Local NAB helps bushfire-injured wildlife

SEARED: Thousands of sheep were burnt during the Pinery bushfire last year.
SEARED: Thousands of sheep were burnt during the Pinery bushfire last year.

A group of volunteers rehabilitating Pinery bushfire-injured wildlife recently received a helping hand, with Nuriootpa's National Australia Bank (NAB) donating $8000 to assist the hurt animals. 

The local branch donated the money to the not-for-profit organisation, South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM), which will help volunteers rehabilitating displaced and injured wildlife and domestic animals.

“The Pinery bushfires have had a devastating impact on the local community,” said Karen Patty, NAB Nuriootpa branch manager.

“Our thoughts have been with all of our customers and employees in the impacted areas and we are here to support them. 

“We commend the efforts of SAVEM for providing the highest level of veterinary care for injured wildlife and companion animals. We are proud to support their valuable work.”

SAVEM works with Primary Industries and Regions South Australia (PIRSA) to respond to natural disasters and hazards involving wildlife, companion animals, livestock and horses.

Currently, volunteers are working to assist animals including kangaroos, possums, cats, dogs, horses and cattle to recover from smoke inhalation, shock and severe burns sustained during the Pinery fire.

SAVEM founder and president Rachel Westcott said the money would be used to purchase veterinary medication and dressings, along with state-of-the-art pole syringes and darting guns, making it safer and more effective for volunteers to administer medical care to animals.

“When the Country Fire Service gave us the all clear after the fire, SAVEM volunteers were immediately on the ground rescuing injured animals and providing emergency veterinary care,” she said. 

“Many animals will require ongoing care and medication before they can be released or reunited with their families, with others spending weeks and months in constant care.

“After the Pinery bushfire, and the Sampson Flat bushfire the previous year, our supplies are in need of replenishment. We have identified some essential equipment we would like to purchase that is necessary for us to continue our work.”

Following last year’s Pinery bushfire, NAB created a Community Recovery Fund, raising $150,000 for community organisations that lost infrastructure and/or assets in the fires.

“We are overwhelmed by the generous financial assistance from NAB, which will help us treat animals injured in the Pinery bushfire, but also better prepare for future incidents. This grant will make a big difference,” Ms Westcott said. 

NAB is also collecting donations for Red Cross, both over-the-counter in NAB branches as well as through internet banking. Nearly $15,000 has been collected to date.