RSPCA Victoria is calling all animal owners affected by the bushfires and agencies needing assistance with animal care needs to reach out in the wake of bushfires devastating the state.
A dedicated bushfire hotline will be available seven days a week for people to contact RSPCA Victoria about their pets, horses and hobby farm animals who have been affected by the fires.
Acting CEO Tegan McPherson said that the organisation will take the lead on pet welfare, while supporting other agencies to continue their work with commercial livestock and wildlife.
“These fires have had, and will continue to have, a significant impact on the welfare of pets, wildlife and livestock in Victoria,” said Ms McPherson.
“We are continuing to gather data about where we are most needed. So, if Victorians need help with their animals we encourage them to call our hotline so that we can provide assistance.
“Whether it’s food, water, shelter, property visits or basic pet care supplies like collars and leads to get you back on your feet, we are here for the pets and people of Victoria – now and in the months to come.”
RSPCA Victoria is currently working on an agile model of support including:
– Subsidising veterinary care for animals during the bushfire recovery period – this may include services at clinics or veterinary visits to properties;
– Providing fodder for people with horses who need support – this may include covering the cost of supply and/or delivery via local stock agents;
– Providing water for animals whose owners are not being assisted by other agencies.
– In the future RSPCA Victoria will also work to improve emergency infrastructure, run education programs to support recovery and will continue to work with other agencies as per our role in the Victorian Emergency Animal Welfare Plan.
The relief and recovery effort will be made possible by donations made to RSPCA Victoria’s Bushfire Appeal.
“We are in awe of the support we have received from the community. So far, we have supported evacuees at relief centres, provided transport and shelter for affected pets and deployed our Mobile Animal Care Unit to triage over 70 injured wildlife in East Gippsland,” said Ms McPherson.
“We are now planning how we will use the remaining funds to support animal welfare in affected communities during the recovery phase. Providing immediate support to people and animals in need is our first step.”
Those who need support with their animals can contact the RSPCA Victoria bushfire support line on 03 9224 2222 or fill out the contact form here: https://rspcavic.org/services/emergency-assistance/bushfire-assistance-request.