photo by Fairfax County (fairfaxcounty on Flickr CC)There have been many victims of this month’s earthquake and resultant tsunami disaster in northern Japan. The loss of human life, livelihood and property is immense and the suffering continues. Less attention has been given to the countless animals – wild, domestic and livestock – who have also suffered and are still in dire need of help.

The title of this post has two meanings because there are two categories of help. There are still many animals stranded in or facing terrible and dangerous conditions in the areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. There are also many who have been left behind in the exclusion zone surrounding the damaged nuclear reactor in Fukushima. These animals need help. Organizations like the IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) offer that help by providing emergency relief.

There is also another way: by giving to the organizations that use trained rescue animals to help find disaster victims and save lives.

The Search Dog Foundation in the U.S. rescues unwanted dogs and partners them with firefighters and rescue workers. These dogs have been deployed to Japan and performed invaluable, life-saving roles in the disaster effort.

See this gallery of canine rescue teams in Japan.

Also check out this IFAW video on their latest emergency rescue efforts in Japan.

Additional links:

Wet Nose Animal Aid (UK)

Kinship Circle Animal Rescue