In late September 2017 the Bali Animal Welfare Association (BAWA) received word that Mount Agung, the volcano in east Bali, was about to erupt. Tens of thousands of people in the designated danger zone, then a 10 km radius from the mountain’s crater, evacuated and most had to leave their animals behind. BAWA’s team rushed to the area and found hundreds of dogs and some cats abandoned in empty villages on the slopes of the volcano. Some dogs still chained, without food or fresh water. Since the initial emergency, BAWA’s team had found thousands of animals in additional villages in the danger zone.
BAWA immediately set up an emergency shelter in a safe area. Evacuees brought the animals they could not take with them to the evacuation centers. BAWA opened additional shelters and brought down animals that cannot possibly sur- vive alone, including vulnerable pregnant dogs, nursing mothers and puppies. Animals are fed twice a day and receive emergency veterinary care; collaborating vets also spay-neuter most of them.
BAWA team rotated through villages that have been evacuated, providing food and clean fresh water to hundreds of abandoned dogs every day, also treating those in need of veterinary attention. Some of these villages have already been badly af- fected by volcanic ash and sulphur gas.
With the continuing volcanic activity and with a major eruption still possible, BAWA is racing to move more animals in the danger zone off of the mountain.
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