MANILA – Only 30 out of the estimated 3,000 horses on Taal Volcano island have so far been rescued, an animal welfare group said Tuesday night.
In a Facebook post, the Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) said the owners of the horses took action upon learning 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."
"Wala namang maasahan so kami na lang (We were not expecting any rescue, so we did it ourselves)," one of them was quoted as saying by the animal welfare group.
According to PAWS, the owners of the stranded horses "took turns using three to four wooden boats and rowed over 50 kms" to transport them to Balete, Batangas.
"PAWS found the group after doing its feeding rounds for the affected dogs, cats and cattle in Talisay," added the group, which called for donations and financial assistance for the animals.
Meanwhile, three members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) rescue team have been stranded on the volcano island since Wednesday morning.
"I think they were trying to rescue the animals pero naiwan po sila, kung sino man po iyong nagdala sa kanila doon (but they were left behind by the people who brought them there)," Anna Cabrera, executive director of PAWS, said in a radio interview.
Cabrera also urged the Philippine Coast Guard to save the three-man rescue team.
Veterinarians have been reminding the public to bring animals in areas affected by ashfall indoors as these can bring health risks such as eye damage and respiratory problems.