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Farm animals, pets left to fend for themselves on Taal's Volcano Island

Despite several rescue attempts, thousands, if not hundreds, of animals were still on Taal's  Volcano Island, left to fend for themselves after last weekend's phreatic eruption, according to Mav Gonzales's Tuesday report on 24 Oras.

Among the abandoned animals were several horses left along the Taal lakeshore with nothing to eat.

Several other animals such as cats, birds, and dogs had died due to the severe ashfall.

"Ang iba’y nakahiga na po patay na rin po. Pero ang iba sa tabing dagat po. 'Yung ibang nakawala sa tali, nabubuhay naman po. Pero yung ibang nakatali sa nguso na kabayo patay na rin po. Pagdating namin doon, mga putik na yung dadaanan hanggang tuhod na po," said Ian Morales, a resident.

In the Lemery town, various kinds of birds were seen laying dead around Taal Lake.

The municipality of Laurel had meanwhile turned into a ghost town. Goats were still grazing in the area, but they had little grass to eat. There was also a dog who was waiting for its owner to return.

In Talisay, several animals had been rescued by volunteers and brought to animal shelters.

"Kawawa e, nakatali tapos dehydrated. Ito 'yung pinaka latest yung bibe talagang bagsak na siya, hindi na makatayo," said Eden Elisan from the Guardians of the Fur group.

Even as there were groups advocating for the immediate protection of animals stranded near the volcano, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) explained that they were prioritizing human lives.

"Prioritization lang muna ng ano ito ng evacuation. We put premium sa buhay ng tao. Ang next natin na i-evacuate 'yung mga animals after ma-evacuate natin yung mga tao," said Assistant Secretary Casiano Monilla, the OCD Deputy Administrator for Operations. — Angelica Y. Yang/DVM, GMA News