A huge range of injured animals were treated by a veterinary disaster response team from Sydney Animal Hospitals in conjunction with World Vets in bushfire affected areas of the South Coast of NSW.
The team worked with local vets, who are already struggling with loss of property and personally and professionally demanding conditions.
Dr Ben Brown travelled with a small team of vets and a nurse to assist local veterinarians and government vets in the area around Bega, Cobargo and Eden.
They left Sydney on January 7 with a ute and sedan filled with $15,000 worth of animal health supplies such as pain relief, burns creams and bandages and antibiotics.
‘This is an unfolding human and animal disaster that will take many months to resolve’, said Dr Brown.
Dr Ben volunteers his time with World Vets on a regular basis.
‘Personally, I’m overwhelmed at the loss of life, both animal and human, I feel we all have a personal duty to do what we can to help.’
The team began their assessments at an evacuation centre set up for families that were forced to leave their homes, many of which have been lost to the blazes. Included in that family are cats and dogs that also fled the rapidly moving fires.
The evacuation was stressful for a lot of pets.
“We (saw) a lot of onset of symptoms of smoke inhalation and evidence of burns in cats, dogs, horses, cattle and the native wildlife, including a wallaby which was treated for severe burns on the feet.”
Dr Ben has set up a GoFundMe page with ALL FUNDS go directly towards the purchase of veterinary supplies for affected areas. Vets and nurses are donating their time and will not receive any funds; www.gofundme.com/f/sydney-animal-hospitalsworld-vets-disaster-relief?utm_