South Coast pet owners won't have to travel as far to find veterinary help when the next crisis hits, with a new RSPCA mobile unit available to equip regional branches.
The animal welfare response unit, which toured Batemans Bay, Moruya, Cobargo and Eden this week, can be used at pop-up relief centres, for vaccination, microchipping and health days.
The unit, launched June 1 at Braidwood, includes triage tables for animal welfare checks, communication, storage, amenities, office space and a kitchen.
RSPCA NSW CEO Steve Coleman said it was like a "mobile community hall".
Staff, including the inspectorate, would be better-equipped to immediately respond, with emergency communication equipment including satellite phones, disaster PPE such as breathing apparatuses, and other vital equipment.
Mr Coleman said without it, staff could be sitting under a tree writing a statement.
"Where ever there's a welfare challenge, it supports our operations in the field," Mr Coleman said.
"During the bushfires, people were unable to get (help) because they couldn't get into town, or had to rely on someone else. With this unit, we can go to them."
Mr Coleman said staff and volunteers had been supporting South Coast animal owners since the bushfires began, and "it's only because of COVID-19 that things have been wound right back".
In total, $6.3 million was donated to NSW RSPCA's bushfire appeal, Mr Coleman said.
The new unit was part of $2.6 million invested in mobile infrastructure.
With those funds, RSPCA also purchased two animal transport trailers, which the charity has received, to carry injured animals; and two community outreach vehicles, which RSPCA had not yet received, to provide immediate animal welfare assistance and education.
Mr Coleman said $1.3 million was distributed immediately after the fires, to support bushfire-affected regions including with veterinary supplies, food and fodder.
The sum of $2.4 million was set aside to partner with wildlife organisations to help the wildlife population recover from the fires.
Mr Coleman said RSPCA had connected with Taronga Zoo to start wildlife recovery operations. The charity would also repurpose an existing animal shelter to help wildlife.