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Benloch member’s animal-care offer
Benloch member Shelley Cowen changed the mood of the Lancefield community meeting last night when she stood up with a significant offer.
“I said, ‘To anyone who’s left the Benloch area, can’t get home and is worried about their animals, give us your details and we will personally drive around to feed and water your dogs, cats, chooks and birds … whatever,’” explains Shelley.
“It’s just common sense but it got massive applause and brought spirits back up.
“We have animals of our own. Our sheep are all black and our duck had babies overnight which was very emotional.”
Shelley describes the Benloch area today as “carnage. Stock is out of its paddocks and trees are falling everywhere and there’s a lot of water bombing. All night we could hear the crackling and the sound of trees falling. The major concern is breakouts but the trees are also a huge worry.
“I also stood up at the meeting last night when residents were demanding to be allowed home and said, ‘I’ve been up there. Trees are dropping. We haven’t lost any lives yet and we want to keep it that way.’
“Hopefully that helped the danger message get across.”
Shelley has been a CFA member for almost 14 years and is one of 23 Benloch members. She describes the community in this bush environment as “very tight, very close. Everyone knows everyone."
Any locals wishing to take Shelley up on her animal-care offer can meet her tonight at the next Lancefield community meeting.