Animals left alone in the 20 kilometer exclusion zone in Japan…

… need your help now.

Sender-Inner Jen writes: “Help us remind the government that the pets in the 20 kilometer zone are loved and wanted. They should not stay there to starve, nor should they be removed to go to animal control facilities. Rescue groups are being asked to help rescue pets for guardians that cannot get back to the area to retrieve their pets themselves. Please let animal rescue groups back into the zone now, to be part of the process of getting animals to safety.”

To voice your concern on this matter, go here. Donations to help animals of the Japan Tsunami can be made here.



  1. This breaks my heart.

  2. So so sad.

  3. Rachael says:

    The courageous and self-sacrificing rescue groups must be allowed in to retrieve these precious pets. A beloved pet might be the only thing someone has left after all the devasation.

  4. DillPig says:

    Heartbreaking. But also heartwarming to see the wonderful work that the animal rescuers are doing. They are true heroes. And every one of those animals is precious, and absolutely worth it.

  5. Jingli says:

    Thanks to Jen and Cuteoverload as well as many other animal rescue heros for bringing this to our attention…

  6. Peanut says:

    This is very very sad and heartbreaking. Everyone needs to write in and encourage the Japanese government to allow rescue groups in to save these animals.

  7. Maggie says:

    Message left:

    It is a grave dishonor to your citizens and their beloved animals if you do not allow the animals to be rescued from the Exclusion Zone around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. The animals may in many cases be all that the humans have left from their lives before the earthquake and tsunami. You must welcome and allow the rescue groups who have offered to bring the animals out to do so. Anything less would be criminal.

    Here’s hoping that our voices are heard and multiplied exponentially!

  8. I’m sorry but I’m confused. If the rescue groups ‘aren’t allowed in’ then where did this video come from?

    It’s very sad to see all of the devastation, but I’m filled with a pride that some of the families left all the food and water out as some minor solution for their kids.

  9. apsutter says:

    This is so sad! I literally gasped when I saw the cows still in their little pens in their barn. Those cows are, literally, that farmers entire livelihood. Can you imagine being forced to leave knowing that they probably wouldnt make it which would ruin you financially…..devastating

  10. Just made my donation and I wish it could be more.
    The animals need help just as much as the people and I hope that the good folks doing all that they can over there will be able to rescue as many as they possibly can.

  11. You would have to be a monster to see this and remain unmoved. Made my donation and left a message. I hope those pets, obviously so beloved of their owners, get some help. Please keep us updated on any progress made.

  12. Julie,
    According to the Japanese government’s page, The No Entry Zone was not established until Thursday, April 21. The rescue group footage must have been filmed before then. Hope that clears things up.
    P.S. Many blessings to those animal rescuers!

  13. Hello, I’m the sender inner. Thank you sooooo much for posting this! I personally didn’t write the text above, it was part of the message included in my lovely friend Selena’s blog which you can check out here:

    Thank you again!

  14. From Selena’s blog, on which this video was posted: ” Here’s a video with some of my fellow volunteers in the exclusion zone on the last day before it was sealed. If this speaks to you, please repost it and spread the word as much as possible. Animals are dying every day and need to be gotten out of there. “

  15. graciecat says:

    Left a message, wll try to give a donation as well. Did a news search to get some up-to-date information on this situation – however, the results are mixed.

    As of this article from Friday, residents (not rescue workers) are being allowed in 5 hours at a time and supposedly a plan is in the works to make this plan better. The government is evacuating those closest to the power plant and putting their information out so the owners can step forward, new adoptive parents will be found if the owners do not show. But the farm animals are being euthanized. :*( Anyway –

  16. Argyle Donkeypants says:

    Scrounged up a few ducats for a financial contribution and sent a plea to the administration as well. Whole thing took about 8 minutes, and I tend to be [ahem] verbose. There’s not a whole lot we can do to help from all the way over here, but we can do this — in less time than it takes to wait in line for a half-caf triple-mocha soy espresso foam-free latte-ccino.

    **Thank you** to the volunteers helping the animals, to the sender-inner, and to CO for posting.

  17. Sharpy says:

    it’s not often that meg posts a direct appeal. i did my part and encourage everyone else to do the same and share your thoughts.

  18. Peiying says:

    just donated! Let’s all chip in!

  19. We’ve donated over $100 we really didn’t have to relief efforts in Japan. That was the equivalent to over 8000 yen. So whatever you can donate greatly helps. I have friends in Japan – they don’t take getting a pet lightly. They had to get permits and pay fees and prove medical care. If you have a pet, you prove you want it and they dearly love them. This is heartbreaking.

  20. Larhanya says:

    I felt the same way when I saw that. Also, most dairy farmers are very close to their cows, and their hearts must be breaking knowing that these poor animals are suffering badly left locked up in there with nothing to eat and no one to milk them and no one to clean up after them.

