescue efforts on their Facebook page.

March 15 update: they’ve posted a wish list of items for in country donations, but ask that you contact them before shipping anything from overseas.

Please note that the donation links for the organizations in Japan take you to the Japanese language version of PayPal. Once you enter the amount of your donation in Japanese yen (4000 yen is roughly $50 US), and enter your PayPal login information, it takes you to an English PayPal page and you can complete the donation.

The Animal Miracle Network Foundation is collecting cell phones to send to volunteers helping animals in Japan.

March 17 update: The Huffington Post posted some photos and more information about some of the organizations listed above in this article.

Cat Island Japan

As we’re mourning the loss of life with Japan’s citizens, and praying for those who’ve lost so much, cat lovers around the world are also wondering about the fate of the cats of Japan’s Cat Island. Sadly, it is believed that the island became fully submerged during the tsunami.

March 13 update: see Paula’s comments below for the latest on Cat Island.

March 14 update: the NASA photo Paula referenced in her comment, and additional updates on the Pet Captain’s blog.

March 15 update: Yet another hopeful update about Cat Island on The Cat’s Meow from Betty: “My brother’s wife is Japanese and she knows a girl whose parents live in the Cat Island and they were able to get in touch with them. They said that the island sank around 30 centimeters in the water and there was some damage to property, but cats and people are ok! They need help, of course, but the Island is still there.”

March 20 Updates: Japan’s Cat Island is safe

Photo of kitten from Petcaptain.com, photo of man holding dog from World Vets Facebook page, photo of Cat Island from tofugu.com

117 Comments on Help the animals in Japan

  1. Pingback: Help the Animals in Japan « Soul Service
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  3. If you donate on Paypal, there’s usually a little tab or pull down menu up in the right hand corner to change it to English…

    I want to go to CAT ISLAND!

  4. We all should take a good lesson from Japan and the way they react in crisis and the way we act. ie: katrina…..also the poor animals, I am so sorry for them. The people are suffering and the animals I am sure are suffering even more.
    I am looking daily for more news regarding animals.

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  6. I just had an email from Elisabeth Oliver who runs the ARK shelters. I thought I would share.

    “The situation very desperate. I have been in Tokyo, getting our Tokyo office ready for animals and trying to get people we know in those areas to gets facts. I am asking people there to go round the evacuation centres to ask people about animals left in homes. Once we have a picture we can do something. At present impossible for any of us to go into affected areas. Even in Tokyo trains disrupted, supplies of everyday things running out and electricity cuts. Growing fear of radiation doesn’t help either.

    Meanwhile I am preparing to open an evacuation shelter in Sasayama ( 40 minutes by car from our shelter ARK) and also clearing space at ARK in Osaka.

    Now a growing concern, countries recalling their citizens as the crisis grows.

    To all foreign residents having to leave Japan and who may have to leave their pets behind; We will accept at either ARK Tokyo or our Osaka shelter, any animals left behind or at risk from people having to leave Japan, at no cost and for as long as it takes. But if people are able to bring the animals to us, it would help a lot as we a short of people to transport them. Easiest way to Osaka is by plane from tokyo Haneda. We can meet them at Osaka Itami. Please ask such cases to prepare details of their pet(s) including vaccinations, health issues, or daily habits.

    All donations will be used to transport, feed, care for animals and to build emergency facilities for them .

    Thank you all for your support.

    Elizabeth Oliver ARK Japan”

    Their website is

  7. I just hope that these animals are not just going to end up in one of Japans shelters because they have a 90% kill rate in their shelters…please don’t ask people to send money and stuff without letting us know the happy ending stories of all these animals…

    • Mary, I have asked Elisabeth from the ARK shelter to keep me informed of things, but I also said that I understood that she´s busy and might not be able to. I sure hope to have some good news from her some time soon. We all NEED good news from Japan. :/

  8. I just wanted to say, since I’ve been seeing more and more “Japan is a rich country and doesn’t need our donations” articles floating around, Japan does NOT have many animal shelters, so the existing shelters will need all the help they can get to respond to this disaster. Please don’t let the relative “wealth” of Japan stop you from donating to help these animals.

    • Yes, b*llocks to the people who say that!!! I heard that one the other day too, and from a VET!!!

      It´s got nothing to do with wealth or money, it´s all about compassion and helping our fellow humans and animals.

      • I agree, nothing can ever replace what these people have lost, but money can help them rebuild. We are a global community and I believe that it’s our responsibility as citizens of the world to help each other as much as we can.

  9. Thanks so much for adding this article! I’ve been searching everywhere for places where I can donate to the help the animals of Japan, especially Cat Island. So thank you very much!!

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  11. I am so very heartbroken and shocked about this horrible disaster in Japan. My heart goes out to all the people and animals who are there. I am SO THANKFUL that there are animal-loving angels out there who are rescuing our furry friends. Thank you so much for the list of organizations. I just donated to a couple of them. I pray that they can help all of the animals who survived. My prayers are with everybody in Japan.

  12. Pingback: We Really Are Helping Our Friends in Japan! « The Creative Cat
  13. Has anyone tried to contact Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Utah (USA)? They have done international animal rescues before. A few years ago they airlifted 300 dogs and cats out of Beirut after the bombings that happened there. They’re a well-funded organization and might be able and willing to go to Japan to help out.

    • Joyce, I haven’t seen any statements from Best Friends on this topic. I would imagine that they will be involved in rescue efforts in some shape or form.

