As the weekend progressed, the bad news about the terrible disaster in Japan kept coming. Aftershocks continued, nuclear reactors exploded, and the death toll rose (which it will likely continue to do). It is a heartbreaking tragedy, to say the least, and it has left many of us wondering what we can do to help.
While the first rescue and relief efforts are very rightly aimed at the human victims of this and any disaster, there are many other victims that we can't, and shouldn't, forget about. There are no doubt thousands of pets and farm animals who lost their lives or who are trapped in the rubble from the earthquake and tsunami, and unlike humans, they are usually unable to cry for help, to save themselves, or to find a way to survive.
Not long ago, I watched a documentary called Mine. Set in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the film followed the incredible rescue efforts of animal groups as they sought out the animals left behind when their humans were forced to evacuate, and the complex legal issues that arose if/when owners came back for their pets. I can't remember the last time I cried so hard at a movie. One of the most heartbreaking sentences I have ever heard in my life was said by one of the rescue workers in the film: "We can find the dogs because we can hear them barking. We can't hear the cats."
As someone who loves her animals like children, this simply breaks my heart. I can't begin to grasp the anguish felt by these animal owners as they were forced to leave their pets behind in the rising waters. If something like Katrina or Japan ever happened in my town, I can only hope that these amazingly dedicated rescue workers would be there to take care of my precious animals.
So I decided that in lieu of donating to the Red Cross (which I encourage and applaud), I'm going to send a donation to the American Humane Association's Red Star Animal Emergency Services. This group coordinates relief efforts on the ground in Japan or other disaster stricken areas, and they are in need of funding to do so.
And you can help:
for every comment on my blog between now and this Friday at 5:00 pm, I will donate $1 to the animal rescue efforts in Japan.
Depending on how many comments I receive, I may double it. Any comments count, on any posts, new or old. So get to commenting, and tell your friends!
Thank you, in advance, for your support of the animals.