Animals left after owners evacuate
THE sick, injured and lost animals that survived the devastating Lockyer Valley flood found refuge at The University of Queensland's (UQ) Veterinary Medical Centre at the Gatton campus.
A dedicated veterinary team fed, washed, provided medical treatment and comfort to 35 dogs, 20 birds, 10 cats, seven horses, two rats, two quails, five guinea pigs and two Siamese fighting fish throughout the past week and was still receiving animals.
Lockyer Valley Regional Council Animal Control Team Leader, Darryl Simpson, said rumours that all animals not claimed by the end of January would be euthanised, was false.
“This is not the case and our plan is to keep those animals in the council's care until, where possible, they can be reunited with their owners,” he said.
“If there are those that can't be reunited with their owners then, where suitable, they will rehomed and rehoused.
“This claim by date is just for our computer system and I think it's important that even in a normal situation, the animals often stay in council's care long after the claim by date.”
He said 100 animals had been rescued from the Grantham area in the past week.
“Since the day of the flood, the council decided not to charge any person for animals that have come in,” he said.
“Normally they would be up for impound fees and other fees but there is not charge at all and the animals are given vet checks and treatment as required as well as vaccinations and being housed free of charge.
“We are, at this point, seeing owners reunited with their pets on a daily basis, which is remarkable considering a lot of these owners have no idea how their pets survived when there were some doubts as to whether they would.”
Senior veterinarian at the UQ Small Animal Hospital, Adjunct Professor Bob Doneley, the only small animal vet left on the Gatton campus on Monday night when the flood hit, offered the Lockyer Valley Council the services of the hospital to provide shelter and medical care to animals on Tuesday due to the electricity and water supply at the council's pound being unreliable.
“The council's animal management officers did an amazing job searching houses and buildings for animals that had survived the flood,” he said. “In some cases they had to rescue animals from houses that had completely collapsed.” Dr Doneley said the PETstock shop in Toowoomba donated almost five tonnes of food and flea products, and another five tonnes came from public donations all over the Lockyer Valley. The Forest Hill butcher donated a large bag of bones to keep the dogs occupied during their enforced cage rest. “We also had up to 20 people from Gatton and surrounding small towns volunteer to help care for the animals. ,”he said. Anyone interested in fostering a pet can contact UQ's Small Animal Hospital at Gatton on (07) 5460 1788.