EFESanta Cruz de La Palma, Spain

A specialist drone company on a mission to evacuate a pack of dogs stranded by lava flows on the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma successfully conducted a simulation of the rescue on Wednesday.

The plight of the animals has grabbed international media attention and the dangerous rescue mission, which will be closely watched, has fallen to the company Aerocámaras, which was contracted by animal welfare group Leales.

At least four podencos, a local breed of dog, have been spotted taking refuge in the vicinity of two man-made ponds dotted on opposite sides of a patch of land that has so far been spared by the red-hot lava flows from the ongoing Cumbre Vieja eruption.

Rescuers plan to airlift the dogs from the hazardous area one by one using a net attached to a drone.