Shelter created for hundreds of animals evacuated from their homes in Tasman region

A makeshift shelter is offering a temporary home for hundreds of animals as people evacuate from their homes near Nelson as a wildfire spreads through the region.

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Evacuees in the Tasman fire have a safe place for their pets, with 350 animals being taken into a makeshift shelter. Source: 1 NEWS

In the past 24 hours a makeshift animal shelter at the Richmond A&P grounds has welcomed about 350 evacuated animals, including horses, pigs, chickens and even a turtle.

Carolyn Press-McKenzie, from Helping You Help Animals (HUHA), said the initiative started with her jumping on a plane from Wellington with the plan to help out wherever she could.

"Any animal that needs shelter - we're here and ready for them," she said. "There's a lot of emotion. There's nothing worse, I think, than being displaced as a family and for people these animals are their family." 

HUHA is a charitable trust which provides shelter for less fortunate animals. Ms Press-McKenzie said people trusted in the organisation to care for their pets during the fire.

"We've got this, we can handle it. Anything that they [evacuees] need, we've got it under control," she said.

But not without help from the community.

"Everyone's pitching in," Ms Press-McKenzie said. "It was crazy. Yesterday we asked for blankets and we ended up with a small island of blankets."