Tsunami Spares “Cat Island” in Japan; Donations Needed

Japan’s famous island survived, but they need supplies and donations for the cats — who outnumber the human residents.

The island of Tashirojima, commonly called “Cat Island,” survived the 2011 tsunami and earthquake, to the relief of more than 100 residents, mostly elderly, and many more cats.

Tashirojima was completely submerged by the tsunami, so there were serious concerns about the fate of the island’s human and feline population.

But yesterday brought good news. The Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support (JEARS) organization, which has been spearheading many of the animal relief efforts in Japan, recently announced:

“Just to give everyone an update on Tashirojima, the cat island. The people and cats are safe but short of food. A volunteer looked into transporting food by boat, but there is too much debris in the water. A helicopter is the only way. The army will probably get a helicopter ready soon so we are looking into the possibility of asking them to take cat food too.”

Located in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, Cat Island residents have a special connection with cats. Valued not only for their work controlling the island’s rodent population, a blessing in a fishing community, the felines of Cat Island are also honored for their companionship and beauty.

In fact, several structures on the island were built to look like cats! That probably makes sense for a community whose feline population outnumbers its human population.

Animal Friends Niigata, which has teamed with JEARS, has taken supplies to Cat Island, but more donations funds and supplies are always welcome.

Japan Animal Rescue Contact Info

If you would like to donate to the animal rescue efforts in Japan, please contact one of these organizations.

  • Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support. Those who wish may donate by PayPal to [email protected] For updates, visit them on Facebook.
  • World Vets. Donations will go toward mobilizing supplies, gear and a first responder team. Make a donation on the group’s website, worldvets.org.
  • Animal Refuge Kansai is a rescue group located in the western region of Japan and is assisting with rescue efforts. Donate by PayPal at their website, arkbark.net.

Tamar Love Grande

View posts by Tamar Love Grande
Tamar Love Grande, former associate editor, is a Crazy Dog Person who has fostered and found homes for more than 200 dachshunds in the past few years. Tamar lives in Los Angeles with her husband, her cat and far too many wiener dogs.

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