While Victorians are learning to cope with the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, RSPCA Victoria continues to offer support to those people and animals affected by the summer bushfires. The relief and recovery effort has been made possible by the generous donations made to RSPCA Victoria’s Bushfire Appeal.
RSPCA Victoria’s initial response to the bushfire emergency included support by the way of practical recovery efforts with animals along with food and veterinary supplies. Support was also provided to evacuees at relief centres along with transport and shelter for affected animals. The Mobile Animal Care Unit was deployed to triage injured wildlife in East Gippsland and a dedicated bushfire hotline was established.
While taking the lead on pet welfare in Victoria during the bushfires, RSPCA Victoria also supported other agencies to continue their work with commercial livestock and wildlife. Anyone affected by the bushfires is still encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria where the team is ready and waiting to help individuals care for their domestic pets, horses and livestock on hobby farms. The following types of assistance are available.
– Providing pet food and essential supplies
– Providing fodder for horses and livestock on hobby farms
– Subsidising necessary veterinary care for animals
– Other assistance that may be required at this time
Ian Sumpter, RSPCA Victoria’s Community Outreach Manager, is concerned about the pressure the pandemic adds to the lives of those who only months ago were devastated by the bushfires.
“We know that animals are vitally important for people, especially during times of need and we want to do everything we can to provide the much needed support that will allow people to continue to care for and enjoy their animals during this stressful time, and beyond.
“We’re continuing to provide support to bushfire affected communities, assisting in their recovery through animal welfare initiatives and through harnessing the positive influence that animals have on human health,” said Mr Sumpter.
As bushfire affected communities continue along the road of recovery, anyone needing assistance with their animals is encouraged to contact RSPCA Victoria.
In addition to helping individuals, RSPCA Victoria is working with other organisations assisting with the bushfire recovery and increasing preparedness for future disasters.
Contact the RSPCA Victoria bushfire support line on 03 9224 2222 or via the contact form at www.rspcavic.org/BushfireSupport.