The unprecedented East Japan Great Earthquake impacted many humans as well as animals. To date, only national surveys that do not necessarily focus on the heavily impacted areas have been administered, and there is a lack of data on the situation of pets and their owners in heavily impacted areas. This survey administered on impacted pet owners in Iwate (N = 140) and Fukushima (N = 149) Prefectures in north-eastern Japan, areas both heavily affected by the disaster, explored the types of preparation for pets engaged in by pet owners, the situation on evacuation with pets, the use of and needs for pet-related support after the disaster, and the associations between pet attachment and disaster-related behaviors of pet owners. In total, 41.2% (N = 119) of all respondents were able to evacuate with their pets, and evacuation rates were especially low in Fukushima Prefecture. With the exception of preparation of pet food and other supplies less than 50% of respondents engaged in various pet-related preparations. The rate of utilization of support was also low with less than 50% of respondents utilizing each types of support in both prefectures. Needs for support were generally higher during the initial phase compared to the current phase with difference in needs between the initial and current phases only significant for certain types of needs in Fukushima. Bivariate analysis indicated that pet attachment was associated with disaster preparedness, but results for other disaster-related behaviors were inconsistent. Implications for future disaster prevention measures are discussed.
Yamazaki, S. (2015). A survey of companion-animal owners affected by the East Japan Great Earthquake in Iwate and Fukushima Prefectures, Japan. WBI Studies Repository.