Keep Your animals safe this festive season.
The end of year holiday period brings with it a time of anxiety for those of us who work with companion animals. The holiday period can often be not so merry for our pets. Here is some advice from the New England Regional Companion Animal Shelter manager, Phill Evans, to help you care for your pets over the holidays.
With all the festive fun, avoid the temptation to feed Christmas dinner to your pets. Fat and sugar can upset tummies or lead to more serious conditions such as pancreatitis. Chocolate is toxic to pets – as are sultanas, onions, grapes and macadamias. If you buy gifts for your pets, make sure they are both safe and non-toxic.
For those planning on taking a holiday and not taking their pets with them, it is not okay to leave them home alone and hope they would fend for themselves.
“If they can’t get a boarding spot, they need to take them with them or arrange someone to babysit them. You can’t leave your pet on its own,” Phill Evans said.
If you are caring for the pets of friends or family, make sure you let owners know and contact the shelter if the pet goes missing.
Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers Inc is looking forward to another year of helping ‘the orphaned and injured’, relocating animals that have been found in unsafe areas. This group of volunteers has been operating since 1981, and currently has 90 members throughout the Tablelands. Many kilometres are travelled each year to save animals. Asked why these people do this, one carer recently said, “It’s extremely rewarding to learn so much about Australian wildlife. It’s tough sometimes, and I love my kids growing up thinking that living with wildlife is just how it is. Saving a baby echidna or ‘Puggle’ is something we’ll never forget”.
Northern Tablelands Wildlife Carers
NTWC contributes heavily to the communities of the Northern Tablelands by assistance with the following issues:
Indian Minah removal programs, as these pest birds compete aggressively with native birds for nesting sites; providing advice and support for solving issues of keeping Brush-tailed Possums from roof spaces and suggesting residents prevent Brush-tail Possums entering heater and stove flues by surrounding the cap with wire mesh; rescue of animals from gardens when dogs have attacked them, including harmless blue-tongue lizards; and monitoring and rescue of koalas from towns when they are threatened by dogs and traffic.
Volunteers are required to do training courses to equip them with the right information and confidence to care for different types of wildlife. This year, NTWC will conduct a ‘kangaroo and wallaby joey care day’ in the second week in January. New members are very welcome, as there are a variety of roles needed to help the group.
Please call 1800 008 290 or visit visit www.ntwc.org.au for wildlife advice and assistance.
(The NSW Wildlife information Education Service Inc.) is the largest wildlife rescue organisation in Australia. The New England branch of WIRES, established in April 1989, provides a 24 hour a day rescue service for native wildlife in a region extending from Tenterfield to the north, Bendemeer to the south, Ebor to the east and Inverell to the west. The branch is run by a small number of volunteers, who provide their time and much of the expense in caring for rescued animals and birds.
All species of native animals and birds are cared for, and the rescues are many and varied: animals involved in road accidents, entangled in fences, caught in chimneys, attacked by domestic pets, poisonings, disease outbreaks or relocations.
The network of animal carers in various organisations throughout Australia provide valuable front line information in wildlife disease detection and diagnosis. The New England branch is most grateful for all the local support over the years and for all the caring people in our community who take the time to stop and help animals in distress.
The branch is in need of more members and donations. Prospective members can attend a 2- day basic training course, usually at Armidale.
More specialists courses are available for the care of birds, marsupials, koalas, reptiles and raptors. See www.wires.org.au for more information.