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The Animals of Fukushima: One Year Later

3/11: The date invokes tremendous emotions for the people of Japan as memories of loss and multiple tragedies come to mind. One year after the devastating earthquake, tsunami, fire, and nuclear disaster, the air of uncertainty lingers, tinged with despair and anger. The resiliency of the Japanese people has never been called into question, and their ability to coalesce and persevere is ever present in the remarkable recovery efforts witnessed to date. But as the rest of the world moves on to other news and America focuses on political and economic matters, the people and animals of Japan have been forgotten – many families still homeless, many children without their four-legged family members, and all with ongoing questions about their future. What is the real status of the nuclear power plant and the no entry zone? What happened to the companion and the farm animals living in the zone? What are the health and wellbeing implications for humans and animals post- disaster? Why weren’t they better prepared? When can they go home? How do they go on from here? The answers are never easy, particularly given the savage series of disasters that impacted this island nation on 3/11. Offering hope and compassion is exactly the reason that American Humane came to Japan a year later.

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