  21. This video made me cry. I feel like as a foreigner my opinion doesn’t amount to much, but I sent in my plea anyway. I hope it will help boost the amount of amount of incoming letters to a level the government can’t ignore.

  22. Thanks for posting this. Will definitely send a donation and sign the appeal.

    It’s just heartbreaking.

  23. Oh Cute Overload, you’ve made me cry (again)! So sad… reminiscent of all those pets abandoned after Katrina. I’m trying to get the word out!

  24. Sad Overload. *sniff*

    I have been following their progress and they are absolutely amazing. I know (and it breaks my heart too) they cannot save every single animal, but they do their best so that a lot of them are rescued and brought to safety, and hopefully reunited with their hoomans, or rehomed. Bless them all.

  25. Oh, and btw, I already saw that video yesterday and have already written to the Prime Minister. I hope you all do the same to, go and add your voice.

  26. eternalcanadian says:

    I saw this on CNN not too long ago and it was horrible to see all those poor animals (not just family pets but cows, pigs, chickens, etc.) clearly in pain and suffering! Would the Japanese government do this if disabled children and elderly people were left behind? Of course not! So why are animals being treated this way? Oh I hope things turn around very soon. It is just too sad! ::(

  27. I would at least *try* to smuggle my cats through in a suitcase or something (after giving them a Sedocalm (sedative))….. or I would go in and refuse to leave again. I don´t know about any of you here, but I would DIE for my kitties. They are my kids, my babies, my family, my life….

  28. Sharon Wilson says:

    That shot of the Akita reminded me of the Japanese story of Hachiko, the dog who waited the rest of his life for his master at the train station. This would be a different twist. How sad!

  29. EternalCanadian, as a half-Japanese person with a cousin in the Japanese police force bravely assisting with the earthquake / tsunami rescue efforts, I find your anti-Japanese comments, implying that the Japanese government revels in cruelty to domestic animals, rather offensive. I love animals and people equally and advise you to do the same. Please keep your racist comments to yourself.

  30. Miriam says:

    Thanks Jen for sending in and providing the link to request that Japan not forget its furry residents in this time of need.

  31. I’m in tears. Words cannot even express how I feel. I will do everything I can to help.

  32. I am usually the first to jump in to the defense of the Japanese people, as I lived there for years, speak the language, and have loved it since I was twelve (now 28). But the commenter wasn’t racist – I think we would say the same of any government, and I am in agreement that the Japanese government is clearly in the wrong for this decision.

    Now, had the commenter stated that “Japanese people are so cruel and insensitive! They don’t understand what it means to love animals!” – now THAT would have been racist.

  33. oh my god – tearjerker!!! 😥

  34. This broke my heart. @Lucy, yes, shades of hurricane Katrina all over again. What I wouldn’t do to save my Chihuahua. He is my baby. I can’t imagine someone telling me that I would have to abandon him in a death zone. I sent in my note and I posted the video on my facebook page. Hopefully my facebook friends will step up and support this as well. I shudder to think what the owners of these animals must be going through…

  35. P.S. THIS is truly a video that should go viral. We should help make that happen!

  36. Guinea Peeg Lover says:

    So sad! Rescue groups NEED to be let in!

  37. Cambridge Rat Mom says:

    I agree. EternalCanadian wasn’t trashing the Japanese people. As we Americans know from Hurricane Katrina, we had a whole lot to learn about dealing with animals after a natural disaster. And much of the learning falls, and still falls, on the government and what they are willing to do to help animals.

    The bigger point was that people are often seen as more deserving of help than animals. While some would still maintain this position, I do not. As long as we humans are trashing the only earth we have, we have no business saying we are more deserving than our fellow animal companions of help, comfort, and aid.

  38. Thank you for making us aware of this situation! I just left a message and made a donation, too. Hopefully many more peole are willing to make a change!

  39. Noodles says:

    Those poor creatures! It’s true that Japanese people and government have enough problems as it is, but abandoning animals isn’t going to make things better… Inhabitants in those areas have lost everything else, why make them lose their pets, too? People have suffered enough, worrying about their pets makes recovery even more difficult.
    I expressed my feelings to the Japanese minister, now what else can I do? I’m not a US citizen, how can I donate? I haven’t found the info yet.

  40. Noodles says:
  41. eternalcanadian says:

    Um, Anya, you might want to rethink your comments because you’re saying I as a Canadian am racist toward Japanese. Pfft. Think again. I am blaming the GOVERNMENT of Japan for the situation. Not the people of Japan. The people of Japan want to get back to their animals but the GOVERNMENT of Japan is preventing them from doing so. Please advise where exactly I am being racist. Pfft.

  42. eternalcanadian says:

    Indeed, and people in Canada are currently facing the same situation during the floods. Then there’s the recent tornado devastation in the USA.

    Governments and emergency officials need to include animals in their emergency preparedness procedures. To prevent us humans from rescuing or taking care of our animals is just wrong. Us humans need to step forward and insist our government place animals that are under the care of humans of high priority. So by joining that petition to the government of Japan, and other governments around the world, perhaps things can be changed when emergencies arise like earthquakes, tsumanis, tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.

