What began as individual efforts to rescue the displaced animals have now become a concerted effort following a meeting between representatives of the animal welfare groups and local government officials Wednesday.
Animal welfare groups have bonded together to rescue all animals from towns in Batangas identified by the government as danger zones.
But the rescue groups are racing against time. We have been given 72 hours starting Thursday to rescue all the trapped animals. The deadline ends today, Sunday.
We do hope this deadline can be extended and we have been praying Taal volcano will go back to sleep for a very loooong time.
Aside from horses, cows and other livestock, some 30,000 dogs and 9,000 cats in these towns have been affected by the eruption of Taal Volcano last week.
Save All administration and coordinator Sylvia P. Ongsing, who attended the meeting, reported that local officials gave animal welfare groups 72 hours from Thursday to pull out and rescue all dogs, cats, livestock and other animals from the danger zones areas.
Animal rescuers will be escorted by the police in their rescue operations. These areas will be closed off after 72 hours.
As of this writing, among the animal welfare groups authorized to conduct rescue work are Animal Kingdom Foundation (AKF), CARA, Pag-Amuma, Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), Save Animals of Love and Light (Save ALL) and Whelps. Only groups accredited by the local governments have been allowed to enter the danger zones.
Among the towns where animal rescuers are conducting rescues are Agoncillo, Alitagtag, Balete, Cuenca, Laurel, Lemery, Malvar, Mataas na Kahoy, San Nicolas, Sta. Teresita, Taal and Talisay.
Representatives from the animal welfare groups have met to organize their rescue operations, grouping themselves into clusters with designated areas. This is to ensure a more organized operation and that the areas are searched thoroughly for animals in in need of rescue.
All rescued animals will be transported to shelters designated by the local governments. These shelters are located outside the danger zones.
Rescued dogs and cats in particular will be housed, fed, and given medical help. Efforts will be exerted to reunite them with their owners.
On Thursday, Save ALL dispatched 300 packs of dog food and 300 packs of cat food, two sacks of dog food, and water to Batangas. Save ALL’s feeding will continue daily until Sunday, as dogs and cats in other areas outside the danger zones but affected by the eruption still need food and water.
The combined Save ALL-Whelps-Pag-amuma rescue and feeding team were also able to rescue 29 dogs and 9 cats as of this writing.
Animal welfare groups have been overwhelmed by the massive outpouring of support for their call for assistance and donations. Aside from dog and cat food, animal lovers have sent bottled water, animal leashes, medicine, lent their vehicles and cash donations for gasoline, toll fees, and other expenses.
We thank you for your support, and request your fervent prayers for human and animals in dire need, and for the safety of our animal rescue teams.
COMMENT DISCLAIMER: Reader comments posted on this Web site are not in any way endorsed by The Standard. Comments are views by thestandard.ph readers who exercise their right to free expression and they do not necessarily represent or reflect the position or viewpoint of thestandard.ph. While reserving this publication’s right to delete comments that are deemed offensive, indecent or inconsistent with The Standard editorial standards, The Standard may not be held liable for any false information posted by readers in this comments section.