By Brendan Rees
Truckloads of donated pet food and hay will make their way to aid victims of the Bunyip Fire devastation thanks to a charity drive held in Cranbourne on Saturday 9 March.
A convoy of trucks and high-performance sports cars made their way to PETStock Cranbourne to accept donations of feed from the the public to help fire-affected farmers.
The people at Eye Candy Motorsports and Flash Market also joined forces and raised funds to buy feed.
They delivered 72 tonnes of hay and 10 tonnes of stock feed as well as other donations to Warriors 4 Wildlife.
Nigel Williamson of Nigel’s Animal Rescue who attended PETStock for the charity drive said he was overwhelmed by the public’s response.
“It turned out to be a lot bigger than what we thought it was which was just amazing,” Mr Williamson said.
“We’ve already donated out over a 140 tonnes of goods in the last eight days that have gone out to people already.
“The generosity of the public and businesses has been totally amazing.
“It’s been an amazing incredible feat by volunteers who have jumped on board with us.”
Mr Williamson said there were 20 depots across Melbourne where donations were being accepted which would assist with injured wildlife affected by the fires.
“We’re going out delivering it farmers and people personally,” he said. “We still need more donations and we’ll need them for over the next six months because once the fires are out we’ve got to keep doing food drops out there.”
Barrie Tapp of Animal Cruelty Hotline who has teamed up with Nigel’s Animal Rescue and Warriors 4 Wildlife, said the flood of donations was impressive.
“It’s unbelievable and that it’s all being delivered by truck and trailers by the volunteers,” he said.
“The public went into PETStock and purchased a lot of the feed and donated it straight back to the convoy.
“The volunteers have been absolutely amazing in how the community comes together.”
Casey Mayor Amanda Stapledon said she was blown away by the generosity of people donating at PETStock and “shows the heart of the community.”
“I think it’s another example of great people doing great things,” she said,
She added Casey Council would also be donating $20,000 to the Casey Cardinia Foundation Relief Fund to aid victims of the Bunyip Fire.
“Thank you one and all. Thank you PETstock and thank you Casey!”