St George – Everyone has been watching the news and seeing the devastation caused by the bush fires in Australia. Many people have been displaced, along with millions of animals. In fact, it is estimated that more than one billion animals have died as a result of the fires. People from around the world are now coming together to help, and Dr. Melanie Eagan of the St. George Veterinary Clinic has started a campaign to collect donations of items to send to Australia to help both animals and humans.
“Everyone’s been watching this on the news, and seeing all these animals in distress,” said Eagan. “It’s just so upsetting to see. I wanted to do something to help. A client of mine had sent me a link to a clinic in the UK that is collecting medications to send there. I thought about it and said we could, and we could go even further than that.”
Eagan began making calls last week, and has already started collecting items to help the animals and humans effected by the fires. She said she’s had plenty of feedback from people who want to help, including one woman from Saint John, Janique Cormier, who works for the French education system.
“She’s contacted two schools, Samuel de Champlain in Millidgeville and Ecole des Pionniers in Quispamsis. Those schools have both volunteered to collect donations and have drop-off spots for donations at the schools.”
Eagan said there are two lists of items she would like to collect, one for animals and one for people, and that she is more focused on animals since she is a veterinarian. Items that are being sought include blankets, towels, animal clothing, livestock blankets, and covers, along with medical items such as gauze, wrap, tape, scissors, bandages, etc. They are also seeking pouches for baby animals. For people, they are collecting basic toiletries, such as toothpaste, tooth brushes, soap, shampoo, etc., along with blankets and towels. She recently received an email stating that clothing and food are not needed at this time.
Eagan has reached out to the New Brunswick Veterinary Medical Association to ask them to forward a letter she has written to all of the vet clinics in the province. She is hoping to be able to collect donations of veterinary medical supplies that they can send to Australia to help the injured and displaced animals.
“Every vet clinic has extra stuff kicking around. I wrote to all the vet clinics in New Brunswick asking them to donate materials, IV lines, fluid bags, needles, etc.”
Eagan said there are numerous volunteers who are picking items up as they are donated. She has clients who are contacting Post, and she plans to contacting Air Canada as well to see if they can help with cheaper rates. She plans on sending all donations out by February 14.
“I didn’t want to wait, but I wanted enough time to get a good haul,” said Eagan. “There’s been a really nice coming together of communities very quickly to help make this a success.”
There are several donation drop-off locations throughout Charlotte County, including the St. George Veterinary Clinic, Harper’s Exotic Animals and Pet Supply, and St. Andrews Inn & Suites (ask for Lisa Simpson). For more information about what items are needed, please call the St. George Veterinary Clinic at 755-1100.