Floods 2022: Helping animals and pet owner tips

Posted Mar 4, 2022
How can you help animals after natural disasters, tips for pet owners returning home, and floodwater dangers

What a year it has been and it’s only March! In 2019-20 we were dealing with the aftermath of bushfires and their devastating effect on wildlife, people and their pets. Now we’ve seen severe flooding and storms in Queensland and NSW. So how can you help animals in need right now?

RSPCA Op Shop in Gympie Flooded

RSPCA Op Shop in Gympie was completely submerged in the Floods

Tips for helping wildlife after the floods

  1. If you’ve found an injured or sick wild animal, contact the RSPCA 1300 ANIMAL Hotline (1300 264 625). We have a 24/7 service and our team can offer advice over the phone, send out an RSPCA Animal Ambulance out for rescue if we are in your area, or advise local rescue groups closest to you.
  2. Animals will likely be in shock and distress following severe weather events, don’t put yourself in harm’s way to rescue them if not safe to do so.
  3. If you can easily contain smaller injured animals, keep them secure and dry until help can arrive or take them to your local vet.  
  4. Watch the roads! After natural disasters displaced animals may turn up in odd places seeking refuge. Here are more tips for driving safely with wildlife around.
  5. Keep your pets inside or secure at dawn and dusk when a lot of native animals are out and about.
  6. Learn about pouch checking deceased wildlife here.

If you’d like to donate items such as towels, blankets and fresh fruit and veg to our RSPCA Wildlife Hospital, these donations are greatly appreciated to help our veterinary and Rescue Units on the road. You can also make a monetary donation to our emergency appeal here.

Tips for helping pets after the floods

We want to see pets and their families together for life and we completely understand the hardship pet owners are facing right now with their homes lost. If you’d like to donate items to help, you can drop donated goods to your nearest RSPCA shelter and our Inspectors and Community Outreach team will distribute these to those impacted by the floods.

Tips for pet owners returning home after floods

  1. Look for debris and clear hazards before taking your pets home. Check your fencing too.
  2. Ensure you have a clean, dry and undamaged area to house your pet while you disinfect and clean your home. Flood water can cause disease, learn more below!
  3. Excess noise when returning home can cause distress to your pets. If possible, consider bringing your pets home after repairs and rubbish have been removed.
  4. Ensure your pets have access to clean water and food from uncontaminated sources.
  5. Monitor the health and safety of your pet when home. If you have any concerns, contact your local vet.
  6. Settle your pet back into their normal routine as best you can to keep them happy and healthy.

The amazing clean up team in Gympie

The dangers of floodwaters and your animal’s health and safety

Floodwaters can carry disease for people and their animals.

Water-borne diseases can be present such as leptospirosis, E. coli, and Salmonella which can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Ensure your pets and livestock have access to clean drinking water.

Throw out any pet food and livestock feed that has gotten wet, they can be a health hazard and are unsafe to eat.

Parasitic worms are also more prevalent during and after floods like giardia, hookworm, roundworms and fleas. Keep your pet’s worming and flea treatments up to date to keep them protected.

If your pet is showing signs of vomiting, diarrhoea, illness or dermatitis, contact your local vet for medical attention.

Livestock after floods can show signs of lameness, infection or injury from standing in water for extended periods of time. They are subject to experience hoof problems so contact your local vet immediately for treatment if you notice these symptoms.

Once you’ve returned home, empty out any water containers and refill with clean water. Mosquitos will be breeding in stagnant areas and also in shallow pools of water. Ensure your pets are up to date with their heartworm preventatives as mosquitoes carry this deadly disease.

Emma Lagoon
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