The sick, injured and lost animals that survived the Lockyer Valley flood found refuge at a temporary Noah’s Ark – The University of Queensland‘s Veterinary Medical Centre at the Gatton campus.
A dedicated veterinary team fed, washed, provided medical treatment and comfort to 35 dogs, 20 birds, 10 cats, seven horses, 2 rats, 2 quails, 5 guinea pigs and 2 Siamese fighting fish during the past week and is still receiving animals. There was no mention of a partridge.
The UQ Veterinary School relocated to the Gatton campus last year, and its new Veterinary Medical Centre was well placed for providing assistance to the flooded Lockyer Valley.
Senior veterinarian at the UQ Small Animal Hospital, Adjunct Professor Bob Doneley, the only small animal vet left on the Gatton campus on Monday night when the flood hit, offered the Lockyer Valley Council the services of the hospital to provide shelter and medical care to animals on Tuesday due to the electricity and water supply at the council’s pound being unreliable.
They came one by one – dogs covered in mud, cats terrified from their ordeal and horses that had worn down their hooves swimming for up to 30 hours to stay afloat.
With an influx of animals to the hospital, a call went out for people to donate food for the animals.
Dr Doneley said the PETstock shop in Toowoomba donated almost five tonnes of food and flea products, and another five tonnes came from public donations all over the Lockyer Valley. A butcher donated a large bag of bones to keep the dogs occupied during their enforced cage rest.
“We also had up to 20 people from Gatton and surrounding small towns volunteer to help care for the animals. We ran two-shifts each day with volunteers helping feed animals, walk dogs and clean out their housing,” Dr Doneley said.
“We were also able to donate some of the food to the evacuation centres where people were staying with their pets.”
The team that worked with Dr Doneley at the Small Animal Hospital included the hospital’s Margaret Day, Frances Purnell-Webb and Shae Tucker; and vet school students Carley Simonetta, Julia Dowsett and Genevieve Paine.
At the equine hospital the team included Dr Andrew Van Eps, Dr Susan Keane, Dr Philippe Manchon, Dr Steve Zedler, Dr Claire Underwood, Rebecca Johnson, Kylie Semple, Kate Hertrick,Trent Dawson, David Manchon and Natasha Curlew.
Some of the animals have been reunited with their owners, but the Small Animal Hospital continues to receive animals that are found.
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