They saw dead dogs along the streets a day after Taal Volcano erupted.
They hurried to get dogs and cats trapped in houses and bring them to safety, while the ground shook and smoke filled the air.
They fed hungry and traumatized dogs and cats.
They whispered assuring words to fearful pets and stray animals.
They cried when they had to leave the animals behind to look for help.
They frantically messaged people to look for resources to rescue these dogs and cats.
They hurried back to rescue strays, specially the senior dogs, a mama dog, and the most helpless ones—the pups and kittens.
They coordinated with owners who were begging rescue groups to help their pets.
They transported pets from the ash-filled danger zones to safe places.
These are the volunteers.
They are the heart of the rescue-relief-search-retrieval operations of animal welfare groups.
When the task of saving animals in any way possible became so overwhelming, these volunteers from all walks of life stepped up and helped.
Animal welfare groups could not have rescued and fed dogs and cats—even goats, cows, pigs and doves—if not for the volunteers who risked their lives to go to danger zones in Batangas.
These volunteers helped retrieve dogs and cats of residents who were forced to flee without their pets when Taal volcano erupted.
Save ALL Inc.—Save Animals of Love and Light, an animal welfare group, is truly grateful to these compassionate, brave volunteers.
In all, volunteers of Save ALL, Pag-amuma and Whelps rescued or retrieved 66 dogs and cats in four days and fed a hundred or more dogs and cats since the volcano erupted.
Sylvia P. Ongsing of Save ALL, EO R. Cedeno of Pag-amuma and Chie Dayday of Whelps rescued 29 dogs and 9 cats—all owned— a few hours after the eruption and brought the animals to Valenzuela.
While the ground was still shaking with Taal volcano’s tremors, the three went back and fed animals Wednesday up to Saturday, and rescued 21 more dogs and cats—both owned pets and stray dogs and cats, with other volunteers who joined them Saturday.
These volunteers risked their lives to save animals despite the ashes and the smell of sulfur in the air which could adversely affect their respiratory system.
The volcano could have erupted anytime but they continued to go back to danger zones to help as many as they can.
Sylvia and Chie slept in the van for three nights as they were feeding even at night. The travel going back to Metro Manila and back to Batangas the next day would have been hours wasted as these precious hours could be used to rescue and feed.
EO took care of the rescues in the temporary place while waiting for them to be transported to different clinics.
Young men and women joined Sylvia, EO and Chie on Saturday (Jan. 18) despite the government warning and news circulating about the drying up of the lake, a sign of an impending eruption.
Volunteers of Save ALL helped rescue several dogs and cats and fed animals in Lemery, Batangas last Saturday.
Rescuers Maricel Mondejar, Loribert Sobrio Bersabe and Wenna David plodded on Sunday in a remote barangay in Batangas and fed cows, goats, doves and pigs, aside from the dogs and cats.
Last Wednesday (Jan. 22), a mama dog and five puppies were rescued by Sylvia and EO and brought to the clinic. Owners were also assisted in getting their pets.
Save ALL is also grateful to volunteers Angelica Karla de la Cruz, Briana del Mundo caretakers of Save ALL, and Cheryl Lagman, Dan, JM, Ate Annie, Aries of Country Fair food park at 23 Gold street in Filinvest 2 who packed food for dogs and cats from donations of Save ALL supporters/followers, and bought by Niko Gabriel Salgado, Tani Benedito and Chito ”Karlo” Sales.
Some also lent vehicles.
Indeed, in my book, they are heroes: Agatha Lopez, Marie Angeles, Lyn Fernando of Barkin’ Bakes Healthy Pet Treats, Dr. Pam Claveria, Angel Miranda, Nancy V. Avelino, Bern Caintic, JC Cruz, Angelica Karla dela Cruz, Bianca del Mundo, Mary Grace Cabato, Myles Delfin and BikeScout Team, Bing Concepcion who transported rescued dogs to the Marikina clinic, Mariel B. Cui, Christopher Gumatay Morales, Angelo Eugenio, Hermie Navarro, and Patrick Navarro, Joey Hisoler, Cheryl Lagman, Dan Saludez, Annie Raqueno, JM, Ian, Aries, Lolong, Makmak and Jet.
We are immensely grateful to these men and women who risked their lives to be in ground zero to help animals.
We are also grateful to donors who sent funds to help send rescuers and the feeding crew to Batangas, and for the medical treatment of rescues.
We are thankful to men and women who brought donations of dog food, cat food and other items needed by animals to Save ALL’s packing station in Quezon City during this crisis.
The crisis is not over as of this writing but I am certain that with the strong spirit of volunteerism among Filipino animal lovers, more animals will be helped and even saved.
Bless these brave, compassionate, loving humans.
The world is a better, more positive place because of their kindness and love for animals.
Namaste! I salute the Divine in all of you.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by Manila Standard. Comments are views by manilastandard.net readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of manilastandard.net. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with Manila Standard editorial standards, Manila Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.