Life can be bleak for the people still living in temporary accommodations nearly three years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, but pets have been a great help for some.

Prefectural governments were initially wary that allowing pets in temporary compounds could stoke complaints, but quite a few residents appear to have found solace living together with the animals that survived the quake and tsunami with them.

In the coastal city of Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, Etsuko Niisato said that about 10 percent of the roughly 130 households in her temporary complex own pets, and there have been few complaints about noise or odor.