Local organisation Canberra Pet Rescue has branched out to help those affected by the ongoing bushfire crisis.
Usually, the Canberra Pet Rescue volunteers would dedicate their time to rescuing cats and dogs from ‘death row’, but the organisation has recently also taken on a bushfire appeal, delivering animal feed, supplies and veterinary services to areas in need, for wildlife, livestock and domestic animals.
Volunteer Carolyn Mueller said the organisation mobilised quickly when the bushfires struck, and volunteers have been making daily trips to affected areas since Christmas. So far, the team have made deliveries to Nerriga, Braidwood, Tallaganda, Charleys Forest, Araluen, Mongarlowe, Monga, Tomboye, Cobargo and Yowrie, and have received requests for help from areas as far as Batlow and the Snowy Mountains.
“Now that the fires seem to have died down a bit for the moment… were starting to move from response mode to recover mode,” Ms Mueller said.
“If we couldn’t get into a dangerous area, we’d either have the RFS escort us or they’d take the provisions in for us. We’re now at a point where we can get to most areas. We’re using Braidwood RFS as a base, so we can get out there and people can get in to pick [supplies] up.”
She said the organisation runs entirely on volunteer power, and is a registered charity, so people can be assured “every cent they donate is actually going to the animals… Our focus is very much on response and recovery”.
Canberra Pet Rescue is now urgently seeking donations of funds to allow them to purchase animal and livestock feed and wildlife waterers, as well as the use of a 4WD vehicle to travel into rural areas to provide assistance.
“We are reaching out to the Canberra community and businesses in the hope that someone will be able to donate a suitable vehicle for this urgent and vital work,” Ms Mueller said.
“Any wildlife that have escaped the fires are now at risk of dying from thirst and starvation… Wildlife are probably at the most risk at the moment.”
At the time of writing, the appeal had raised over $54,000 of its $100,000 goal.
For more information or to donate to Canberra Pet Rescue, visit canberrapetrescue.org.au/bushfireappeal