By: Tracey Zysk – April, 2011
Life can change in a minute, literally. Last month I wrote an article educating readers on the importance of Animal Evacuation Plans. I submitted that article to the Valley Patriot March 3 and just days later March 11, 2011 Japan was destroyed by an earthquake and a tsunami. Who knew a simple article written for the readers of the Merrimack Valley would turn into an article that would be read worldwide.
Within hours of the earthquake I heard from people all over the country and the world. One of my readers lives in San Francisco and another was as far away as Australia. My blog followers were asking if they could reprint my article or if they could write an article similar to mine. Of course, spread the word. ALL communities need animal evacuation plans. March 11 is the perfect example why we need to be prepared for what Mother Nature may send our way, including a plan to save our animals.
Two weeks later rescue efforts and unfortunately recovery efforts are now taking place and groups are traveling from all around the world to help Japan. But what about the animals? The good news is animal rescue groups are packing their bags, gathering their supplies and heading overseas to start their campaign to save the animals. They are also providing assistance helping people locate their pets that have been displaced in all the chaos. The bad news, the Red Cross still chooses not to allow animals in their shelters. Watching the news, reading the papers and following on line bloggers the story is still the same. People choosing to not leave their homes, their farms or their animals because they will not leave without their loved family members. Same story, many of these people and their pets have now lost their lives.
Animal rescue groups realize this and are on a mission to save as many animals as possible. They are gathering food and water, medical supplies and medications. All in the effort to help save the lives of these animals and to also help prevent the spread of diseases. The newest challenge is radiation. Some of the rescue groups are unable to send over any additional volunteers since the fear of the radiation levels started to increase. They are working closely with groups that are already in Japan. Until the government has an understanding of the affects of the radiation levels, many of these animals that normally would be transported to facilities in other countries will have to stay in Japan and rely solely on our donations.
One particular group that is leading the way on the rescue is World Vets International Aid for Animals. Quoted from their website www.worldvets.org
World Vets is a non-government organization (NGO) providing veterinary aid around the globe, in collaboration with animal advocacy groups, foreign governments, U.S. and foreign military groups and veterinary professionals abroad. In response to the recent earthquake and tsunami, World Vets has reached out to the veterinary community in Japan, specifically in Sendai – an area affected by the tsunami where animals are reported to be isolated and injured. Working with a large coalition of Japanese animal welfare groups and international aid organizations, World Vets deployed a first responder assessment team on March 15 and is currently mobilizing their resources to setup ongoing support activities.
“The response from the communities aware of World Vets’ mission has been overwhelming and we are very thankful to those who have already contributed to our efforts. More help is needed,” says Dr. Cathy King, CEO of World Vets. “Our first responder deployment will make an assessment of the current resources available, the animal related needs that exist and how best World Vets is able to assist animal rescue and sheltering efforts.” Immediate and long term assistance in this region will be necessary. Dr. King added, “We have a veterinarian from World Vets who will be there long term to coordinate our ongoing efforts and provide direct veterinary care to animals in need, and we have additional veterinary teams ready to deploy.”
World Vets is making arrangements for shipments of large quantities of pet food, veterinary supplies and shelter supplies and working to identify and respond to the needs of the Japanese groups, supporting their efforts. World Vets is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing global veterinary aid. Funding is by grants and donations, and aid is provided by volunteer veterinarians, veterinary technicians and lay volunteers. At this time of crisis in Japan, donations are urgently needed to provide veterinary care, vaccinations, and disease control measures.
To learn more about World Vets in Japan and around the world, please visit their site at www.WorldVets.org and make a donation today!
Tracey Zysk, owner of Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care in North Andover MA is a local pet care professional. She has been featured on local radio, tv and newspapers educating the general public on animal care and animal health & wellness. Tracey is a proud supporter of Police, Fire & Military K9 units. Tracey may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Become a fan on facebook at Wiggles & Jiggles Pet Care and follower of www.traceythedogwalker.blogspot.com