Despite the sad tragedy of what are now being called the “Fukushima Dead Zone Pets” all is not completely lost for these poor animals: a number of concerned Japanese citizens are willing to risk radiation exposure to themselves in order to save and care for abandoned stray animals in areas considered as high risk radiation exposure areas near the site of the damaged Fukushima power plant nuclear reactors. As reported in the UK’s Daily Mail concerned people from Tokyo teamed up with residents of abandoned cities like Minami Soma, located near the Fukushima plant, to try to rescue abandoned dogs there, especially a number of Sheltie collies that a local dog breeder had alerted the media about.
Feeding Fukushima strays
Despite the numerous warning signs, and the fact that the animals themselves may be carrying radioactive articles in their fur, these are caring people. The particular group mentioned in the article and in another one in a Seattle Washington dog lover website, Dogspot, managed to entice 20 dogs, still waiting for their owners, to come to them for safety and treatment.
This only shows that people are willing to go the “extra mile” to save animals that would eventually die from being left behind in the panic that occurred after the nuclear reactors were damaged in the 9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that followed.
Now, What About the Middle East?
Fortunately, this kind of event has not occurred in the Middle East. But smaller versions of widescale pet abandonment have occurred recently following the popular uprisings in countries like Egypt and Libya, where fleeing foreign nationals were forced to abandon their pets when evacuated.
Abandoned pet in Cairo
Reports of animals locked in abandoned pet stores in Cairo and other cities, as well as abandoned dogs and cats forced to roam the streets in search of food, have been reported by ESMA, the Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals, to media sources.
Pets in large numbers were also abandoned in northern Israel during the 2006 Lebanon II war, as well as in Gaza, following the evacuation of Israeli settlers from there in August, 2005. But the ongoing tragedy of abandoning pets, on a daily basis, is still occurring and is unfortunately not receiving enough media attention as the case of the Japanese and Egyptian animal abandonment stories.
Stray dogs are either captured and later killed by “euthanasia” or in cities like Beirut – simply shot on site.
It’s a harsh world that we find ourselves living in these days. I hope we won’t reach the point where “stray humans” will share the same fate as animals now do. In some parts of the world, this appears to be already happening, however.
More on animal abandonment: