The recent eruption of Taal Volcano, the world’s smallest active volcano located in the Philippines, has created mountains of pet food donations launched by animal charity organizations nationwide.
Taal erupted on January 12, 2020, and state seismologists fear more destructive eruptions ahead. With not much of a warning, Taal’s sudden eruption sent communities in the danger zones to evacuation centers without their pets.
Armed with pet food and other essentials, animal welfare groups bravely went back to search and rescue any displaced and abandoned pets and farm animals they could find.
Among the first inside the danger zone were members of the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) in Asia, who successfully saved house pets and ash-covered working animals such as horses and cows. At their Manila office, PETA showed photos of pet food donations to fuel their animal pet retrieval operations. They also widened their pet food drive by tapping e-commerce company Lazada so donors can conveniently order online Pedigree meals for dogs left to fend for themselves.
“Thank you to everyone who has donated! They are all greatly appreciated and help our efforts to rescue, treat and feed animals affected by the Taal volcano eruptions. We are still accepting dog/cat food, leashes and collars at our office,” PETA said.
The Philippine Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) also appealed for dog food and cat food, pet bowls and feeds for farm animals. “The animals around Taal volcano need your help. The animals are tired, thirsty and very hungry,” said PAWS, who advised donors to send the needed pet items to their animal shelter either in person or through on-demand logistics companies like Grab and Lalamove.
PETA and PAWS relief efforts are being mirrored by many other social-media-driven animal rescue groups, veterinary clinics and pet shops, as well as private companies and individuals.
Aside from pet food, the Taal-affected animals continue to need donations of bottled water, pet bowls, collars and leashes, pet cages, pet toys, blankets and pet medical supplies.
New shelter data casts doubt on whether the pet population and pet ownership are truly growing.
While the pandemic caused unprecedented suffering worldwide in 2020, the disruptions to dogs, cats and other pets adoption numbers may normalize in 2021.