Noble viewers, welcome to Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. Today we’ll find out about two devoted Australian animal-rescue groups, Animal Rescue Queensland and Wildcare Australia, who in early 2011 saved many flood-affected animals in the South East region of Queensland, Australia.

From December 2010 until February 2011, heavy rains fell in Queensland producing some of the worst flooding in the state’s history. As a result, 52% or 905,000 square kilometers of the state was underwater and three-fourths of Queensland was declared a disaster zone.

Over 200,000 people and at least 70 towns were affected, with 35 losing their lives and another nine residents listed as missing.

After the floods, which happened on January 11th (2011) many dogs, cats, birds, all sorts of animals lost their homes, including thousands of wildlife.

In the aftermath of the flooding, shelters and rescue groups in South East Queensland were quickly overwhelmed and thus many animals needed a home. But fortunately, numerous local people were willing to help.

The major impact after January 11th (2011) was that people actually lost their homes, the fences were flooded, so, animals will just wander; so that’s why so many have ended up at the pound.

In order to preserve the lives of as many animals as possible, Mel Gillard, coordinator for foster-care, re-homing and animal placement at the Brisbane City Council Evacuation Centre, along with passionate animal rescuer and vegan Simone Hewitt, formed Animal Rescue Queensland (ARQ), which saves animals throughout South East Queensland, including the areas of Brisbane, the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast and Ipswich. Currently ARQ has 61 lovely dogs up for adoption.

Veterinary care is very expensive, but we are a no-kill rescue group and so our aim is no matter (what) we raise the money and we get the work done on the dogs. So we just have to assess each case and we take things one hour at a time.

Working with teams of devoted volunteers, ARQ brings animals out of local shelters, then searches for their missing families or places them in loving foster homes. Foster caregivers, such as Ms. Margaret Barton of the Rydges Pet Resort who took in six dogs during the flood-relief project, provide the animals with a temporary, loving place to stay. This process helps speed up the animals’ recovery, and allows ARQ to better understand how the animals behave in a family setting, so as to find them suitable, forever homes.

I’ve got to help everybody, got to give everyone a go. During the floods I’ve had customers where their houses have been totaled.

In line with her organization’s compassionate ideals, Ms. Hewitt follows a 100% animal product-free lifestyle.

To me, it doesn’t matter if it’s a toad, if it’s an ibis, I don’t care if it’s any species, we’re all creatures of the Earth, we’re all the same. So it was just a progression for me to become vegan and I love it; I feel better, I’m connected to nature, I feel that even my dogs and my bird; I just feel a stronger connection because they know that I’m not eating them! Health-wise, your body’s not dealing with acidic protein every day, it’s not dealing with the impacts of eating a protein that isn’t suitable for the human body.

Supreme Master Ching Hai wished to support Animal Rescue Queensland’s flood relief efforts, and thus provided ARQ with US$2,070 for veterinary expenses, US$1,600 in canine necessities such as leads, collars and de-worming pills and US$1,035 worth of vegan dog food for their foster carers. In addition, Supreme Master Ching Hai gifted a copy of her #1 international bestseller “The Dogs In My Life,” a selection of her DVDs, and vegan chocolates. Our local Association members presented the gifts to Animal Rescue Queensland on Supreme Master Ching Hai’s behalf.

We can attract more foster carers and keep foster carers on-board too by giving them some financial support by way of these products.

So that’s excellent. Thank you very much to Supreme Master Ching Hai.

Margaret Barton also received a contribution from Supreme Master Ching Hai of US$621 for expenses related to fostering six canines during the flood crisis and was also given vegan chocolates, a copy of “The Dogs In My Life” and a number of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s DVDs.

Supreme Master Ching Hai, thank you very much.

Be Veg, Go Green 2 Save The Planet! Now!

Another benevolent non-profit organization that looks after Australian wildlife affected by the floods is Wildcare Australia. Wildcare takes in sick, injured and orphaned animals with the goal of rehabilitating and releasing them back into the wild. In 2009, the group aided nearly 3,000 birds, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.

Hi, I’m Christina.

I’m Lexie.

I’m Kylie.

And I’m Rhoda.

And we’re from Wildcare, which is a wildlife organization for rescue and rehabilitation of animals.

