Pet owners encouraged to seek support & supplies from roving RSPCA team
An RSPCA South Australia team dedicated to helping people with pets affected by bushfires is now travelling around Kangaroo Island.
Stuart Timmins, who manages RSPCA South Australia’s commercial operations at the organisation’s Lonsdale animal shelter, and his brother Craig, an RSPCA South Australia volunteer, have hit the road with a van loaded with pet-care supplies.
“We’re like a travelling pet supplies shop,” Stuart said.
“Except everything we have on board is free for those pet owners who’ve been affected by these bushfires.”
Apart from dog and cat food, the van contains collars, leads, food and water bowls, medication, cat litter trays, birdseed and chicken feed. Slabs of water can also be delivered if required.
“We have about everything you need if you have domestic animals, and if we don’t have what you need then we will do our best to get it,” Stuart said.
The team is also assisting in the transport of injured animals to the main triage centre, located at the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park in Parndana. Veterinary teams from RSPCA South Australia and SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) are coordinating efforts to save as many animals as possible that have survived the bushfires. Dozens of koalas are under treatment at the centre, along with wallabies, a possum and an echidna.
Today a fresh team from RSPCA South Australia arrived to takeover wildlife recovery work from the original team, which has been operating on the island since last Thursday. The new team comprises chief veterinarian Dr Brad Ward and rescue officer Brigitte Pitman (both of whom have decades of experience in wildlife care) and inspector Gary Chown, who will be assisting veterinary care and animal rescue in the fire-grounds.
RSPCA South Australia chief inspector Andrea Lewis, who spent yesterday assisting the team on the island, said expert staff will continue to be deployed for as long as they are required.
Ms Lewis said seeing the scale of damage firsthand was shocking.
“The valuable habitat that has been destroyed is beyond comprehension,” Ms Lewis said.
“It will be a long road to recovery for the community on Kangaroo Island and, like many groups, RSPCA SA is keen to do all it can for those who have been affected.
“We are extremely proud to be part of such a tireless and compassionate team of people, all working together to do all we can for these poor animals.”
Anyone with domestic pets affected by the Kangaroo Island fires who needs supplies can contact RSPCA South Australia’s Media Relations Manager Carolyn Jones on 0411 646 076.
Donations can be made at:
For more information about RSPCA South Australia’s response to the bushfires –
Koalas recovering at triage centre – Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park, Parndana.
BACKGROUND: The western half of Kangaroo Island was home to approximately 25,000 koalas. The island has Australia’s only chlamydia-free koalas. Koalas brought from the island to the mainland are not allowed to return as a measure to ensure the island remains free of the infectious bacteria which, while not usually fatal, can severely impact a koala’s health