Animal Welfare League NSW provides care to injured animals in the wake of the bush fire crisis

Animal Welfare League NSW's Dan Naethuys, president Dr David Hope, Chloe Crass, Dr Sophie Baron and Manning Great Lakes branch president Marg Steel with the mobile clinic at Taree Showground. Photo: Rob Douglas.
Animal Welfare League NSW's Dan Naethuys, president Dr David Hope, Chloe Crass, Dr Sophie Baron and Manning Great Lakes branch president Marg Steel with the mobile clinic at Taree Showground. Photo: Rob Douglas.

In the wake of the bush fire crisis in the Mid Coast area, Animal Welfare League (AWL) NSW debuted its mobile clinic service at Taree Showground.

The clinic, a B-double truck, included a surgical room, holding cages and works spaces. This allowed veterinarians and veterinarian nurses to provide free assistance to animals injured in the bush fires.

The charity's Chloe Crass said "it's a self-sufficient vet clinic on wheels."

"We are here for the welfare of animals so now all we need to do is roll into a showground," Ms Crass said.

"There's nothing like this in Australia."

The team arrived in the Manning on Tuesday, November 26 to provide treatment at the showground or to make house calls.

Dr Sophie Baron treated cows, ponies and other livestock for burns to their hoofs, udders and backs or other injuries.

"We have started the treatment for them," Dr Baron said.

"They (animals) have been prescribed antibiotics to avoid infections and we also have advice for the owners."

Others to lend a hand included AWL NSW president Dr David Hope and chief executive officer Mark Slater.

On Thursday, veterinarians visited owners who were unable to transport their animals.

An owner, who lost two dogs in the fires, received assistance with her cattle while a person at Hillville, who lost their home, called on the team to treat five alpacas.

Cattle was also assessed at an Old Bar property by Dr Hope and Dr Baron.

The service wasn't just for animals impacted by the fires.

"It doesn't just have to be for burns, we are treating animals who are affected by drought," Ms Crass said.

We are here for the welfare of animals so now all we need to do is roll into a showground

Chloe Crass, Animal Welfare League NSW

"We can provide micro-chipping or vaccinations to ease the burden on those doing it tough."

A litter of seven Great Dane pups, who presented to the showground on Thursday, were vaccinated and micro-chipped.

Veterinarians also castrated bull calves at an Old Bar property.

AWL NSW Great Lakes Manning president Marg Steel said the mobile clinic's visit to the area was promptly organised.

"I'm so excited they're here when we look at where it started," Ms Steel said.

"To have them in our branch area was wonderful."

Previously, the charity relied on local clinics to supply equipment and rooms for vaccinations, micro-chipping, desexing and check ups.

"It's about making respectable pet ownership affordable," Ms Crass said.

It has visited rural areas such as Moree and Orange for vaccination drives. These trips will be made easier by the introduction of the mobile clinic.

The mobile clinic wasn't suppose to roll out until December or January but the charity saw the need of the local community and brought the date forward.

"It's a bit of a trial but it has been good," the charity's Dan Naethuys said.

"There's been about four months work on it."

The team is hopeful of continuing the service further up the coast next week.

"Because we have the B-double, we can't drive directly into fire zones so we need to set up at an evacuation point," Ms Crass explained.

The team headed back to Sydney today (November 29) but is hopeful of returning to the area in March for the local branch's 40th anniversary celebration.

As the charity relies on public fund raising and donations, residents are encouraged to give what they can.

Visit the AWL NSW website for more details.