Thank you for your concern about the animals affected by the disasters in Japan and our role in assisting them. How is this your opportunity to help right now? We know from experience that numerous animals are affected by this type of disaster, so we also know there is a need for financial and other resources to help those animals. Initiating the fundraising prior to the specific needs of the animals, shelters and communities being identified saves time and possibly lives. It will enable us to apply those funds immediately to the efforts to help animals in Japan, as soon as reputable organizations are officially invited in, appropriate local Japanese partners are identified, and specific plans are implemented to help the animals.
Why aren’t we in Japan right now? Due to the safety risks and the primary focus on saving people’s lives, the Japanese government has not yet allowed even Japanese organizations to begin large-scale animal rescue operations. However, discussions are currently ongoing between our international partner organizations and the appropriate governmental agencies to obtain invitations to deploy to the stricken areas with animal rescue teams. It is the policy of American Humane Association and other legitimate animal welfare organizations to not deploy without a formal invitation from the responsible government/agency. This policy is for the safety of the people who risk their lives to save people and animals in disaster situations, as well as for the safety of the human victims who are still awaiting help from rescuers. American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services teams are ready to deploy and have been on stand-by since the disaster occurred. They were in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, and have extensive “boots on the ground” experience with this type of global relief effort.
Regarding the donations that are being received by American Humane Association, I can assure you that 100 percent of the donations received for Japan animal relief will go to helping the animal victims in Japan. That means American Humane Association will not even take a portion of donations to cover our actual administrative costs. Every single dollar raised goes to the animals in Japan. In the event that we are not able to deploy our Red Star Animal Emergency Services team to Japan to assist the animals directly, we will grant the funds we receive to the appropriate agencies that are providing animal emergency relief services in Japan.
American Humane Association’s Red Star Animal Emergency Services has been providing emergency relief for animals in disasters and other emergencies since 1916, including locations overseas. When the disaster in Japan occurred, we immediately began inquiring into how the animal victims could be helped. Our fundraising effort is a critical step in preparing to provide the vital support that Japan’s animal victims so desperately need. We share your sense of urgency, and are heartbroken over the tragedy. Thank you for your help and for your generous contributions in this time of need.