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Order in the midst of chaos

At the suggestion of Dr. V at the Pawcurious blog, I made a donation this morning to http://worldvets.org/ in support of the rescue efforts in Japan of the cats, dogs and other animals who need medical attention and have basic survival needs met until they can be adopted or reclaimed by their owners.

I've already given a donation to the American Red Cross, and I anticipate giving other donations to people based support if the situation in Japan deteriorates. But I know that if I were in a similar situation and somehow or another Celosa were out there by herself, I'd want someone with resources to take care of her until we could be reunited if she managed to survive.

This is what Dr. V said:

In a disaster like this, you need more than love. You need teams trained in animal handling. You need transport. You need a base to house them, food and water for them, a system to manage disease outbreak, a way to identify them so they can be reunited with their owners. Kennels and leashes and dewormer and vaccines. These are concerns specific to animal rescue, and why dedicated animal rescue teams are integral to this effort.

There are people on the ground and on the way with this training. What they need more than anything, desperately, is donations. Millions are pouring in to the Red Cross and similar organizations- and rightly so, I in no way think otherwise.

But so often we forget these animal rescue teams, an afterthought in this grand tragedy. They are entirely different groups with the same goal: to return a nation to some semblance of functionality. To save lives. They do it not because they value animals over people, but because we do value animals. And no one else is there to help if they don’t do it.


I am asking people to support World Vets, a group from the US with a team already in Japan on the ground. They are able to mobilize resources here in the US and get them where they need to go. They are also working with existing animal welfare organizations in Japan to coordinate rescue. They are not the only group you can support, of course- but I chose them because I know they are legitimate, and Dr. Cathy King is savvy enough to put every donation to where it is most needed. They are a registered 501(c) 3.

I read on one of the animal rescue Facebooks that they are finding lots of animals with collars, who are no doubt bewildered, missing their families. Many of them also have a small ziploc with money inside.

With death quite literally racing towards them, these people looked at their beloved pets and thought to put in money for their beloved pets’ care should they perish. Take care of our pets, they said. Please.

I intend to help honor that. Please join me Thursday, March 17th to help raise funds for this vital work.

I made my donation in memory of Crianza. She would have liked to have helped other animals, so long as she could have told them what to do once they were in her care. I think that organizing a rescue effort like that would have needed a fun police personality like Crianza's helping out. Her sense of order in the face of chaos would have been welcome in an effort like this one. Crianza also appreciated extraordinary veterinary care. She was amazingly well taken care of in her nine days in the hospital in November, and the entire vet's office mourned her passing when she died in January.

I also made my donation in memory of Relampago. He loved puppies. He would have followed them around to make sure that they were ok once they were rescued. And once they were part of his pack, he would have done what he could to protect them. He appreciated home being whereever his people were, and he would have done what he could to get animals back with their people, where they belong. He also was very long lived, and he would have wanted other animals to have as a fantastic life as he did.

I also made my donation in memory of Athena. She was a kitty cat who thrived during a natural disaster, when Ike came blowing through. Everyone else was a little tense, but she stretched out on her back on the couch and dozed through the whole thing, helping everyone else stay calm. In the ensuing days, when there was no power, few provisions available, and uncertainty about the immediate future, she maintained a dignified (for her) stance by the front door.

And I made my donation for Celosa. She is such a happy puppy who wants nothing more than everyone a) to acknowledge that SHE is the cutest puppy in the whole wide world, and b) to play with her. While she'd be jealous of the attention given to the puppies and kitties in Japan, she'd also be overjoyed that so many potential playmates could be given the opportunity to play again.

If you have a couple extra bucks that wasn't already going to some other relief organization, think about a donation to World Vets.

Also, Dr. V put together a list of pet etailers who are making donations to World Vets today if you buy from their stores. Check them out!