Friday, 3 June 2011

Samu - Fukushima Exclusion Zone Rescue Pups

Yamakiya in the district of Kawamatu is the latest part of the Fukushima Prefecture to be placed under mandatory radiation evacuation. Like Hirone, Kawauchi, Naraha, Iitate, Futaba, parts of Minani Soma and Iwaki City, all police barricaded, it too is destined to become a radio-active ghost town. In their wake these Japanese ghost towns are leaving animal death camps, with thousands of companion and farm animals trapped and abandoned without food, water or care.

The story of Samu is a small ray of hope in an increasingly desperate situation for both the animals and the owners who have been forced to leave them behind.

Samu is a black and white Spaniel x Labrador, who was also lactating (producing milk). She was handed over to Kinship Animal Rescue (one of the organisations going into the evacuation zones on animal rescue missions) by an evacuee unable to take her to the pet-free evacuation shelters. She believed Samu’s pups had perished.

But once shut safely in her transport kennel, Samu went frantic, desperately trying to escape. Along with her rescuers Samu returned to her home in Kawamatu where the search for her missing puppies began. Whilst they were checking a group of out-sheds Samu without warning but with single-minded determination and driving force of a mother’s instincts she dived straight down and underneath the floor boards. She had heard her pups crying for her but they were trapped and neither Samu nor her human companions could reach them.

Such was their rescuers determination to get the pups out, that no stone was left unturned, and in their efforts to reach the stranded pups, walls were torn down, sheet metal ripped away and plywood unceremoniously kicked in, until finally the floor boards could be hauled up and the first little pup- a female, pulled squirming and wriggling from the wreckage.


Further floor boards had to be ripped up and considerably more effort made before her littermates could also be rescued as they were trapped too far back to reach.

But their efforts were richly rewarded when Samu found herself joyfully reunited with her happily tumbling litter of all four of her missing 3-4 week old pups.

They were taken to a house rented by the JEARS(Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue & Support ) and Kinship Circle, in Inwashiro, Fukushima where they are able to offer temporary shelter and medical care to the animals they are able to rescue.

“KINSHIP CIRCLE, a U.S. nonprofit organization that specializes in animal advocacy and disaster rescue, has been in Japan since March to aid animal victims of the earthquake-tsunami-radiation disaster. The organization is issuing an urgent plea for donations to sustain search-rescue, animal food delivery, and emergency sheltering. Currently based in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture and Inuwashiro, Fukushima Prefecture, volunteers drive hundreds of miles daily to reach, rescue and transport animals to safety.