Animals in emergencies

Your animals are your responsibility. Failing to plan ahead for your animals' safety during an emergency puts everyone’s lives at risk. Make sure to:

  • include your animals in your emergency plan
  • practice your plan - animals may act erratically during an actual emergency event
  • act early to move your animals to safer places if required
  • ensure animals have access to food and water
  • don't risk human life trying to find and protect animals.

Pets and assistance animals

The RSPCA South Australia provides information on how to plan for the safety of your pets and assistance animals in emergencies, as well as what to do in different emergencies including bushfires and heatwaves.

Animal safety in emergencies - RSPCA

Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA) has information on the responsibilities of animal owners and what assistance and services may be available in an emergency.

Farm animals

Find out how to:


Horse SA has a comprehensive site on plans for 'stay or go', how to prepare your property and how to recover from an emergency event:


For individual animals affected by vehicle collisions, storms or hot weather, seek expert advice from:

During other large-scale emergencies, such as bushfires, wildlife issues can be referred to South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management (SAVEM) or RSPCA South Australia. During an emergency these organisations are coordinated by PIRSA Agriculture and Animal Services (AAS) - phone the AAS hotline on 1800 255 556.

Wildlife Recovery Fund for 2019/2020 bushfires

In partnership with the Nature Foundation SA, National Parks and Wildlife Service South Australia has launched the Wildlife Recovery Fund.

This fund will be used to re-establish habitat for wildlife, particularly threatened and vulnerable species, in bushfire-affected regions in South Australia.

Donate to the Wildlife Recovery Fund

Lost pets after an emergency

If you have lost a pet you can:

  • search the area (once it's safe to do so)
  • check with your neighbours and nearby locations such as schools and shopping centres
  • notify your local council
  • list your pet as lost and search for them on lost and found registers:
  • visit animal shelters regularly as some animal descriptions can be difficult to match over the phone
  • contact local veterinary clinics
  • post a photo of your lost pet on social media sites such as Lost Dogs of Adelaide and Lost Pets of South Australia
  • display 'Lost' flyers in the local area at shops, service stations and community notice boards.

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Page last updated 31 December 2020

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