Rescue drivers needed to support North Queensland wildlife

Wildlife Volunteering Animals Posted Oct 9, 2023
With bushfire season upon us, the need for volunteer Animal Rescue Drivers to assist RSPCA Queensland with animal welfare operations in the state's far north has never been greater.

In built-up areas like Townsville, Animal Rescue Driver numbers are low which stretches the resources of people like Petal Walker, a long-serving volunteer rescue driver.

Ms Walker said she and her husband Rob were incredibly busy responding to incidents involving both pets and farm animals.

"I have rescued everything in my time here from dogs, cats and poultry to exotic birds and Blue-tongued lizards."

Over the Monarch's Birthday long weekend, Petal and Rob responded to 6 jobs from Ayr to Bushland Beach ranging from a Cockatiel, which was found entangled in string in a tree, to a Wallaby joey caught in a fence.

The joey had wounds on its legs but was otherwise in very good condition. It was taken to a vet, triaged and is now with a wildlife carer.

RSPCA Queensland Animal Care Coordinator Nicola Carlisle said as the weather heats up there is an increase in the number of animals affected by the conditions, "Our volunteer rescue drivers provide around-the-clock and vital care for animals."

Thousands of animals are saved and given the care they urgently need thanks to the help provided by our incredible volunteers. Every year, RSPCA volunteers donate a whopping 340,000 hours of their time to the cause.

If you can join the fight to save our wildlife, you can help as an Animal Rescuer with the RSPCA. There are shifts available every day of the week in four hour or eight-hour blocks.

Rescue drivers respond to calls for assistance sent to the RSPCA Rescue Unit. They help collect and transport animals to a nearby vet. Animals commonly rescued include birds, dogs, cats, and more.

The RSPCA team provides all the training you need for the role. If you have a friend or partner that also wants to help, they can assist you on road during your rescue shift too.

Volunteering might just change your life, we know its changed ours, and certainly changes the lives of animals in our care. Apply to become an RSPCA volunteer.

If you find a sick or injured animal, contact the RSPCA on 1300 ANIMAL (1300 264 625). Our 24/7 RSPCA Animal Emergency Hotline can offer advice over the phone. Our Rescue Officers may be able to attend via an RSPCA Animal Ambulance to rescue the animal, if equipped and in the area.

Jacobbe McBride
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