Bali volcano: Dogs abandoned in Mount Agung's 'red zone' rescued by volunteers risking their lives

Bali volcano: Dogs abandoned in Mount Agung's 'red zone' rescued by volunteers risking their lives

Bali volcano: Dogs abandoned in Mount Agung's 'red zone' rescued by volunteers risking their lives

Updated 28 September 2017, 14:30 AEST

Inside the exclusion zone around Bali's Mount Agung, teams of volunteers are racing to rescue hundreds of stray dogs left behind in the volcano's "red zone" before they are claimed by an eruption.

Inside the exclusion zone around Bali's Mount Agung, teams of volunteers are racing to rescue hundreds of stray dogs left behind before they are claimed by a volcanic eruption.

They are undertaking risky missions into the "red zone" to bring dogs out to hastily-built animal shelters run by an animal charity.

The zone, marked red on emergency maps, is considered at high risk of being impacted by lava and gases during an eruption.

The Bali Animal Welfare Association's (BAWA) Janice Girardi said her teams were going in to rescue stray dogs as well as people's pets.

"Stray dogs that we're rescuing are often in a field with no villages around, they've just been dumped and we're picking them up off the street," she said.

After they catch the dogs, BAWA volunteers vaccinate and photograph the animals in case owners come in looking for them.

Around 100,000 people are now living in emergency accommodation and relying on government supplies to survive — and they can't bring their pets in with them.

The animals are frightened and cannot be left on the mountain to die, Ms Girardi said.

"When the volcano erupts, it's going to have the hot gases, the ash", she said.

"Also, the amount of tremors we're having, seeing dogs just running down the hills.

"We'll be entering a 'red zone' and we'll have a tremor and you'll just see the dogs running amok.

"They get very scared, they've been abandoned, they've been left with no food and no water, and sometimes they've been chained, so they have no access to even save themselves."

Yesterday, the BAWA volunteers went into one village about 9 kilometres from Mount Agung.

They had been called in by Komang Mangku Putri, who had nowhere to bring her animals.

She was returning to her home each day from her emergency shelter to feed her pets.

It is a dangerous place to be and well within the likely impact zone of a volcanic eruption.

"I'm sad I have to be separated from the dogs temporarily, but I am relieved," she said.

"I will take them back again someday when the situation is safe."

Some of the bigger dogs have to be sedated to allow the BAWA team to bring them to their shelter.

Dewa Made Suarjana has been tasked with knocking them out with sedatives loaded into blowpipe darts.

He said he understood the risks of working in the red zone.

"There is a risk, but this is a calling," he said.

"Death is not our business, it is God's decision.

"All jobs have risk."

As the team worked in the red zone, local villagers approached them to hand over their pets.

"I hope I'm putting them in good hands," Wayan Arta, who dropped off two dogs, Edo and Mochi, said.

"I hope they'll take care of them and feed them, because my family and I have to evacuate and we can't take care of them."