Tragedy in Japan: Efforts to Help Animals in Need
JAPAN - MARCH 15: (JAPANESE NEWSPAPERS OUT) A rescue dog of the United
States rescue team searches for survivors on March 15, 2011 in Ofunato,
Iwate, Japan. The 9.0 magnitude strong earthquake struck offshore on
March 11 at 2:46pm local time, triggering a tsunami wave of up to ten
metres which engulfed large parts of north-eastern Japan. The death toll
continues to rise and could well reach 10,000 in a tragedy not seen
since World War II in Japan. (Photo by Sankei via Getty Images)
The recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan has
caused many relief organizations around the world to jump into action.
While search and rescue teams and medical units are dispatched to help
those in the most ravaged areas, one organization is turning to Facebook
to help raise awareness and funds in order to rescue the many displaced
and injured animals in the region.
Dog Bless You,
a part of the Explore.org organization, has been assisting with animal
rescue and awareness since 2006. With a mission “To Champion the
Selfless Acts of Animals,” founder Charlie Annenberg has worked towards
helping animals in need around the globe.
When the tragedy in Japan struck this past week,
Annenberg decided to pool his resources and help in any way he could. He
turned to Facebook as his campaign venue of choice, asking for 100,000
people to “like” the Dog Bless You page in return for a $100,000
donation towards Japanese relief efforts.
response to the campaign was immediate, and the initial goal was met
within a week’s time, prompting Annenberg to make an even greater
donation of $500,000. “Together, in my opinion, we made history in a
pure and beautiful way,” said Annenberg in a video message on the page.
Fortunately, Annenberg is not alone in his efforts. The Search Dog Foundation
has deployed several search and rescue teams to assist in the recovery
process of both humans and animals. And local rescue groups have also
begun their own relief and fundraising efforts to help those animals
that have sustained injuries or have become homeless.
Animal Refuge Kansai and Japan Cat Network are just two such organizations that have initiated efforts in their local communities, among many others.
IFAW and World Vets
have also been instrumental in sending search and rescue teams to
assess the area and being responding to needs. With the rapidly
changing conditions in the region, these teams are working towards
removing and caring for as many animals as possible and placing them in
In the wake of this awful tragedy, The Millan Foundation is donating funds to one or more of the organizations in need via the Daddy Emergency Animal Rescue Fund (DEAR Fund).
Details will be announced soon. “This is the very reason we created
the DEAR Fund,” Cesar said. “Being able to help in an emergency
situation and save lives is so incredibly important. I’m happy we can
honor Daddy’s memory by helping others.” The Foundation encourages
people to make a donation to the DEAR Fund
for its continued support of emergency relief around the world and/or
any other organization of choice that is aiding with emergency relief
efforts in Japan.