RSPCA NSW has hit the road to help wounded and injured animals in bushfire-affected communities as part of its $2.6 million emergency response fund.
The mobile animal welfare response unit is making its way down the NSW South Coast this week to places including Batemans Bay, Moruya, Cobargo and Eden, before travelling inland to Cooma and Goulburn.
RSPCA NSW staff will be in a position to respond to emergency calls as they are equipped with satellite phones and personal protective equipment such as breathing apparatuses.
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said the new mobile welfare unit is another step forward to help animals in disaster zones across the state.
“RSPCA NSW was established 147 years ago to help animals in need, and now we are in a strong position to manage future disasters with the rollout of the RSPCA NSW animal welfare response unit,” he said.
“This mobile unit will provide more communities and their animals with immediate care on the ground when they need it the most.”
The program was launched by NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday, 1 June, and is on top of the $1.3 million already spent by RSPCA NSW on the ground.
The money was used to help rescue and treat injured animals as well as support animal owners by providing food and pet supplies; emergency vet treatment and advice; evacuation support; temporary fencing and shelter; medicine; and flea and tick treatment.
“It was not long ago that we saw the worst bushfires in Australia’s history rip through our state, destroying thousands of homes and leaving communities on their knees,” said Mr Barilaro.
“The RSPCA has already done some amazing work on the ground, visiting more than 80 towns during the fires and distributing more than four tonnes of animal food to help feed countless hungry, displaced pet animals and livestock.
“It is also important that the furrier members of the family, or other farm animals, get the emergency support they need in disaster situations.”
The Black Summer bushfires killed an estimated one billion animals as ferocious fires burnt away habitats and left animals without any food or shelter.
RSPCA NSW has also committed $2.4 million to a series of robust and long-term partnerships with wildlife organisations to protect and rehabilitate native animals across the state.
For more bushfire relief updates, visit the RSPCA NSW website.