Minako Nakashima is one of the many people to have been displaced by the earthquake that struck the Sea of Japan coast on New Year’s Day. Thankfully, she's not alone — her shiba dog is keeping her company.

But the 49-year-old Nanao resident was forced to spend the first night in her lopsided house — which only had one room intact — because her four-legged companion was unwelcome at the several shelters she visited.

Nakashima's experience highlights the many challenges facing pet owners in times of disaster, and is a recurring issue.