By Marjaleen Ramos
Only 30 out of the estimated 3,000 horses were rescued following the eruption of Taal Volcano, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said Tuesday.
“The owners of the horses of Taal Island took action this morning when they heard the news that the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) will no longer evacuate the horses and that animal rescuers were not being allowed to go to the island,” PAWS said in a Facebook post.
Hundreds of animals in areas near Taal Volcano were left behind by their owners during the forced evacuation.
“Wala namang maasahan so kami na lang,” said one of the horse owners. (We can’t rely on anyone else so we did it ourselves.)
Horse owners took turns using three to four wooden boats and rowed over 50 kilometers to transport the horses to Balete, Batangas, PAWS said.
“PAWS found the group after doing its feeding rounds for the affected dogs, cats, and cattle in Talisay,” it added.
The group then called for donations and financial assistance for the animals.
Meanwhile, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Asia also continued giving updates about their relief efforts in the affected areas. It has deployed their animal rescue team to provide food and basic veterinary care to the abandoned animals.
The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology said Alert Level 4 remains hoisted over Taal Volcano, warning about a possible hazardous explosive eruption within hours or days, since it first spewed ash last Sunday.