The news over the last 3 weeks has been full of the devastating effects of the bushfires around the country – not only damage to people and property but the heartbreaking vision of our wildlife woes. Koalas and kangaroos in distress feature heavily on some of the news programs and the estimated number of deaths in our wildlife populations is truly horrendous.
At Gawler Animal Hospital, we’ve had our share of distressed animals to deal with. Some recovered, some didn’t , sadly. The majority of these animals presented to us were Koalas suffering from heat stress and dehydration. Much like with domestic pets, if we are able to start treatment early, we have a much better chance of success. If we don’t get them early enough, however, they often go into kidney failure.
It’s been heartwarming to see the number of people offering to help with the wildlife care since the fires went through our area. This ranges from monetary donations through to offering practical help. Several of our staff (both vets and nurses) have volunteered their time at a temporary hospital set up by the Adelaide Koala Rescue group. Koalas make up the bulk of the patients there. The encouraging news is that a number of these affected pets have been treated successfully. There has been a massive response from the South Australian veterinary community in helping man shelters such as this.
A bit closer to home, we’ve set up a fund-raiser of our own so that we can do a bit more to assist. We’ve set up a raffle for any clients who wish to make a contribution – there’s a basket of goodies for the lucky winner valued at over $200. We’re also donating all proceeds from our hydrobath dogwash through the remainder of this month. Any funds raised will be going towards the Kangaroo Island Wildlife Park. Please support this fund-raising effort, if you can – it’s a very worthwhile cause.
In the meantime, if you come across any injured or distressed animals, please don’t hesitate to either call us for help on 8522 3500 or (if you feel confident) just bring them in (a large bath-towel can be very helpful in wrapping them up).