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  • Animals need to remain hydrated during bushfires. Ensure that water is available in heat resistant containers and remember that plastic containers melt in fires. During flood, water sources can become contaminated, make sure that you have a safe source of water for your pets to drink from.

  • Leaving a collar on your dog on high risk day, will help you catch your pet if you have to leave your home in a hurry. Remember that even though your dog may normally love going for trips in the car, during a disaster they may become fearful and nervous. Many owners told us that while they were preparing to escape from the Black Saturday fire front, their animals took fright and ran away before owners could secure them in the car. This resulted in some owners having to leave their animals behind.

  • Do not leave any animals tethered outside. Allowing them to move away from danger will enhance their chances of survival. Remove rugs, fly-veils and halters from horses, as plastic components can melt and metal buckles can burn into the animal's flesh.

  • As soon as it is safe after the fire has passed, check animals for injuries and treat them as soon as possible. Be especially aware that the animals may be suffering from smoke inhalation, the effects of which may only become apparent some hours after exposure. Smoke affected animals may display breathing issues due to irritation of the mouth and throat, affected animals will require softer food than usual.

Animal Evacuation Declaration Form

When the emergency services or aid agencies enter a disaster area they are often walking in to an unknown situation. You can help to make their job easier by letting them know which homes they need to concentrate on and which ones they can pass by.

Use the 'Animal Evacuation Declaration form' to identify if you have evacuated the property and if you have either taken your animals with you or had to leave them behind. This information may prevent rescue workers wasting time looking for animals that have been evacuated. The Declaration should be completed and taped to a window near the front door, where it can be easily seen. Identifying where animals have been left, should they not have been evacuated, this will ensure that they receive assistance as rapidly as possible.

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