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Dogs help rescue koalas in Australia

Posted at 9:54 AM, Jan 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-09 11:54:56-05

Dogs have saved hundreds of koalas during these wildfires - and they're only just getting started.

Ryan Tate and his pup Taylor have been on the front lines of these fires.

Taylor alone has rescued 15 koalas, and Tate's group has saved dozens. We met with one of the trainers, Steve Austin, who works with Tate training animals.

He says the importance of these dogs cannot be overstated. Injured animals often hide for safety.

These dogs follow their nose and look for animals in places that humans may never even think to look.

The dogs are going to get even busier soon.

Right now they're in a holding pattern waiting for some of the worst of the fires to be contained. The trainers expect to get the dogs back out there next week.

Steve says koalas are vital to Australian wildlife and right now, they are on their way towards becoming extinct. But he also says, these dogs can help.

He estimates that if trained dogs were properly used in wildlife rescue, we could save thousands of animals.

You may have seen some of these dogs on social media - many have gone viral! Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks have tweeted about some of the dogs who are saving koalas.