Hero firefighters' heartfelt note after protecting shelter animals from bushfire

An animal shelter centre in Queensland received a heartfelt note from firefighters who worked through the night to make sure rescue animals were safe as bushfires came dangerously close to destroying the facility.

The staff at the Animal Welfare League QLD (AWLQ) in Beenleigh were forced to evacuate the shelter on Thursday when a fire broke out across the road – leaving behind 20 dogs, a cow, a goat and two chickens.

State rehoming manager Melinda Phipps said not only did the crew from Birnam Rural Fire Brigade protect the property from the nearby fire, but they also went “above and beyond” by keeping in touch with staff to ensure them the animals were safe.

An exterior of the AWLQ Beenleigh Rehoming Centre on the right and one of the dogs at the shelter on the left.
The staff at the Queensland animal shelter were forced to evacuate when a fire broke across the road, leaving 24 animals behind. Source: Facebook/AWLQ Beenleigh Rehoming Centre

“The animals could have become stressed with the smoke and noise so it was nice to know that the firefighters were there calming them down,” she told Yahoo News Australia.

When the staff returned on Friday morning they found a note from the Birnam Rural Fire Brigade who worked tirelessly to their protect animals even did a spot of laundry.

“We brought in your blankets so they didn’t get ash on them,” the note read.

Ms Phipps said the blankets used for the animals’ bedding were folded.

“Thank you to the wonderful crew from the Birnam Rural Fire Brigade who kindly stayed at AWLQ's Beenleigh Animal Rehoming Centre until 1am this morning to ensure our animals were safe,” the AWLQ wrote on Facebook, sharing a photo of the note left by the firefighters.

“It was such a pleasure making sure the dogs and a cow were safe,” the team from Birnam Rural Fire Brigade wrote on their Facebook page.

Their presence not only protected the property from the nearby bushfire, but also kept the animals in the shelter calm.

“They are all well behaved and listened as they stopped barking after we told them they were safe,” the note posted on Facebook read.

Birnam Rural Fire Brigade firefighters stayed with the animals all night to make sure they were safe.
The Birnam Rural Fire Brigade stayed with the animals all night to make sure they were safe and calm. Source: Facebook/AWLQ Beenleigh Rehoming Centre

“To all of the incredible emergency services, thank you for everything you do to keep people and their furry companions safe,” the AWLQ wrote.

Followers on Facebook were quick to join in and praise the work of the firefighters.

“Oh that note gave me tears! So grateful for the wonderful work they do as well as AWLQ,” one person wrote.

“So caring and kind, how lovely that the firefighters calmed them down and then stayed. They, and the AWLQ really are special people,” another said.

The AWLQ have now dived into the ‘Get them home for Christmas’ campaign where they hope to have empty shelters before Christmas.

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