Catastrophic fires in South Australia – RSPCA’s response and how you can help affected animals

Like so many South Australians, we’re shocked and saddened by the devastating bushfires gripping our state. Our hearts go out to the people, animals and businesses so badly affected over the past few days, as some fires continue to burn uncontrolled.

On Friday, we at RSPCA were ‘activated’ by Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) to assist with this crisis.

Six of our inspectors have spent a difficult weekend in the Adelaide Hills, assisting communities devastated by the Cudlee Creek fires.

In the video below, you can see Regional Inspector Andre, who drove 4.5 hours from Whyalla so he could be here to lend a helping hand.

Sadly, much of our inspectors’ work thus far has involved humanely euthanasing hundreds of animals, many of them sheep and cattle, that simply could not escape the rapid inferno and were left horribly injured and maimed. The need for this will continue for some time, as animals will need to be reassessed over the coming days and weeks for effects of burns and smoke inhalation.

This is kind of work is terribly difficult for anyone, and especially for our inspectors, who are all true animal lovers. We thank them for their bravery and courage in facing what simply must be done to ease animal suffering.

We’ve also been inundated with calls and emails from you, our supporters, wanting to help both people and animals hard-hit by the fires. Here’s how you can help.

What can I do to help?

At the direction of the State Government, Vinnies SA has now set up a dedicated bushfire appeal to assist affected people. You can donate here.

Glam Adelaide has also collated an extensive list of local businesses and people who have lost so much in the fires, along with specific ways you can support them.

What about animals?

LIVESTOCK: A 24-hour livestock hotline has been set up by PIRSA for those seeking assistance with agistment and/or feed. Call 1800 255 556 or Livestock SA on 8297 2299.

WILDLIFE: South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) are coordinating the wildlife response. You can call their hotline on 0477 055 233.

DOMESTIC PETS: Anyone with pets needing emergency boarding can contact our RSPCA Lonsdale shelter on 1300 477 722 or the Animal Welfare League on 8348 1300 (but please note that space is limited).

If you have any further questions about active bushfires or bushfire safety, you can phone the Bushfire Information Hotline on 1800 362 361.

Thank you all for being such a caring and supportive community. It’s this type of hope and positivity that is so very needed right now.

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