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  15. It was so easy to donate thru Paypal. I did have to enter my donation in USD (not Yen) and then enter my email and password. Everything after that was in English and very easy.
    Thank you for the excellant links and info.

  16. Keep the good news coming. My best friend, a neighbour and myself have put together a donation to the ARK Shelter, but I just wish I could do more! *positive thoughts to all animals + humans in Nippon*

      • On the Animal Refuse Kansai website (www.arkbark.net) where I donated yesterday you click on the big PayPal Button on the right – you will then get a page in Japanese, but it´s easy to see that into the first box you have to fill in what you are donating for, and then put your donation amount of Yen in the box on the right – then you logon to your PayPal account and the rest is kinda obvious (and half of the page will be in English). I hope this helps….

      • Once you press the PayPal button on their web site, you’ll see a page all written in Japanese. Don’t be afraid. Fill out the amount of your donation (4000 yens are roughly $50), plus login and password. Once you are in, you’ll see all the info in English, and you can confirm your donation.

  17. The gang at Meow.com is holding Japan/Cat Island and all it’s inhabitants in light and love. Please let us know if there is anything we can do.

  18. More good news! We just posted an update on PetCaptain. Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support group on Facebook said that “The people and cats are safe but short of food. A volunteer looked into transporting food by boat, but the is too much debris in the water. A helicopter is the only way. The army will probably get a helicopter ready soon so we are looking into the possibility of asking them to take cat food too.”

    • Mitko, I’ll try to update as I get more information. Right now, donating money to one of the organizations listed above is probably the most effective way to help.

    • I too would like to do something to help the animals in Japan, especially the residents of Cat Island where it seems supplies and food are desperately needed. I am not on Facebook, so need other means to be kept up to date. While I certainly care about those unfortunate people in Japan who are affected by this tragedy, I often find that animals are just not thought about in disasters. I would not evacuate and leave my cats or dogs behind and would probably die trying to save them if it became necessary. Please post any updates here or email me at spooki7931@aol.com. Bless all involved in rescue efforts.

  19. Pingback: Tortie Cats to Help Our Friends in Japan « The Creative Cat
  20. Thanks so much for keeping us posted. I hope that you will continue with the updates, and that the news will be positive.

  21. I’m so happy about the news.
    I was worried about the island.

    Prayers from Brazil to Japanese people & animails.

  22. Hello! Great post! Yes, I also heard that Tashirojima Island (Cat Island) is still there, but they need supplies. A Facebook page has been set up for the coalition of 3 animal rescue non-profs: https://www.facebook.com/home.php?sk=group_204822102863541 They are calling the coalition the Japan Earthquake Animal rescue. It is made up of: HEART-Tokushima, Animal Garden Niigata and Japan Cat Network. All 3 have been rescuing and finding forever homes for abandoned animals in Japan for years. Here is there donate/info page at Chipin: http://japanearthquakeanimalrelief.chipin.com/japan-earthquake-animal-rescue-and-support Thank you for you post!

    • Thanks for sharing the information on the Japan Earthquake Animal rescue organization – I’ve updated my post and added links to them.

  23. Thanks for the information!! I’m so relieved that there may be a chance people and animals on that island did survive… I keep google-ing all the time looking for news and almost anyone tells about the situation of animal life in Japan… it’s so frustrating! I’ll be following your blog from now on Ingrid! Thank’s again!

      • I agree with Renata. I’m searching for 3 days for informations about cats and animals ! I found the goog news about Cat Island and was so happy for people and cats. What about the others?
        All my thougts are going to japanese people and animals !

  24. Thank you everyone who cares and helps those in despair and in need. Please do not leave anyone, people nor pets, behind.

  25. Ingrid, Thanks for your post. I am new to the blogging community but have been around long enough to know that I would find good information about how to help Japan if I checked in on your site. Thanks for all that you do to share and educate.

  26. When I heard the unbelievable news I did think of friends in Japan, the people affected and friends in the military who were stationed in Japan for years. At the same time I remembered how Japan is such a cat-loving country, and that wherever there were people there would be cats. I’m so glad to hear that Cat Island was largely above water, especially after watching videos of the tsunami.

  27. I have a friend in Japan who managed to get in touch with people who knew about Tashirojima – people and cats are said to be okay, but there was a lot of building damage and they need bare necessities for humans and cat food… The Japanese organizations said they couldn’t help at the moment (my friend was very frustrated) and he’s checking for some other foreign organisations which maybe could help. He also found out that a the japanese defence forces’ helicopter landed there this afternoon. So that’s hopeful.
    Lots of volunteers are going to be needed there to help rebuild the island.

  28. I saw a satellite photo taken by NASA on Saturday of the region – most, if not all, of Cat Island was above water. someone posted on facebook that part of the island has a high elevation – so there is hope that the residents of the island were able to make it to relative safety. if I hear anything more, I will update.

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  30. This is too sad. The devastation to the country is horrifying and this was such a lovely sanctuary. It is nice to know that there are organizations for the animals.

  31. As we are mourning the loss of human life, my thoughts and prayers go to animals too. The sad news about Cat Island are breaking my heart. It’s so wonderful that nowadays there are help and rescue organizations dedicated to helping animals during disasters, thank you so much for posting this. It’s so sad and heartbreaking to think that in many cases people have to leave their beloved pets behind in order to save their own lives, these organizations deserve all our respect and heartfelt thanks.

    • It’s all so hearbreaking, Anna. Even after watching this unfold for the past two days, I still can’t wrap my mind around the enormity of the disaster.

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