La Palma volcano: Drones trying to rescue trapped dogs find human footprints and banner

Previous drone footage of several emaciated dogs trapped near the erupting La Palma volcano

A drone team trying to save several dogs trapped near the erupting La Palma volcano found no sign of the animals but said a banner in the area suggests the animals have been rescued.

The Cumbre Vieja volcano in the Spanish Canary Islands begun erupting on September 19 and, more than a month later, it is still spewing out lava.

More than 6,000 people were evacuated as the lava destroyed more than 1,100 buildings. Some areas have become no-go zones.

Several emaciated dogs were spotted by drones in a no-access area, leading to an outpouring of support by animal lovers. Donations were set up and a rescue mission began.

Lava spewing out of the volcano in La Palma three weeks after the initial eruption

But when the drones arrived at the site this week, after receiving permission for the rescue on Tuesday, they were nowhere to be seen.

Instead, the Spanish drone company Aerocameras said it found human footprints at the site and a white banner over a wall.

Although the company said it could not see any writing on the banner, due to it possibly being flipped over by the wind, separate pictures circulating on social media suggests the banner had a messaging assuring that the dogs "are fine", it said.

The drone company believes the dogs have been evacuated by someone else.

Aerocameras posted a photo of apparent human footprints at the site where the dogs were spotted:

The company also posted a photo of a white banner, believed to be flipped over and believed to have a message saying the dogs 'are fine':

Jaime Pereira, CEO of Aerocamaras, said temperature measurements of the site suggests there are relatively cooler areas with parts of dry rock where a person can walk on, so it is possible someone has rescued the dogs.

The dogs were first spotted by an animal adoption agency that was reviewing aerial footage of the area.

They had been given food and water by drones by various companies.