The SPCA rescued more than 50 animals yesterday and members are ploughing through the floodwaters to do the same in Edgecumbe today.

About 30 SPCA members are going door to door in the red zone to save pets and farm animals. They are also feeding animals in the dry zone.

On Friday a "mixed bag" of cats, dogs, cows, rabbits and ducks were rescued from the Bay of Plenty town, Whakatane SPCA senior inspector Liisa Jones said.

Some animals have been rescued but the Whakatane SPCA are trying to identify the owners. Photo / Facebook
Some animals have been rescued but the Whakatane SPCA are trying to identify the owners. Photo / Facebook

However not all animals were so lucky. Jones said they had found some fatalities, with caged birds being particularly vulnerable to the flooded conditions.

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Jones said many animals were rescued in the nick of time with water up to their necks.

Yesterday SPCA members spent almost three hours saving a cow and her calf from going underwater. They had to swim the entire circumference of the fence to find where the gate was then usher the animals towards the gate.

"We cut wires where we could, then took the gates off the hinges so there was an escape route in place.

"We just tried to herd and splash them out that way."

The cows swam to safety and they are now in the care of a neighbouring landowner.

A lucky rabbit, saved from the Edgecumbe floodwater. Photo / Facebook
A lucky rabbit, saved from the Edgecumbe floodwater. Photo / Facebook

Two dogs were saved after they were heard barking from the road. The SPCA used a boat to get to them in the back garden where they were neck-deep in water.

Today the teams had already rescued an aviary full of 40 birds and a 100kg pig that was following them around trying to scavenge cat food.

Stress and poisoning from the water are the two major problems rescued animals have, Jones said. When SPCA members pull an animal from the water the first thing they do is wash down the animal's face to remove any toxic water.

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Jones said they will reconvene this evening and decide how to best operate tomorrow. She said residents can tell if their house has been checked as there will be a painted mark on the door.

Owners would be alerted if they'd been registered or through a microchip. If owners are unable to collect their pets the SPCA will care for them until they can be collected.

The SPCA is now seeking donations of food, blankets and money where possible. Donations can be dropped to SPCA Whakatane at 15 Gateway Cres, Whakatane.

Residents in need of animal welfare support should also call 0800 306 0500 or 07 306 0500.