Following the tragic earthquake
and tsunami in Japan, the threat of nuclear disaster there is imminent. In
response, the U.S. Department of State has started evacuating U.S. nationals.
Once again, just as we saw in Egypt, evacuees are being denied the right to take their animal companions
with them. In fact, the official policy of the State Department is that
it does not evacuate animal companions. This leaves the already stressed and terrified
evacuees with a heart-wrenching decision: Leave their beloved animal companions
behind or stay in Japan and risk their own lives to protect the nonhuman
members of their families.
The Centers for Disease Control
and Prevention (CDC) has stated that "a lack of plans and resources to
evacuate 'incidental' pets with their owners has been known for decades to be a
primary reason why citizens will refuse to evacuate in the face of imminent
life-threatening danger." Unfortunately, when it comes to disasters,
people who love their animals often pay with their own lives.
PETA's rescue team has been on
the ground from the onset of the disaster and just sent this update: "We're
at the Sendai city animal holding facility where they're trying to take in as
many animals as possible from people who have had to leave them behind. A
soldier brought in a cat he found while searching for humans. … They've given
us directions to areas where they think animals have been abandoned. … We do
think there may be animals who are alive and in jeopardy because their guardians
have been evacuated."
Please contact the State Department today. Implore officials to allow
evacuees from Japan to take their animal companions with them and ask the
department to permanently change its policy by mandating the evacuation
of pets with people from disaster areas. Remind officials that the protection
of animals is one of the U.S.' most deep-seeded values.Please send polite comments to:U.S. Department of State 2201 C St. N.W. Washington, DC 20520Phone: 202-647-4000 Email Form
Department of State
2201 C St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20520
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