Im not really a 'charity' kind of person.
I feel I do my part to help society with my time and knowledge, and I quite frankly dont trust most organizations with cash. Even the ones run by us can have problems.
There is a way to 'get me', though. The charity wanting funds must meet two requirements:
1-- Must be local. I can go talk to the people on the receiving end of my $$, and they can tell me what they did with the cash.
2-- That local charity is helping a) kids, b) animals.
Of course I was upset about the recent events in Japan-- like most people my thoughts were with the victims, and then went straight to "What would I do if I were in that situation?"
The first thing I would be worried about is my dog.
And then I see this (WARNING: While its a happy story, I just BAAAAAAAAAAWED and BAAAAAAAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWED watching the video)
Dogs, cats-- they are domesticated animals. Those dogs were (are?) someones pets. And if that was Arnieman, and I was killed or separated from him, I would be so appreciative of someone taking him in, keeping him safe, warm, puppy food, clean water-- I cannot put into words how much that would mean to me.
But how could someone in Oklahoma help the 4-legged victims of the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan?
I wouldnt even know where to start looking. And then I have no idea what the reputable local animal rescue/welfare groups are in Japan. I wouldnt give for fear of donating to some scam, like HSUS soliciting funds to help the animals of Katrina, when they were doing nothing of the sort.
So I emailed the folks over at Human Watch:
This might be out of your area of expertise, but I thought Id ask just in case-- Are there any legitimate animal welfare groups you know of that are helping out with the stranded/injured animals after the recent earthquake/tsunamis in Japan?
ERV readers have a soft spot for dogs, and seeing this story made me want to help... but then I remembered how HSUS took advantage of people after Katrina, and I wanted to make sure I didnt point my readers towards a bunk charity.
If you have any tips, I would appreciate it :)
And they quickly responded with a link to these folks Facebook page:
Japan Earthquake Animal Rescue and Support
Its a coalition of three local animal rescue groups in Japan that have come together to help dogs/cats/pets, their owners, and veterinarians in the area. Donations go towards, animal food, fuel, medical supplies, etc.
They will not go towards political campaigns against chicken farms or photo-ops with Michael Vick.
Im not asking my readers to donate, but if you were like me, looking to help the puppahs and the kittehs, this is a reputable group doing real work on the ground in Japan.
EDIT-- Hey, NPR covered these folks this morning! Ill take that as another good sign they are a reputable charity.
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icanhascheezburger.com linked to 'em too. Good enough for me. :-)
FYI, their PayPal page defaults to Japanese, but if you click on the 3 Japanese characters at the top right corner of the page, you can select English instead.
Ah. Poor puppies.
That post was supposed to include a [sniff, sniff]. Somehow it got lost.
I think I generally share your philosophy of charity. When someone just comes up and asks me: "Would you like to donate a dollar to X disease research." I generally respond: A) I don't know you or your organization, so no; and B) I am devoting my career to disease research and as a result am currently a poor student without many dollars to begin with.
But disaster relief is a little different, an acute as opposed to chronic problem. So I always feel moved to give a little if I can, and I am especially happy that there is an organized effort aimed at saving the non-human victims. They tend to get marginalized in these situations.
Thanks for the link!
Countdown to HSUS cashing in....whoops done.
They claim to be sending a "team".
What the hell does that look like?
Is Sheryl Crow going to host a celebrity poker tournament in the glowing rubble?