SYDNEY: Australian emergency services on Monday (Mar 22) rescued 20 dogs from rising floodwaters that menaced a breeding kennel in a suburb northwest of Sydney on Monday.
Barks emanated from partially submerged kennels as the rescuers approached in inflatable boats. The dogs, a mix of Belgian Malinois and German Shepherds, were placed in animal carriers and then onto the boats, which were attached together, before being ferried over the floodwaters to safety.
"As long as all the animals and our staff are all okay, that's really all we care about and everything else is replaceable," said Sharon, the breeder and trainer who operated the kennel, located in Londonderry, about 50km northwest of central Sydney. She declined to give her last name.
The dogs' owners had earlier left with several animals when told to evacuate but had to call on state emergency services to help with moving the remainder of their canines.
Unrelenting rains over the past three days have swollen rivers in Australia's most populous state of New South Wales (NSW), causing widespread damage and triggering calls for mass evacuations.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said 15,000 people had been evacuated from areas on the Mid North Coast of the state, while 3,000 had been told to leave their houses in western Sydney.
Large parts of the country's east coast will be hit with more heavy rain from Monday because of the combination of a tropical low over northern Western Australia and a coastal trough off NSW, the weather bureau said.
Sydney recorded its wettest day of the year on Sunday with almost 111mm of rain, while some regions in NSW's north coast have received nearly 900mm of rain in the last six days, more than three times the March average, government data showed.