Animals Trapped By Volcano Need A Way Out

40,000 people in the Philippines await their fate as the Mayon volcano eruption intensifies in the Philippines. Thousands of livestock and companion animals roam searching for food and medical assistance. Evacuees are cramped in makeshift shelters, unsanitary conditions with a limited supply of food.

Reuter’s painted a picture of the torment this volcano has already created in the surrounding areas as well as the potential for much worse. This photo is a snapshot into the true danger of the situation. It’s of great risk to send animal rescue teams into an area that could be wiped out at any minute. But it’s the determination and the respect a local Philippine group has for the trapped animals that drives them into the field.

In disaster situations like this, our ER team immediately connects with local organizations on the ground. Local organizations are always in the best position to conduct assessments because they can respond within a moments notice, they have great knowledge and history of the area, and this leaves them with the satisfaction of helping their country overcome a monumental tragedy.  Within a day, the Philippine Society for the Protection of Animals was first on the ground to conduct an assessment for IFAW. The results were not surprising given a mandatory evacuation had already begun in the area.

Teams have set up feeding areas for roaming animals: dogs, cattle, buffalo, sheep, goats and pigs.  Additionally, a veterinary team has been formed with the cooperation of the city veterinarian and the regional diagnostic laboratory. This dedication will lead to many lives saved and hopefully many reunions between animal and owner.

Stay tuned for more stories from the field as the volcano gains strength.

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