As the bushfires ravaging many parts of Australia are having wide ranging and devastating impacts on local communities, Australia-based international animal charity Vets Beyond Borders is assisting government authorities with animal evacuations and providing care to animals impacted by the fires.
“Countless animals, both domesticated species and wildlife, have died—we cannot bring them back,” VBB director Dr Ian Douglas said.
“However, Australians can and will do all we can to care for survivors, especially sick and injured animals.
“Governments in affected states are responding as fast as they can to the crisis and have deployed veterinarians and allied staff to the fire-grounds. VBB is working with this government response and is providing authorities with appropriately experienced veterinary volunteers from AVERT (VBB’s Australian Veterinary Emergency Response Team) to assist in this work.”
Many hundreds of vets and vet nurses have registered to volunteer with AVERT, with more offers of assistance pouring in every day, from Australia and overseas.
“We sincerely thank everyone who has responded to our call for volunteers. The generosity of the veterinary profession is an inspiration” Dr Douglas said.
In addition to the government-coordinated effort, VBB is also offering support to wildlife rescue groups struggling to provide care to wildlife.
“Whilst VBB is already assisting in government responses through provision of AVERT volunteers, we are also positioned to provide direct support to organisations that will be inundated with sick and injured wildlife,” Dr Douglas said.
VBB is already assisting Adelaide Koala Rescue in South Australia, providing veterinary volunteers to assist them in their work following recent fires in Adelaide Hills.
“We are now contacting groups in other affected regions, to offer the services of our veterinary volunteers and provide financial support to enable the purchase of veterinary supplies, mainly analgesics (pain killing medications), burns dressings, rehydrating fluids and antibiotics,” Dr Douglas added.
“We are keen to hear from organisations that would like the assistance of VBB.”
Animal rescue groups in need of help are asked to contact Vets Beyond Borders on firstname.lastname@example.org