IN the height of Tuesday’s catastrophic fire declaration, the protection of much loved animals was a major concern for local residents and authorities.
Special animal evacuation sites were established by the Department of Primary Industries at the Nowra Showground in the north and at the Sussex Inlet RSL in the south.
Emergency management representative for the Department of Primary Industries Liz Yeatman said a number of residents used the sites to house their animals on Tuesday.
At the Nowra Showground DPI staff, along with Shoalhaven Council Rangers and RSCPA personnel, looked after 10 dogs, three sheep and three horses.
At Sussex Inlet RSL things were a little more hectic with 60 dogs, a handful of cats and a handful of horses which were secured outside.
At Sussex Inlet, council rangers managed to get in prior to road closures to help DPI staff with the animals, while RSPCA staff were ferried in by Marine Rescue later in the night with more supplies.
Mrs Yeatman said all animals that were evacuated at the height of the emergency had now been returned to their owners.
“We have had no reports of stock lost due to the fires and have had no reports of injured wildlife,” she said.
“We had one report of an injured animal and that was of a dog on Wandean Road at 2am Wednesday which staff recovered and it is currently being treated by local veterinarians.
“DPI staff have also been out in the field undertaking property damage assessments.”