Organizations, concerned citizens team up to save abandoned animals after Taal Volcano heightened unrest

January 14, 2020 - 7:10 PM
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Cows partly covered by ashes eat grass in a land nearby the erupting Taal Volcano in Talisay
Cows partly covered by ashes eat grass in a land nearby the erupting Taal Volcano in Talisay, Batangas, Philippines, January 13, 2020. (Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)

Organizations for animals and other concerned Filipinos have been rescuing animals who were left in cages and houses when Taal Volcano erupted.

The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)-Asia, in particular, has been waiting since January 13 for authorities to grant them permission to save the animals on the island.

“PETA’s animal rescue team is on the ground right now providing food and veterinary care to animals, and are ready to help animals on the island itself when permitted,” the group tweeted on January 13.

Based on its social accounts, PETA-Asia deployed teams to rescue animals and provide for their needs in the evacuation zone.

“PETA-Asia rescuers are in the evacuation zone surrounding the lake giving food, water, and veterinary care to dogs and cats who’ve been abandoned or taken to evacuation centers. They will continue caring for these animals until they can be reunited with their owners or placed in safe shelters,” it said.

However, they admitted that having limited resources prevents them from saving all the animals being reported to them.

“We’re being bombarded with reports from guardians to rescue their animals and while we’re doing everything we can, we simply can’t reach everyone. We have come across too many abandoned animals at lakeside communities today,” the group said in another post.

They asked the public to reach them at 0966-442-1708 if they saw animals that needed help.

They also sought for donations for the following items:

  • Telescope (to search for signs of life on the island)
  • Dog and cat food
  • Face masks
  • Leashes and collars

Donations in kind can be dropped off at their building in Makati City and in cash through its website.

Another organization, PAWS Philippines, also sought the public for food and water for farm animals and pets abandoned during the evacuation.

“After yesterday’s assessment by the PAWS Disaster Team together with the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), they have confirmed that pet dogs, cows and other livestock have been left at the site,” the group tweeted.

They needed the following items:

  • cow feed
  • chicken feed
  • dog food
  • cat food
  • bottled water
  • pet bowls

One Facebook user, meanwhile, shared that he is offering a temporary shelter for pets in Cavite.

“No one should be left behind. Let us save our pets,” user Edsel Pagcaliwangan Paredes said on Facebook.

Kung may kilala po kayo na nangangailangan ng temporary shelter na magaalaga ng kanilang mga pets na apektado ng bulkang…

Posted by Edsel Pagcaliwangan Paredes on Monday, January 13, 2020

Some plants and animals in the volcano island did not survive, according to the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, when rescuers returned to them after the evacuation.

“The animals are too big or too heavy for the boats so the human beings were the first ones to be evacuated and the animals are the ones next in line. But when the rescuers are supposed to return, the escalation of the volcanic activity prevented them from doing so,” Mark Timbal of the NDRRMC said.

Fissures from earthquakes

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said that fissures, which are fractures or cracks in rocks, were seen in several barangays in Batangas.

PHIVOLCS Director Renato Solidum said that these could be produced by the intrusion of magma beneath Taal’s edifice.

“The intense seismic activity coupled with fissuring on the caldera region likely signifies continuous magma intrusion beneath the Taal edifice, which may lead to further eruptive activity,” Phivolcs said.

As of publication, alert level 4 still remains over the volcano.