He’s lost his family home, but Yellow Rock resident Luke Curtis’ number one priority was his 11-year-old cat Oliver.
When the fire emergency hit around Springwood, Winmalee and Yellow Rock last Thursday afternoon, he and his parents were at work, his mum miraculously surviving at Oasis Nursery in Singles Ridge Rd while fire swirled around the nursery, trapping staff inside.
With road blocks in place, the Curtis family weren’t able to see what was left of their home in Singles Ridge Rd until Friday morning.
“This morning [Friday] we were looking for him and gave up for a little bit. I went down the back of the house near the dam and everything was gone, there was nothing there,” said Mr Curtis’ partner Megan Gaudiosi.
“There were branches everywhere and we had to climb through them.
“And there he was sitting in the mud trying to keep cool and he started meowing for us.”
Mr Curtis was clearly relieved to find his cat.
“I’ve never run so quickly to get him,” he said.
They pulled a singed, shaking Oliver from the mud, suffering smoke inhalation and rushed him to PetFriends Vet Hospital at Winmalee where pets injured during the fires were being treated for free.
Owner and vet Chris Blair said he had been treating a lot of injured pets, suffering burns in particular.
Another case was dog Buddy, who’d been found by a good Samaritan who bandaged his paws and brought him into the clinic. Buddy has now been reunited with his owner.
“Yesterday [Thursday] was like a refuge. In the waiting room there was even a lady with a goat,” Dr Blair said.
“And on Thursday night the car park [at Winmalee shopping centre] was choc-a-block full of people holding their pets.”
Lost and found pets were also being accepted at the clinic and at the PetFriends Faulconbridge clinic which was also treating injured pets for free.
For injured wildlife inquiries contact WIRES on 1300 094 737.