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Taking animals home after floods: what you need to know

AS residents in flood affected areas are returning home, there are some things to remember before taking pets with you.

Chief Veterinary Officer, Biosecurity Queensland, Dr Rick Symons said animals should be returned home only when it is safe to do so.

“As hundreds of people in flood affected areas are picking up their pets from rescue centres to take them home there are important things to consider:

Remove any potentially dangerous debris from the property as it could injure animals.

Make sure accommodation is clean, dry and undamaged so animals can be housed safely.

Make sure animals are not returning to an environment where they may be frightened by noise, activity or strangers.

Provide animals with access to feed or suitable pasture and clean drinking water,” he said.

Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) chief executive Greg Hallam said council staff had been working day and night in partnership with Biosecurity Queensland and the RSPCA over the past week.

“In Brisbane alone about 45 animals have been reunited with their families,’’ Mr Hallam said.

“There are some truly amazing stories of animals surviving the flood. Brisbane animal control officers were even able to deliver a rescued cow that had been washed down from Coominya to Pinkenba back home- thanks to an identification eartag that had been applied allowing quick trace back to the owners.

“We are hearing similar stories across the state as council animal control officers go the extra mile to ensure pets and other animals are reunited with the owners.’’

Mick Pecic from the RSPCA is assuring people that whilst the Fairfield Shelter is not fully functional due to flood damage, the RSPCA will continue to meet community needs.

“RSPCA will continue to respond to sick, trapped and injured animals and our lost and found function is up and running. People can access our services by calling 1300 852 188 for animal emergencies.”

Dr Symons said Biosecurity Queensland had been working with LGAQ and RSPCA around the clock on issues outside of their normal responsibilities, such as taking care of animals in evacuation centres.

“In these emergency situations, it’s all hands on deck – we’re only too happy to assist the RSPCA and local government in local animal welfare issues where we can,” he said.

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