  43. @Noodles: they actually have their own proper website now:

    Go and donate here and get latest updates:

  44. This footage is before the order came out right? And the pups, cats, etc are so skinny, they look soooo scared they made my heart broke =(
    I cannot imagine how would they survive during this hell period. Being ‘taken’ away from their owner are just… Mean…

  45. :~(

  46. sunnylessmum says:

    Thank you for posting this Meg. I hope and wish and pray for those animals and humans; and I feel so fortunate to be the one donating instead of the one who needs donations.

  47. The Koala says:

    Just left my message. It was as follows if anyone needs ideas (feel free to copy/borrow/whatever…):

    To Whom It May Concern,

    I have watched with horror at the unfurling events in your country over the past weeks, and I remain deeply shocked and heartbroken for your people and country. For many individuals that have experienced profound loss during this time, their loved ones may be all they have left in the wake of such profound destruction and devastation.

    For many, those loved ones include their pets.

    I would ask that you please allow individuals with pets remaining in the 20km “no-go zone” of Fukushima Prefecture to enter, along with any necessary animal rescue workers, so that the lives of these lost loved ones may be rejoined with those of their families.

    Please honour the strength and resilience your people have shown in the face of such horrific catastrophe by allowing them the opportunity to rebuild their families and reunite with the animals that share their hearts.

    With hope that you will respect the lives of these missing loved ones, no matter how small, and allow for their rescue,

  48. Thanks so much for posting this. I had no idea. I just sent the webform letter and donated $!

  49. The widespread devestation has overwhelmed government agencies. I remember it was like this when the levies broke in New Orleans. The US government made many mistakes, including not allowing pet owners to take their animals. They have since changed their rules regarding rescuing pets.

    We understand that the Japanese government is past strained. We can only ask (politely) that they consider rescuing these animals in compassion. If their owners are separated from their pets, it adds to the sorry and the worry. Urge the Japanese government to allow agencies to help these animals.

  50. Thank you for posting this. I had no idea that animal rescue groups had been shut out of the zone. I sent my comments, and I hope others will, too. The Fukushima events are bad enough without making these animals and their owners suffer like this.

  51. This made me cry. I wish I could go there and rescue all of them. I love them and I wish they get home soon, with the people that they love.

  52. This reminds me heavily of the animals left behind after Hurricane Katrina. We just weren’t equipped to help pets and animals after the devastation. But rescue teams did form, just as they have in Japan- I volunteered at a shelter in Wisconsin that rented a huge building to take in animals as part of the Katrina’s Kritters effort. So many cats and dogs… But many of them found new homes, and some were even reunited with their families! One dog, Buster, had a heart disease, and we were certain he’d have to be put down… But his owners from New Orleans saw his picture on our website and drove all the way to Wisconsin to come get him!

    I pray that many of the pets left behind are somehow able to reunite with their owners, like Buster did.

  53. I cried so much watching this – hopefully raising awareness will help rectify the situation and save as many of these animals as possible 😦 I have sent a message and I hope everyone else will too as just a few minutes of time could make a precious difference. I hope and pray as many of these animals as possible are reunited with their families or rehomed 🙂

  54. People here keep comparing it to Katrina, but it´s a very different situation. There was no leaking power plant and no risk of radiation to people trying to rescue animals in New Orleans, and they weren´t putting their lives at risk from getting contaminated. Hence it is *so much more difficult* than during the Katrina situation for people to do their jobs helping animals and getting into the 20km zone in Japan….

  55. Matahari says:

    Hear hear

  56. though it’s a completely different situation, i’d like to say that there are alot of lost and homeless animals in the south that need to find their humans or just find a forever home. i live in one of the tornado affected areas and know that there are animals out there that need to be found and taken care of. unless you live in one of the many neighborhoods that were destroyed, you cannot go in and help unless you are a part of fema or work for the city and rescue teams. my heart is completely broken knowing that peoples’ furbabies are scared, possibly hurt, and hungry, unable to find their humans. luckily for my family and i, including my two beagles, our house/neighborhood was untouched. we were without power for 5 days and had to throw away all of our food, but we are ok. some people have family members that died, their houses are completely gone along with all of their belongings, etc. this was the worst group of storms to hit here in 30+ years. keep all in the south (mostly in north alabama where i live) on your minds and cross your fingers that families get reunited with their four-legged children.

  57. Rachel says:

    Oh my goodness, that’s just so sad.
    I hope some of the animals can be rescued soon. Breaks my heart.

  58. If you’d like to help — please see this site:

    We have a group of people who are doing emails, phone calls, etc. and we are issuing press releases, sending information to reporters, etc.

    You can even use your Twitter account to help!
    TELL YUKIO EDANO TO RESCUE ANIMALS NOW! #311pet #fukushima #edano