The SJE Group's mission is to support animal welfare and the arts. We are heartbroken about the devastation caused by the current bushfires across Australia, including the pain and suffering caused to millions of defenceless animals. This is why we continue to support committed entities like Animals Australia.
Our financial support has assisted in the following ways:
1. Getting expert wildlife vets into fire affected areas
Led by Dr Elaine Ong and Dr Chris Barton of Vets for Compassion, these vets are helping any surviving animals — and ensuring local wildlife carers have the support and resources they need.
2. Emergency food and water stations for survivors
Many animals who have survived the fires are now faced with a burnt landscape of dead trees and no water. That's why, in addition to their veterinary work, Drs Ong and Barton, along with a team of incredible volunteers, are out putting 'bouquets' of leaves in trees and fixing water stations for survivors like this wallaby.
3. Delivering 4WDs so wildlife vets and rescuers can access animals
Two new 4WD vehicles have been delivered to support rescue and veterinary teams on Kangaroo Island and in Victoria. This will increase their capacity in these areas and help bring more animals to medical centres for critical treatment. Animals Australia is also in the process of acquiring additional vehicles to assist with first-responders deploying in the Blue Mountains, now that access to the firegrounds is becoming possible (if still very challenging).
4. Sending plane-loads of food to hungry animals
Animals Australia chartered a private plane to deliver thousands of kilograms of kangaroo food, to Mallacoota and surrounds — a fire-ravaged area that has been closed to road access since New Year's Eve. The surviving animals there are going to need continue support feeding until the grass — their critical food source — returns. Animals Australia is also working with locals in other fire-impacted areas to assist with the purchase of food for distribution for their local wildlife.
5. Creating wildlife emergency response centres
Two new wildlife emergency response stations have been established in north-east Victoria — finally getting carers and vets into areas where we know animals have been suffering, but nobody else had been able to get to yet.
6. Funding vets and volunteers for wildlife care
Animals Australia is actively reaching out to vet clinics in fire-affected areas and have just provided another emergency grant to a clinic to be distributed to local carers in one of the worst impacted fire zones.
They've also channeled substantial funds to SAVEM (South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management) who have sent specialist vets to badly-hit Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and to Vets Beyond Borders who are deploying volunteer vets to help animals in the Adelaide Hills, and will extend to other areas like the Blue Mountains with offers of veterinary assistance and supplies, and food for hungry animals.
7. Helping the helpers
Animals Australia has distributed additional funds directly to groups and individual wildlife carers working in fire-affected areas, providing immediate and meaningful support to animals in need. This includes food drops, water provision and maintenance, capturing and transporting animals, and search-and-rescue operations on private property.
The challenge ahead
Today, and in the days ahead, the primary need remains to find survivors and give them the urgent care they need. However once the fires are subdued, Australia will be faced with a new challenge: some 10 million hectares of land, that was once the habitat for our native animals, turned into a blackened landscape.
The essential renewal of the natural environment — the reawakening of life in the bush, in the forests, fields, mountains and coastal plains, to provide habitats, homes and food sources for surviving wildlife — will be the dedicated work of weeks, months, years.
The survivors who are still out there need us to keep moving forward, providing every support we can to give them the best possible chance.
The SJE Group will continue to support the efforts of Animals Australia, and many other entities. If you would like to support these efforts too, you can do so by donating at the Animals Australia website.