Rescuing Palakitik, Taal Volcano Island dog

Published January 17, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By the Philippine News Agency 

One of the most uplifting stories of the week amid the distress and destruction brought by Taal Volcano’s unrest was knowing that Palakitik, a dog on Taal Volcano Island in Batangas, is alive and doing well.

RESCUED. Palakitik is one of the 17 animals PETA Asia rescued on Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2020). PETA has known her for years from running clinics on the island to provide hundreds of working horses with basic veterinary care. (Photo courtesy of PETA Asia via PNA / MANILA BULLETIN)
RESCUED. Palakitik is one of the 17 animals PETA Asia rescued on Wednesday (Jan. 15, 2020). PETA has known her for years from running clinics on the island to provide hundreds of working horses with basic veterinary care. (Photo courtesy of PETA Asia via PNA / MANILA BULLETIN)

Palakitik was among the animals rescued on Volcano Island, right after Taal Volcano — one of the most active in the Philippines — erupted Sunday, January 12.

Whenever their boats arrive on the island, people would call for her and like the island dog that she is, Palakitik would excitedly welcome visitors from the mainland.

PETA initially feared that Palakitik was not able to survive the event as Taal Volcano had been spewing steam and clouds of ash since Sunday, but to their relief and amazement, the dog was – alive and overjoyed to see familiar faces when they went to rescue some animals left on the island Wednesday.

“Palakitik is currently at the vet. She was dehydrated when she was rescued and she had some eye problems. We will be going into foster care when she recovers,” Nirali Shah, special projects coordinator of PETA Asia, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday.

Unlike Palakitik and 16 others, many other animals on the island were not as lucky and needed rescue. Days after the eruption, pictures show horses, cows, and pigs half-buried in ash on the island but unable to escape.

“While we’ve left food and water on the island for animals, they need to be rescued immediately. The boats we’ve been using to transport animals are small so we’re limited with how many we can safely bring back with us,” Shah said.

PETA had asked for support from the military to provide them with larger boats — at their expense — and allow access to the island.

“Right now, we don’t know when we can next go back. We are taking every opportunity and chance we can get, but they’re just not frequent enough,” she added.

Shah said PETA’s rescue team is working hard to get all the surviving animals off the island but needs further assistance from the military.

“We’re going to keep urging them to help us. Time’s running out,” she said.

At present, there are no available figures yet as to how many surviving animals remain on the island, but PETA Asia believes some of them are alive, hiding or are trapped.

“We can’t overload the small boats we’ve been using and risk (them) sinking. Bigger boats will help us transport more animals. The animals’ safety is important too — they’re frightened, scared, and urgently need veterinary care — so we’re never on the island for too long whenever we have a chance to get on it,” Shah said.

PETA Asia, the first charity to reach Taal Island, assured that it would continue to provide animals in the evacuation zone with food and clean water.

For those willing to share resources, donations are welcomed at PETA’s office in Makati at Unit 706, Fedman Suites, 199 Salcedo St., Legaspi Village.

 
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