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Flood resources: General advice

Below, you will find the latest advice and resources for looking after animals affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and the recent flooding in the upper North Island. We also have specific resources for: 

Emergency contacts

Contact MPI’s on-call Animal Welfare Emergency Management team:
Contact MPI’s on-call Animal Welfare Emergency Management team:

If you or someone you know has a missing animal, you can post a notice for free on New Zealand's largest lost and found pet network, LostPet.co.nz

It is also worth cross-posting the listing to local Facebook groups such as the Pets lost in Auckland Floods group. The SPCA recommends checking the ‘found’ listing and, if you don't see your pet listed, creating a ‘lost’ listing for them.

A free helpline has been set up for people in the Hawke's Bay who have been affected by Cyclone Gabrielle. Call the helpline if you need to access any welfare services, including mental health, accommodation, ongoing food, household goods and services support, animal welfare and rural support.

  • Phone: 0800 117 672

The number will operate from 8am to 8pm on weekdays and from 8am to 4.15pm on weekends.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) is working with farm supply companies and veterinarians in Hawke's Bay and Tairāwhiti to ensure critical supplies can get to communities that have no road access.

Farmers with no road access to their farms can order necessary supplies from their usual farm goods suppliers and veterinarians and arrangements will be made to deliver them by air or Unimog.

Critical supplies are:

  • water reticulation materials
  • temporary boundary fencing materials
  • animal health supplies and veterinary medicines.

This support is only available for farms with no road access for deliveries.

For more information, including how to place an order, see the below factsheets:

Resources for veterinary professionals

NZVA Support Group: Cyclone Gabrielle and Auckland Flooding
- Private Facebook group for NZVA members and clinics

Restricted Veterinary Medicines and Authorisation During Major Disruptive Events and Emergencies
- Official advice from the Veterinary Council of New Zealand (VCNZ)
CPD: Technical emergency large animal rescue
- Online course from the NZVA
Business advice: In an emergency
- Information from business.govt.nz about keeping yourself, your employees and your business safe
Keeping safe during cyclone and flooding emergency and recovery
- Advice for businesses and organisations from WorkSafe

General resources and advice

Dealing with floods
- Information and resources from MPI to help you deal with floods
Animals affected by flood
- Advice from MPI for livestock, lifestyle block, horse and pet owners
Decision tree for flood damaged farms
- Advice from DairyNZ
Leptospirosis information
- Resources and information from WorkSafe
Flood sediment
- Silt research from Sustainable Farming Fund report

First Aid advice

If your animal has been exposed to flood water, it is important to check them for the following signs:

  • Deep wounds and/or bleeding heavily
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unable to stand without assistance
  • Unconscious or reduced levels of consciousness

For any emergencies, please call your veterinarian immediately. Not sure if it's an emergency? Check out our guide for finding out if your pet really needs that after-hours visit.

If your animal has been submerged, trapped or swimming in flood water, make sure you follow the steps below:

Check for signs of hypothermia

Signs of hypothermia include: 

  • a rectal temperature of below 37º or a digital thermometer reading of L
  • very cold limbs, with no shivering
  • drowsy or dopey responses.

If you suspect hypothermia, move your animal to a dry area and cover it with blankets if possible. Call your local vet for advice.

Check their breathing

  • Check for bubbles coming out of their nose or harsh sounds when they breathe. You may need to listen carefully to check, but remember to keep yourself safe.
  • Monitor the animal's breathing rate closely. If their breathing rate is increasing, call your vet for advice.
  • If you suspect your animal has inhaled water, call your vet immediately.

Clean your animal

Thoroughly clean all areas of the animal that have been in contact with flood water. 

  • If your animal is showing any signs of hypothermia, warm them up first.
  • Use clean water to rinse the animal's coat all the way to the skin. Animal-safe shampoos or soaps are OK to use.
  • While cleaning the animal, look for any cuts or injuries.
  • If your animal is injured or their skin looks infected, call your vet for advice.

Give your animal water and food

  • Provide your animal with fresh, clean water and non-contaminated food
  • They may be very tired from swimming or running during the flood. Giving them a warm, dry area with fresh water and food will help with their recovery.
  • If your animal is not strong enough to eat or drink, please call your vet immediately.

Support and funding available

Delivery of critical farm supplies to isolated communities in Hawke's Bay
- Fact sheet from MPI
Delivery of critical farm supplies to isolated communities in Tairāwhiti
- Fact sheet from MPI
Temporary Accommodation Service
- Fact sheet from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE)
Cyclone Gabrielle recovery: advice, support, and funding
- Information from MPI about the financial support available
Cyclone Gabrielle recovery grants and funding
- Information from MPI about f
inancial support available to farmers, growers, whenua Māori entities and rural communities
Cyclone Gabrielle - What support is available and where can you get help
- Fact sheet from Civil Defence
Auckland severe weather - What support is available and where can you get help
- Fact sheet from Civil Defence
Cyclone Gabrielle recovery
- Fact sheet from MPI for farmers, growers, rural businesses and Māori landowners