19 January 2011

The Lockyer Valley community came to the rescue of creatures big and small at UQ recently even as flood waters threatened their own homes.

An incredible 10 tonnes of pet food was donated to the UQ Veterinary Medical Centre at Gatton after staff members Shae Tucker and Frances Purnell-Webb hit the airwaves at the height of the crisis.

Senior veterinarian Adjunct Professor Bob Doneley said his enduring memory from the experience would be the generosity of local volunteers.

“After Shae and Frances organised a radio appeal there was a constant stream of people turning up – some with food, some with bedding, and others came just to see how they could help,” Dr Doneley said.

“Over 10 tonnes of pet food was donated and over 20 locals volunteered their time.

“The generosity and compassion of the Lockyer Valley residents, and the dedication and perseverance of the animal management officers, has been an inspiration to the staff at the UQ Veterinary Medical Centre.”

The University joined forces with the Lockyer Valley Council to provide shelter and support for stranded, lost and homeless animals, in addition to helping local residents housed at the Gatton evacuation centre.

The Veterinary Medical Centre is currently home to a Noah’s Ark of creatures including dogs, cats, horses, birds, fish and even a wild turtle.

“People donated beds, toys and treats for the stranded animals, and the Gatton IGA gave us a trolley load of pet food that community members donated,” Ms Tucker said.

“It was fantastic that we had the room and facilities to be able to care for the stranded animals and although many didn’t require medical treatment, they were excited to have a feed and some human interaction.”

Concerns about missing pets should be directed to the medical centre on (07) 5460 1788.

Media: Erin Pearl at UQ Gatton (07 5460 1229, e.pearl@uq.edu.au) or Cameron Pegg at UQ Communications (07 3365 2049, c.pegg@uq.edu.au)