When Christchurch was hit by a magnitude 6.3 earthquake on 22 February 2011, hundreds of animals went missing or became trapped in homes after their owners were forced to leave. This special episode of SPCA Rescue sees a specialist team travel from Wellington to rescue trapped pets in the cordoned off Christchurch red zone. Cats are sought in upended apartments, and a variety of animals require rescue from the severely damaged vet school. Adding to the drama, search And rescue dog Sasha mysteriously falls ill, several other canines turn up lost, and a turtle sanctuary faces crisis as water becomes a rare commodity.
We've done everything we can for them, so we'll just get them on their way. No experience in transporting turtles though.– Mainfreight's Nathan Thomas, on helping send 45 rescued turtles to Napier
Article on the SPCA's work in Canterbury after the quakes, Ceismic website, August 2014
Book on animals caught in the Christchurch quakes, Canterbury University website
Disaster expert Steve Glassey on saving animals during a disaster, The Press, May 2014
NZ History article and links on the 2011 Christchurch Earthquake
Official website for the SPCA (Royal NZ Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals)