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Pets are part of the family. Local officials should be more flexible so that families and their pets are not separated during evacuation.

14 Comments

Dog owner and former evacuee Kayoko Suzuki, 51, from Motomiya in Fukushima Prefecture. Authorities are working to ease bans on animals in evacuee housing, after some families were upset they couldn't take their pets with them when they were evacuated following the Fukushima nuclear crisis. (Asahi Shimbun)

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Good idea. Having their pets with them can be very therapeutic. Whereas worrying about them would only add to the evacuees' stress.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Oh god, no! Sharing limited space with animals could put other people who are not pet lovers right over the edge. Most people cannot control their pets (even though they all say they do). Can you imagine the distressed barking, birds screeching within the confines of cardboard perimeters? Doggies having to do their "walkies" at all hours under such conditions when there is nowhere to go? Unimaginable.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Everything philly1 says could equally be said of kids and old ladies. Not a reason for kids and old ladies not to be properly evacuated with their families.

People separated from their animals imagine them barking/screeching in fear/loneliness/distress, and that is very, very distressing for the owners. Have a heart.

I would not evacuate anywhere without my critters.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The evacuation centers could have set an outdoor area for dogs and other animals a slight distance away from the gymnasiums and halls.

I agree that the animals would've been therapeutic for not only the owners but for many of the other evacuees. Especially kids.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

My dog wouldnt survive living outside in cold or heat.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

not feasible... it will result in chaos. And yes, pet are pets, not family members. Get a life.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

And yes, pet are pets, not family members. Get a life.

No, pets are family. I pity people who don't/can't understand that. They don't have much of a life.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I agree with Cleo... unless you have had a pet from a puppy or a kitten and raised it to an adult you'll never know or understand how those of us who love our pets as family members actually feel. Those people who had to leave them behind would feel the same way if they had left a child behind.

I think they SHOULD have been allowed to take their pets with them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Centers for human beings are already tough places to stay in. No comfort, no privacy, lack of adequate food, it's not easy to keep decent hygiene so that refugees don't get illnesses. Centers should not be transformed in barns.

The evacuation centers could have set an outdoor area for dogs and other animals a slight distance away from the gymnasiums and halls.

OK, if there can be some evacuation facilities easily arranged for pets do it, but that's not realistic. Pets can be a horse, 2 pigs, a monkey, many insects that include 4 scorpions, a dozen of rats, a bat, an iguana, a tortoise, a bird, jelly fish... why favoring dogs and cats ? Even we say only dogs, how can you keep 30 dogs in a gym and they don't fight to death ?

could equally be said of kids and old ladies.

No. Anyway it's a concern AFTER all people get rescued and sheltered. In the aftermath of 3.11, sick people were abandoned in evacuation zone, and in the shelters, during weeks, people had only kombini food like shokupan and cup noodles, babies and children were not provided adequate food, diapers, etc. So, I don't want to see some precious rescue resources wasted at finding how to transport animals and how to get special food shipped while disabled people are left alone on their chair, babies fed cans of chocolate milk.

No, pets are family.

If you consider your family like cattle.

Those people who had to leave them behind would feel the same way if they had left a child behind.

I've been sad to lose pets, even certain plants, many people will be heart-broken due to leaving their house, but that's totally different. You have to put things in perspective and accept it's NOT like losing a relative or a friend. And if you can't it's a mental issue. As distressed as people are, that can't be helped by stopping the rescue to go and get their pets, tombs of relatives, special belongings, the priority is human beings that are alive. People can be helped psychologically later.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

why favoring dogs and cats ?

Because those are the most popular pets. If I have to evacuate, I take my birds with me as well as my cat and my dog.

I've been sad to lose pets, even certain plants

Oh come on, you're equating an animal with a bunch of leaves?? Get real. It is totally different.

You have to put things in perspective and accept it's NOT like losing a relative or a friend.

Then I guess you have never lost a true furry/feathery/scaly friend - you saw your pets as no different from cattle. Just because you haven't experienced it don't mean that others don't.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@ Cleo

No, pets are family. I pity people who don't/can't understand that. They don't have much of a life.

Pity is a form of scorn as your last sentence indicates. Your argument is a non sequitur. It does not follow that people without pets are living some kind of a half life (any more than people without spouses or children are condemned to half-lives). There are many people without pets who have rich and wonderful lives. Some people need to be free of dependents. Other people must have dependents on whom to lavish their love whether they be animal or human.

As to losing plants or other objects being somehow less than losing a pet, people differ in the way that they feel the resonance of objects. For some the loss of an object can be as devastating as the loss of a pet or a person. It all depends on the person and the life-experiences that have shaped their state of mind.

However, in the case of a disaster during which people must take emergency shelter, the hard reality is that not everything can be saved. The first priority for space and resources must be for human lives. Thank you, Cos, for your rational, sensitive and compassionate response to that issue. I say ditto.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It does not follow that people without pets are living some kind of a half life (any more than people without spouses or children are condemned to half-lives).

I never said it did. But even unmarried people and people without children can usually empathise with someone who has lost a spouse or child. Why should it be so difficult for some people to empathise with people who love their pets? They are the ones I am commenting on - those unable to empathise, not those who choose not to/are unable to have pets/kids/spouses, for whatever reason.

people differ in the way that they feel the resonance of objects.

Granted, but an object is an object. Not the same as a living being.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think some people need a sense of perspective. Animals come a very distant 2nd to humans in this sort of situation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Centers for human beings are already tough places to stay in. No comfort, no privacy, lack of adequate food, it's not easy to keep decent hygiene so that refugees don't get illnesses. Centers should not be transformed in barns.

I live with a dog in a perfectly hygienic environment.

Even we say only dogs, how can you keep 30 dogs in a gym and they don't fight to death ?

Cages

I don't want to see some precious rescue resources wasted at finding how to transport animals

My dog sits comfortably on my lap

I've been sad to lose pets, even certain plants,

you've lost a dog?

If you consider your family like cattle.

such a heartless thing to say.

You have to put things in perspective and accept it's NOT like losing a relative or a friend

My dog is one of my best friends. He lives in my house 24/7, which in my eyes makes him family too.

And if you can't it's a mental issue.

perhaps you should visit a doctor.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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