When we think about naval ships, we think about war. But sometimes we forget that the military’s aim is to keep the peace and to serve the people. During the Australian bushfire crisis, a naval ship was used to evacuate people along with their dogs, from their town that was already engulfed in flames.

Mallacoota is a tiny coastal town in the state of Victoria in Australia. It’s one of the towns that were hit hardest by the bushfire crisis. Many of the citizens of this humble town have lost their homes and their business. All they had left are some of their belongings, and the pets that they love dearly.

Luckily for them, the HMAS Choules was there to rescue them, and it was ready to welcome dogs aboard. The sailors set up a designated space for the pets in the ship’s vehicle bay. Other pet animals were welcomed aboard too. In total, there were 135 dogs, two birds, two cats, and one rabbit on board.

The sailors used wooden pallets to create spaces between the animals. Understandably, they can’t be placed in one area as that would only invite chaos. But all the animals were well-behaved once they were put on the ship. As if they somehow understood that these people are helping them escape the bushfires.

Once onboard the HMAS Choules, the citizens shared their stories. They were not happy stories, but they were grateful for the Australian Navy’s efforts in helping them escape the blaze. Especially with the fact that the navy allowed their pet dogs to come along with them.

They were transported to another city where the government gave them temporary shelter and provisions. Traveling on a naval ship and having to live somewhere else unfamiliar may not be the most comfortable experience, but that didn’t matter anymore. As long as they have their family and their dogs, they knew that everything would be alright.

Credits: Storyful Rights Management

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