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    Choosing Between Your Pet or Shelter: a Reality for People in Japan

    Japan, Tsunami, Earthquake, Man carrying dog NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images

    Since news broke yesterday of radiation leaks from one of Japan's biggest power plants, fear has erupted across the nation (and the world), and more than 140,000 Japanese citizens have sealed themselves indoors.

    The effects of radiation are terrifying alone, but add to that horror the fallout from the massive quake and tsunami, and it's safe to say the people and the animals of Japan are in desperate need of our help and support

    Being animal lovers here at the Awful Truth, we can't stop thinking about our abandoned, furry loved ones, so we turned to PETA to best understand the situation and find ways to bring aid.

    READ: Help the animals!

    PETA senior campaigner Ashley Frunco is one of the first members of an international animal rights group to reach the disaster area. 

    Partnered with a member of the Japanese group Animal Friends Niigata, she's hard at work finding ways to provide food, water and care to animals that were abandoned when their owners sought refuge. 

    They have encountered numerous citizens who have endangered their lives and stayed in badly damaged homes for days because many evacuation centers will not allow pets. 

    Choosing between caring for yourself or abandoning your best friend? Not a decision we want anyone to have to make. 

    As for the radiation? PETA tells us they are advising victims of the disaster to care for their pets in the same way they are caring for themselves. That means keeping animals cooped up inside, with the air conditioning and heat turned off. 

    Without an easy solution in sight, fellow animal lovers must pull together. 

    You can follow PETA's blog to stay updated with the animal rescue mission or donate to PETA's Animal Emergency Fund.

    Let's all do our part and help our furry friends who can't help themselves. We'll keep you posted.

    WATCH: Petra Nemcova shares her survivor's story from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami

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