When the Taal Volcano erupted volcanic ashfall on Sunday, January 12, several residents on the island and nearby areas evacuated to safety as fast as they could – forced to leave behind some of the animals, especially the horses, cows, goats, and pigs.

The residents came back to the island on the following days when the volcano came to rest, and they tried to save what’s left of the animals. Several animal welfare and rescue organizations came to help as well.

PAWS volunteers takes care of the rescued horses in Balete, Batangas (Facebook/PAWS)

However, the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO) announced that they will no longer evacuate the horses and other animals on the island, and animal rescuers would also not be allowed to go to the island.

“Wala namang maaasahan so kami na lang,” said one horse owner according to a Facebook post by the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).

The owners came back to the island and rescued 30 horses. They took turns in using three to four wooden boats and rowed over 50 kilometers to transport the animals from the island to Balete, Batangas.

Veterinarians from the Philippine Pet Birth Control Center (PPBCC) also tended to the needs of the animals.

They are still calling for donations, whether in kind or goods, to help the animals in the affected areas. Lots of animal rescue teams have provided necessary veterinary care to abandoned animals as Alert Level 4 remains over Taal Volcano after the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology warns about a possible hazardous explosive eruption within hours or days.

You might want to read:
– Save animals, don’t harm endangered species fleeing from Taal Volcano – DENR
– Horses, farm animals, rescued from Taal Volcano island
– The working horses: Taal’s unsung beauties of nature