'We Need Your Help': Animal Shelter Seeks Possible Foster Carers Amid Bushfire Crisis
An RSPCA volunteer shelter in the NSW Blue Mountains is calling for help to get animals to safety if the catastrophic bushfire conditions escalate.
At least 60 cats and dogs need to find a new home for at least the next 48 hours as the risk of bushfire skyrockets in the area.
If the Blue Mountains shelter is forced to evacuate there simply isn't enough room for staff to take on all of the animals so they are pleading for public help.
"We’re right in the middle of the bush -- there is one road in and one road out, so we are in trouble if there is a fire," Shelter Manager Rose Horton told 10 daily.
"It’s better to be safe than sorry so we’re hoping that we can evacuate some of these animals and put them into safe homes," she said.
The initial plea for help was made on Facebook on Monday.
"With [today's] Catastrophic Fire warning the shelter may need to evacuate its animals to safety, and needs your help to do it!" RSPCA staff wrote.
Caitlin Arundale was among those who heard the plea. She dropped into the RSPCA on Tuesday morning to help a puppy needed a foster home.
“I got my second dog from here when she was 10 weeks old, she’s almost two now and they were really awesome with her so I wanted to help out," she told 10 daily.
She's called on other pet lovers in the region and with room in their homes, to take one as well.
“I think we should try and help those who can’t help themselves and I don’t think these poor animals have to suffer because of what’s going on," Arundale said.
Mollie McGregor and her housemate Liam Nelson also heard the plea on social media.
They too had received rescue pets from the very same shelter and wanted to give back.
"We’re helping out one dog for the day… to get them out of the heat and away from danger," McGregor told 10 daily.
“I adopted some dogs from these guys earlier in the year so I wanted to give back… I got a lot of love from my dogs that I got here”.
Horton has urged all pet owners in bushfire-prone areas to evacuate with their pets ahead of Tuesday afternoon's worsening conditions.
"Always be prepared for conditions like this," she said.
"It’s better to be safe than sorry. If you can evacuate and evacuate with your pets that’ what we are encouraging people to do. Don’t wait around if you have a place to take your animals, take them now," Horton said.
Anyone in the area, who is available, is being urged to contact the shelter on (02) 4782 2674.
Pets aren't the only animals that need help, wildlife is in trouble too.
The Companion Animal Project, based in Mout Gravatt, Queensland, but with drop-off locations in NSW as well, is calling for urgent public help.
"Animals are POURING in: injured, dehydrated & suffering from smoke inhalation," the group posted to Facebook.
"Rescues & Wildlife Hospitals cannot keep up! We need you to help us support the carers & animals through the hell they face in the coming weeks & months," they continued, alongside a list of essential products needed.
"Please note we are not taking cash, just the items above that the carers are most in need of.".
Where to donate and help wildlife during the bushfire crisis: