Heroes looking after dogs in the aftermath of disasters

looking after dogs in the aftermath of disasters
Keigo Sakamoto holds Atom, one of the 21 dogs he keeps at his home near the exclusion zone in Fukushima. (Damar Sagolj/Reuters)

In the wake of catastrophes or threats man-made (read: wars), what makes one abandon all sails and plunge in the rapids, to rescue and in-turn be rescued?

Far beyond reason and rationale, what makes a man run to where everyone is running away from?

Madness or Love.

It is love that makes a man in war-torn Syria looks after cats, love that paints the Turkish tapestry where a woman feeds 350 kittens and love that fuels this brave woman’s protest against social media bullies and again love with which a student drops out of college to care for 500+ animals! 

Heroes looking after dogs in the aftermath of disasters

Humans of Japan

When the earthquake and ensuing tsunami struck Japan in March 2011, the residents departed in such hurry that animals and pets were left behind.

Naoto Matsumura, called the “Guardian of Fukushima’s Animals“, lives within the exclusion zone, and returned to look after the abandoned animals.

Japan nuclear dog lover
Naoto is aware of the radiation he is subject to on a daily basis, but “refuses to worry about it.”

Matsumura freed animals that were left chained up by their owners or tied in the barns.

Japan dog lover

See Also: A dog never answers “I love you” by repeating it back…  

Humans of Chernobyl

The catastrophic 1986 explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant (erstwhile USSR) forced people to evacuate the surrounding area. The evacuees were not allowed to bring anything that they could not carry. Pets were abandoned as they thought they’d be able to return in a few days.

The government ordered gunning down of abandoned animals but some ran off and survived. The descendants of these dogs now roam the deserted nuclear plant.

Chernobyl dog
Decades after the nuclear pandemonium, Chernobyl pups still live in abandonment for no fault of theirs.

The pups face the triple threat of radioactivity, rabid wolves and a dearth of food. Thankfully the Clean Futures Fund — a nonprofit dedicated to helping communities in the aftermath of industrial accidents — is spearheading a five-year plan to spay and neuter the dogs and cats roaming in the area.

Chernobyl puppy
400 dogs were spayed and neutered at the Chernobyl nuclear plant in 2017. ~Courtesy Lucas Hixson

See also: vets and volunteers who helped the animals of Nepal

Inspired?

You need not go to abandoned nuclear hinterlands or war zones but make a difference to the fur babies around you – by choosing to adopt!

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Published by

Abhishek Joshi

The man who was Peter Pan — aka 'Dog With Blog'. Raconteur, Reader, Backpacker... If I were an element, I'd be radioactive.

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