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LCA Blog

Blog for Last Chance for Animals, an international non-profit dedicated to ending animal cruelty and exploitation.

Anniversary of Japan's Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Disaster - A Look Back at LCA's Animal Rescue

When a 9.0 earthquake shook Japan on March 11, 2011, the Earth shifted four inches on its axis. Then came the unexpected tsunami; a giant, three-story wall of water slammed into the shore, crushing seaside towns like matchsticks.

Radiation levels at the swamped Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began their deadly spiral. Nearby, just shivering specks in the unthinkable rubble, were countless terrified, abandoned animals.



LCA's Special Investigations Unit (SIU) boldly entered the radiation-filled nuclear exclusion zone, braving hundreds of violent aftershocks, looking for animals left behind.

Watch the video to see LCA's heroic team in action:


LCA' s SIU rescued nearly 400 animals in the wake of the earthquake, devastating tsunami and worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl -- plus provided food, water and on-the-spot medical care for countless other animals.

The SIU tracked one dog, "Chuppy," for more than a week after spotting her on an abandoned beach in the town of Hirono. The team finally succeeded in catching the dog after she returned to her long-evacuated home. The SIU was able to return Chuppy to her grateful family, who sobbed joyfully at the reunion.

Then there was "Net Dog" -- found hopelessly entangled in netting, her body was covered in wounds. The SIU team carefully cut her loose and gave her the care she so desperately needed. If not for their actions, the dog was unlikely to live another 24 hours.

Many times it was a race against the Japanese animal control and their strict rules on painful pressure chamber euthanasia: a 100% kill policy on captured cats and a 48-to-72 hour window for dogs. Many times the SIU navigated around police barricades, talked their way out of arrest and rescued animals within two miles of the damaged nuclear reactors.

On the 5-year anniversary of this unparalleled disaster that devastated so many lives, LCA remembers the humans and animals tragically lost. We also honor all of the dedicated rescuers who risked their own lives to save others.



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