By Meredith Ayan, Executive Director
One year after the Australian Bushfires made headlines around the world, SPCA International is celebrating the incredible work our partners have accomplished. I am so thankful that our supporters stood up to help organizations in Australia when they were rescuing scared, hurt and displaced animals in early 2020.
At the time, our commitment included a promise to reserve some funding for rebuilding and preparedness efforts. I am thrilled to report that our strategy continues to make a positive impact for the animals of Australia.
Native Arc is just one of the organizations to receive bushfire preparedness funding. They organized the Wildlife Rescue Team to react to future bushfires and other natural disasters. Recently, their planning was put to the test in response to a bushfire north of Perth.
The fire has destroyed 86 homes, and farm animals, pets and wildlife have reportedly lost their lives. Fortunately, Wildlife Rescue Team was immediately invited by the government to organize animal rescue and treatment efforts. For the first time in history, they brought a methodical approach to wildlife rescue that included a preemptive approach to rescue. This included a phone number for reporting missing and found animals and coordination with firefighters, police and first responders on a protocol for getting injured animals into proper care.
Wildlife Rescue Team has made new inroads with the Australian government through their careful planning and quick response to this bushfire and we expect they will be called on to coordinate animal rescue responses in the future. This is critically important for the health and safety of animals because too often, an organized animal rescue response is not implemented for days or even weeks.
I look forward to sharing more about Wildlife Rescue Team’s work with you in the future. For now, thank you to everyone who supported SPCA International’s 2020 Australian bushfire response. Your support made this grant possible and has changed the future for Australia’s wildlife.