Two staff with a possum rescued from the fire, before going to a WIRES carer. (Supplied: Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital)
A Sutherland Shire veterinary hospital has been overwhelmed with injured wildlife and household pets after throwing open its doors to animals of owners impacted by the Sydney bushfires.
Kirrawee Veterinary Hospital put out a call on Facebook this morning for pet owners who were protecting their houses from the fires to bring their animals to the facility, saying they would be looked after for free for up to 48 hours.
Hospital director Simon Ilkin said the response from impacted residents was immediate.
“We filled up our capacity almost immediately, and unfortunately because we are one of the only vets in the Shire open on a Sunday, we have been trying to contact other clinics to see if they can help too,” he said.
The vet’s generosity inspired fellow Sydneysiders to follow his lead, offering up their own yards for animals large and small.
Locals posted offers to look after horses and dogs in their houses and yards, asking residents to contact them if they needed help.
“That’s the great thing about social media, once you get the message out there, people are more than happy to offer their help if they are able to as well,” Dr Ilkin said.
“We don’t have a facility for large animals so if we can get people in touch that are happy to look after large animals like horses, that’s great.”
About 20 pets were brought to the veterinary hospital from bushfire-affected residents, predominantly dogs and cats.
But the clinic, which is up to 15 minutes drive from the bushfires, has also been receiving injured wildlife during the bushfire.
“We’ve had tons of wildlife brought in and quite a few injured and hurt animals,” Dr Ilkin said
“We support WIRES (Wildlife Information, Rescue and Education Service) and Sydney Wildlife Rescue, and since this is one of those events that affects native animals, we’ve unfortunately had a lot of wildlife brought in.
“Plenty of birds and even an echidna.”