During Black Saturday, one of our biggest challenges was finding an appropriate area to treat injured animals, provide veterinary assistance, set up lost and found registrations and give advice to residents. Following that fateful day in February 2009, the RSPCA decided that a community-funded mobile animal care vehicle was desperately needed for emergency situations. The idea of a Mobile Animal Care unit (MAC) evolved and we were delighted to launch this new chapter in animal welfare on 16 February, 2012.
MAC is a multipurpose vehicle that will transform animal welfare in Victoria. The vehicle includes:
- Mobile surgical facilities, which allow our expert veterinary team to take their services ‘on the road’. MAC includes a fully operational vet theatre for emergency surgery and contains all of the equipment needed to treat animals, including sterilising units, an anesthetic machine and oxygen tanks.
- A communication hub to ensure our teams can be contacted in remote areas, with access to the internet and radios for communication.
- A housing area to safely contain animals before and after surgery.
- Power points, lighting, air conditioning and two small fridges, all powered by a generator.
- Running hot and cold water, which is essential for surgical procedures and general animal care.
Aside from its preparedness for emergencies, MAC will also be an invaluable resource for our Inspectors on large-scale cases when the presence of a vet to assess the health of animals is needed. It will also help extend our reach to remote areas by providing mobile veterinary services to animals in need.
We would like to sincerely thank those who supported our bushfire appeal, as a small portion of these funds has helped make MAC a reality.