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Update 23rd March 2011
ARK is preparing its next rescue mission starting in Tokyo. One staff from Osaka will fly to Tokyo this evening for departure from Tokyo using Tokyo ARK van with one Tokyo ARK staff and three TBS TV people. Also in the convoy will be a van with volunteers, and another with a vet. The Tohoku highway is now open part of the way making the journey easier. They will head for IshinoMaki and Onnagawa in Miyagi Prefecture, carry pet food and supplies and will return with rescued animals. These animals will be checked by a vet in Tokyo and then flown to Osaka. The journey to Miyagi will take 7 hours.
The JCI-Japan in Sendai has offered to find places for people to stay in future rescue journeys. Our staff who recently went there were extremely tired by having to sleep upright in the car. We are also preparing bases for food distribution. COLOUR-ZOO a pet food distributor has offered to donate 1.3 tons of food. This food can be sent direct from Kansai to Tohoku using takkyubin, a delivery service.
There are many abandoned animals around Fukushima, the nuclear site, and rumour has it the authorities are planning to catch and kill them but these may be just rumours. One family interviewed on BBC said they left with what they could carry but their dog was left tied outside the house.
There are no rental trucks available now and the only one we had a chance of renting would not allow us to carry pets. No second hand vans either so we are going to purchase a new Toyota High Ace.
Petrol situation still severe but a volunteer has a licence to handle petrol and can get us a supply.
Elizabeth Oliver ARK