The connection between people and their animals can be strong and diverse. Emergency events that impact on animals can affect communities on a range of levels including socially, economically, psychologically and culturally. Research has indicated that the human-animal bond can be extremely influential in a person complying with emergency response directions, such as evacuating, and in participating in preparedness activities. While planning for an animal’s welfare in an emergency can improve the animal’s chances of survival and recovery, encouraging people to take preparedness actions for their animals can have the additional benefit of improving the preparedness for their own safety and resilience.
While the owner or carer of an animal is responsible for the welfare of that animal and should include consideration of its welfare in preparedness for, response to and recovery from an emergency, their ability to do so may be hampered or prevented due to the nature of the emergency. Having local arrangments in place to support the owner or carer and their animals in emergencies, can improve the greater community's resilience for and recovery from an emergency.
Local Government Animal Welfare in Emergencies Grant Program
The Local Government Animal Welfare in Emergencies Grant Program is being administered by WALGA and aims to provide funding, through co-contribution small grants, to enable local governments to increase their capability and capacity for animal welfare in emergencies at the local level.
All local governments in Western Australia are eligible to apply for the Grant Program and collectives made up of multiple local governments are eligible for a collaborative grant.
Grants will be open to local governments submitting programs which are based on the Emergency Management principles of building resilience, shared responsibility and a graduated response to emergency events. Applicants should demonstrate that their program activities will build the capacity of their local government (and therefore community) to address animal welfare in emergencies.
Local governments are encouraged to develop their own initiative for animal welfare in emergencies, based on their current Local Emergency Management Arrangements, emergency risk assessments and identified community need. Programs should focus on long term benefits to the community, not just for a single emergency event.
Program ideas include:
- developing a Local Plan for Animal Welfare in Emergencies (PAWE). Visit Tools and helpful links for the Local PAWE Guide and Template
- hosting an exercise or training opportunity in capabilities for animal welfare in emergencies
- delivering community education or holding a community event for animal welfare in emergencies
- pruchasing equipment for supporting animal welfare in emergencies, such as for evacuation centres.
Grant applications open from 24 June 2021 and close 13 August 2021. Visit WALGA to apply.