The name of the property is Coomalong here, and it’s a Victorian aboriginal dialect meaning “place of plenty Possum,” and that’s why we bought it and it’s a sanctuary here for the animals. We found that initially we had a lot of orphaned babies coming into WildCare with the rain before the floods. Possums, Wallabies, there’s been a few Kangaroos, Sugar-gliders, and Bandicoots and Bush Rats are the other one that’s been coming into Wildcare.

And it started for us a week before the floods with the heavy rain; they weren’t coping and then when the floods came we had lots of injured animals and unfortunately only about 10% of those survived the injuries from the rushing water. We had a lot of injuries with pneumonia. And then we’ve evacuated ones from other careers who have lost their homes and they’ve been evacuated and they’ve had to come into our care; which is little Rudy here.

After the floods, there’s very poor food out there and the animals who survived or are now injured, they’re having trouble finding food sources, so they’re now starving as well as their injuries; they’re walking out in front of cars. And now the mums are dying, so we’re left with quite an avalanche of orphans.

The Wildcare carers have some amazing rescue stories!

I think this little fellow came from Gatton and then went to Corunna Downs and then it got flooded in there as well and then when Lexie was able to get police approval to take in some of the items that they needed, milk and fluids and things like that; at the same time Lexie’s rescued this one and brought him out because he needed to get to some veterinary assistance pretty quickly.

We filled a car. I evacuated a carer that wasn’t ready for the floods and I filled a car with six cats, six Wallabies, 20 birds… and five Possums while the floodwater was up to our knees. And by the time we were leaving we couldn’t go back the way we’d come; we had to find a way out and there was only two ways in and out of this section of Rocklea, and we got out and we rescued them, and they’ve gone to other carers now, but that was the Tuesday of the floods and that was scary!

Lexie’s Ark!

In the floods!

Through their experience, Wildcare’s carers have found that the best medicine to promote an animal’s rapid recovery is love.

That’s Buddy! And Buddy came out of the Moggill area. His mother had severe fractures from being tossed in the water, but he survived and he really enjoys being down someone’s shirt, and apart from about of pneumonia early on he’s doing beautifully, adapting really well. A lot of the ones that have come into Wildcare, we’re keeping them on us because they do cry, they are traumatized, they have bad dreams and they just need that reassurance and love and I feel that they’ll make it through if we can give them that motherly love that they’re missing out on.

Even some of the bigger ones like Sutton; normally we wouldn’t carry this size around, he’d be in an aviary, but with my mum and myself and Fiona carrying him around, it’s probably given him more of a chance because obviously he hadn’t eaten for seven days when he came in, so he was very, very emaciated. And he thinks Fiona’s his mother now, so… he will only eat what she eats, so she’s eating a lot of possum food.

Rhoda has probably only slept four hours for the last three weeks because she is excellent with the babies. And I think, I find that it’s that day you let them out and release them into the wild again and you know you made a difference. You saved the species in some small way.

On behalf of Supreme Master Ching Hai, our local Association members brought Wildcare many gifts of appreciation for their praiseworthy work during the floods such as her books including “From Crisis to Peace” and the #1 international bestsellers “The Birds In my Life” and “The Dogs In My Life,” as well as a number of her DVDs and vegan chocolates. In addition, Supreme Master Ching Hai donated US$5,096 to help Wildcare’s carers pay for the food and veterinary bills of the rescued animals.

We’d just like to thank you so much for all the beautiful work that you do. You’re fantastic and thank God for you that these animals can live and have beautiful lives. (Thank you.) (Thank you very much.) Thank you very much.

I’d really like to thank Supreme Master Ching Hai, (I) really appreciate you helping some of the carers and in particular helping all the wildlife that are in WildCare , we really do appreciate it. (Thank you.) Thank you.

We do what we do because we love it and it makes us feel good but, and I really appreciate the help. I’m a little overwhelmed right now, but I really appreciate it, thank you.

Thank you Supreme Master Ching Hai for the flood relief you’re bringing.

Our hero’s salute goes to all the staff members and volunteers of Animal Rescue Queensland and Wildcare Australia for your admirable efforts of helping our animal friends in need. Your compassionate hearts are truly beacons of light that brighten our world.

For more information on the groups featured today, please visit the following websites: Animal Rescue Queensland
Wildcare Australia

Sweet viewers, thank you for watching Animal World: Our Co-Inhabitants. May the world be blessed and elevated through Heaven’s grace.