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Another Way of Helping Animals inside Fukushima No-Go Zone

Another story from one of the major animal rescue organizations in Japan, Inu Neko Minashigo Rescue Team which recently opened a new shelter dedicated to the dogs and cats from Fukushima in Ibaraki prefecture some 50km away. This organization is headed by a tough and energetic lady Yuri Nakatani, who have often appeared on TV.

The cat below ‘Ide Kun’ with a part of upper lip missing, was first rescued by the organization about 2 months ago.

Now happy Ide Kun begs for some strokes from Yuri Nakatani, the head of Minashigo Inu Neko Kyuentai

He weighted only 2.6kg (approximately 5.7 lbs) and was suffering from extreme malnutrition then.

His healthy coat is growing back again

He was in such a bad condition that the color of his fur changed. But he’s doing good now; he now weighs 5.0kg (approximately 11 lbs) and his original fur is growing back to replace the wrong one.

Ide Kun with one of the kittens at the shelter

Ide Kun is a friendly cat and there are often many cats around him.

A cat recovering from an operation

The black cat above, ‘Maeda Kun’ was suffering from extreme malnutrition as well, and eosinophilic granuloma when he was rescued. The cat is in recovery after the operation.

Ms. Nakatani wrote in her blog that there are still so many dogs and cats inside the Fukushima no-go zone today. They are struggling with the hot weather and looking for food and water desperately to survive…

This cat came to the shelter on August 15, 2011

Because they have been starving, many of their digestive organs are not working properly that they can be only fed with special food for easy digestion.

When the winter arrives, they will be put into another severe kind of weather. The area is very hot and humid in the summer, and it’ll get extremely cold in the winter with snow covering the area.

Minashigo group has been in fact working on the TNR (Trap, Neuter and Return) activities together with another organization in the area since June.

TNR in the Fukushima no-go zone area?

This is the ‘second type of animal help’, says Mrs. Nakatani.

Dogs and cats are trapped and taken care of for a while (feeding and neutering/spaying), and then they are returned back to their original area inside the zone.

‘People may question why, but we’ve come to this conclusion not to take them away from the area where they’ve lived all their lives, when their future is uncertain (too many dogs and cats now that they can’t find shelters and new owners who’d be able to take them in). If we take them out of the area, we have to be sure that the quality of their lives will be better than when they were here in Fukushima.’

So they decided to help decrease the burdens on mothers and their puppies or kittens by neuter/spaying them, so as to secure the quality of life for the current generation, to its best.

Below is the number of those that have been neutered/spayed.

June 2011
Dogs: 5
Cats: 66

July 2011
Dogs: 3
Cats: 35

They have been also vaccinated, which would also help to control the spread of diseases.

Comments from the blog owner:
This method of TNR back to their area was new and a surprise for me. But it’s true, there are not enough places for all the dogs and cats to be sheltered even if they are rescued out of the area… So the organization is doing its best to neuter and spaying as many animals as possible before the winter arrives.
The organization is apparently feeding the animals after they are returned back to the area.
It’s kinda sad… What’s the best for the animals? Let them live the way they’ve been living all their lives till they die… Or take them away and transport to the other side of Japan and be kept indoor? What a hard decision. She’s such a dedicated person.

In Hiroshima prefecture where the organization HQ is, there are 300 dogs and 650 cats kept at the shelter-for-life. Minashigo is dedicated to no-kill concept.

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