By Nelson Groom
An Aussie animal lover has been hailed a hero for making it her mission to rescue pets trapped in one of the worst ever floods.
Beauty business owner Ashley D’Silva, 29, was spurred into action after hearing about animals left in deep trouble by owners forced to flee the deluge in Townsville, North Queensland.
Heartwarming footage shows Ashley, her husband and friends wading through waist-deep waters to rescue stricken cats and dogs from the one-in-100-year floodwaters.
After taking to social media to find those most in need, Ashley has plucked dozens of furry friends from harm’s way – and she’s showing no signs of slowing down.
Ashley said: “Being an animal lover, I knew I had to do something to help all the poor animals left to fend for themselves.
“I made a plea on a Facebook flood relief page if anyone needed help, and I was overwhelmed with the response.
“It wasn’t easy considering the roads had turned into flooding channels of water so following GPS was almost impossible.
“It was very confronting breaking into strangers’ homes, seeing animals who had been abandoned by their loved ones fearing for their lives.
“But reuniting them with their owners and seeing how grateful they were to be safe was the best feeling in the world.
“I’ve had loads of appreciation and flowers delivered to my business.”
Ashley said she has rescued nine dogs and three cats, as well as coming to the aid of 11 people in the waters.
She admits she was anxious after seeing reports of snakes and crocodile infested floodwaters – but thankfully didn’t cross paths with any dangerous reptiles on her quest.
And while it was heartbreaking to behold the havoc wreaked on the town she calls home, it has been equally warming to watch her community band together.
Ashley said: “I did have a tad anxiety about crocodiles being in the water and also reports of snakes.
“I urge people to contact local shelters, evacuation centres and just offering a helping hand in the worst hit areas.
“You have to see to believe just how bad things in Townsville had gotten, but seeing the community pull together has given me faith in humanity.”