Rescuers have been risking their lives in the nuclear swamp around tsunami-hit Japan’s stricken power plant – to save abandoned dogs.
Thousands of animals have starved to death or been abandoned by their owners after the earthquake and tsunami shattered Japan on March 11.
A 20km exclusion zone was put in place around the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant as deadly radiation spilled into the atmosphere.
But teams of animal-lovers moved by the sight of a stray dogs struggling to survive have ignored health warnings to scour the deserted wasteland for signs of canine life.
The search began earlier this week when Etsumi Ogino saw a photo of a pack of shelties wandering through an abandoned town and thought of her own 13-year-old pet, Kein.
‘My heart trembled,’ said Ms Ogino, a 56-year-old volunteer at an animal shelter in Chiba prefecture. ‘They looked just like my dog. I started searching for them right away.’
She and others contacted the photographer who had taken the picture and others of the dogs in an empty street in Minami Soma city, an area evacuated because of radiation fears.