A fox terrier found floating through a house on a boogie board yesterday is one of more than 300 animals that have been rescued from flooded homes in Edgecumbe.

Whakatane SPCA senior animal welfare inspector Liisa Jones said staff have been working from about 6am to midnight each day visiting homes in the flooded town searching for pets and animals.

She described a "pretty amazing situation" where her team were driven on a quad bike into a property which was almost under water, transferred to another car and driven to the deck of a house.

"We went through the house and found a little fox terrier floating around on a boogie board."


She was visibly glad to see her rescuer and terrified of being back in the sewage-contaminated water again, Jones said. The dog, named Maia, had been there for more than two days.

A further three dogs, one of which was due to give birth, were found in kennels on the property.

All four dogs were very cold and glad to be out of the water, she said.

By Saturday night about 117 animals had been removed from the flood zone with many more rescued throughout today.

Earlier today one of Jones' teams successfully evacuated about 150 birds housed in large aviaries on a flooded property.

"They are in a situation where if we leave them, they will pass away," Jones said at the time. "The property is under water at the moment up to knee height."

Parrots, finches, guinea fowl, budgies and cockatiels were among the birds being captured, decontaminated and released back to their owners. Around 50 other birds have also been rescued this evening.

More than 50 owners had already been reunited with their pets making the long days of trudging through contaminated waters worthwhile, she said.


Jones said she was well aware many other people remained worried about their animals and reassured them teams were doing all they could to get them all out.

So far the team had come across only one cat and a few birds that had not survived the flooding.

Residents in need of animal welfare support should call 0800 306 0500 or visit the Whakatane District Council's website for information.