(Jiji Press, April 27, 2011) Fukushima local government announced on April 27 that they will examine health conditions of pets that were left behind, and rescue them starting 28th in the morning. This decision came after there was a concern that the pets could die from starvation before the evacuees’ temporal return which is to begin during the Golden Week. According to Fukushima prefecture, there are 5,800 registered dogs in the area but the current status of whether there is enough food or if these pets are set loose is not clearly grasped.
More evacuees who left behind their pets are raising concerns on the welfare of their pets or if they are still alive. There is also a fear that rabies could erupt if dogs become wild, and that they could bite the evacuees when they return to their homes next week, which was also one reason they decided to enter the zone to rescue them. This rescue is focused on pets that are tied in chain and livestock or pets that are kept indoor are not their target. They will leave a note on door so when evacuees return, they will know where they can find their pets.
All pets will be screened for radiation and when cleared, they will be kept at animal shelters run by the local government.