There are at least four podenco dogs trapped by lava in two ponds on the Canary Island of La Palma, where the Cumbre Vieja volcano has been active for almost a month. The animals receive food and water thanks to the drones, but cannot be reached by land due to the excessively high temperatures. Animal rights association thinks of a rescue mission with cargo drones, before the lava or the collapses can overwhelm them.
Dogs trapped by lava in the Canaries. Credit: Cabildo de La Palma / Leales.org
On the island of The Palm, in the Spanish archipelago of Canary Islands, there are at least four dogs podenco breed trapped by the lava which from 19 September began to flow from the flanks of the volcano Old Summit, suddenly awakened. The dogs were identified with i drones in the upper area of Todoque, one of the areas most affected by the incandescent flow, which has already devastated hundreds of hectares of territory overwhelming homes, crops and infrastructures. Fortunately they didn’t register victims O wounded among the residents, all managed to escape in time (displaced people are thousands). It was believed that even the pets were safe, until the discovery of these unfortunate dogs, stuck in two ponds very close and surrounded by lava. But the animals in danger could be more, according to reports from the animal rights association leales.org.
The Council of La Palma (Cabildo de La Palma) announced the discovery of the dogs, which is monitoring and managing the situation also thanks to the virtuous support of some local companies. Several volunteers are in fact providing water and food to animals with the help of drones, the only means currently able to reach them. Rescue by land cannot currently be carried out due to the extremely high temperatures surrounding the two ponds, one of which is dangerously close to the lava flow. “The Cabildo de La Palma today thanked the collaboration of the companies Volcanic Life and Ticom Soluciones SL, for the selfless work to ensure the welfare of the animals that are trapped in the upper area of Todoque, after being surrounded by lava”, reads a press release from the local administration. Podencos have been receiving food and water this way for at least five days, however it is not known how long they have been trapped. Some veterinarians are also involved in the operation, who are advising how to support the dogs in this stressful and dramatic moment.
The animal rights association Leales.org, as reported by the newspaper El Universal, after viewing photos and videos of the dogs, stated that there are at least four podencos in danger, “of which at least three are trapped in two very close ponds, one of the which are very close to lava “. It is not excluded that there may be other dogs in the area, between the Paraíso neighborhood and the Todoque area. Leales.org would be contacted by a firm specializing in cargo drones (freight transport) which has given the willingness to use its own vehicles to try to rescue the dogs, however drones are not legally authorized for the transport of live animals, therefore an extraordinary green light from the authorities would be needed. At the moment i official reports they do not mention any rescue attempts in progress; the Cabildo de La Palma only stresses that the dogs will continue to be fed, watered and supported “as long as the weather and safety conditions permit”.
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But if there is no intervention by the authorities and for the dogs the risk of being overwhelmed by the lava river or by the collapses due to volcanic activity will become real, it is not excluded that the animal rights association can intervene autonomously with drones cargo to attempt a desperate rescue. Not surprisingly, as indicated by El Universal, the SER group involved in the affair stated that Leales.org “has received some proposals to create a crowndfunding campaign with the aim of covering any fines”. As stated by Leales.org, the podencos are among other things the most abused breed in the Canary Islands, whose owners very often have no qualms about abandoning them. The hope is that in one way or another all the dogs that are at risk of dying from this dramatic situation will be saved as soon as possible.