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Canine risk it all to help their owner save his cattle in flood

Canine risk it all to help their owner save his cattle in flood

A cattleman nearly lost his genuine companions who risked it all when rescuing dozens of stranded cattle in the NSW Mid North Soar floods.

Key points:

  • Hundreds of cattle stranded in floodwater were saved by a farmer and his two pet dogs come Kempsey
  • The dogs were nearly swept away during the daring rescue
  • Farmer Troy Irwin believes the rescue could well per chance perhaps contain been averted if he had more warning before his property turned into as soon as inundated

With his dogs swimming beside him, Troy Irwin led the cattle by more than a kilometre of floodwater to safety when the waters rose on March 18.

Early Newspaper

“The water turned into as soon as genuine below my knees on the horse,” Mr Irwin acknowledged.

“We travelled over a kilometre a half of and saw them [the cattle] on an island.”

The dogs instantly started mustering the cattle and the herd started heading encourage toward the condominium.

“I stayed on the wing and the dogs form of bobbed alongside to maintain the tail going,” Mr Irwin acknowledged.

Man with fluro orange raincoat and gumboots riding a a brown horse through floodwater with two dogs swimming behind them.

The ideal strategy to attain Troy’s stranded cattle turned into as soon as on horse encourage. (

Supplied: Troy Irwin


Incredibly, Mr Irwin and his dogs efficiently got more than 100 cows encourage to safety.

Mr Irwin watched helplessly as his dogs drifted further a ways from land.

Eight black cows huddled together surrounded by floodwater.

Hundreds of cows struggled to assemble to increased floor. (

Supplied: Ann Biasol


All he could well per chance perhaps stay turned into as soon as continue to blow his dog whistle and desperately call them to fight the sincere present.

“I assumed I’d contain to go and assemble her [the dog] and fasten her on the encourage of the horse … but I develop no longer think the horse could well per chance perhaps stay it,” he acknowledged.

The dogs fought their strategy encourage to dry land, great to Troy’s reduction.

Floods all too customary

Troy Irwin isn’t any stranger to floods.

He runs a cattle on more than 400 hectares of land on a flood plain that backs onto the Belmore River on the NSW Mid North Soar.

“We [cattle owners] know what to stay when it floods,” he acknowledged.

Nonetheless perhaps the most up-to-date flooding match that devastated the build turned into as soon as a various story.

“This flood turned into as soon as genuine too great. I did locate a suitable percentage of my cattle, but I lost all my donkeys,” Mr Irwin acknowledged.

“The inclined condominium genuine washed away … and our two caravans were half of rotund of water.”

‘We would contain hottest more warning’

Mr Irwin believes he could well per chance perhaps contain been more straightforward had he bought earlier warning of the risk.

“We got a textual declare from Council strategy too behind in the afternoon saying they were getting ready to begin the Belmore Fibra Dam [flood gates],” he acknowledged.

By the time Troy and his partner Mirasol grabbed some needed belongings and their three pet dogs, the water had risen drastically.

“The water turned into as soon as already up to my stomach button,” Mr Irwin acknowledged.

“We had to assemble out and kind the comfort out later.”

The pair got on their tractor and left the property instantly, but were compelled to leave donkeys, horses, and cattle behind.

Kempsey Council infrastructure supply manager Dylan Reeves acknowledged the council gave residents four hours’ look, and then one other alert announcing the floodgates begin.  

“We’re sorry to gaze the impact that this has had on the residents of the Kempsey native authorities build,” he acknowledged. 

Whereas the council objectives to give as great look as that it’s doubtless you’ll per chance per chance additionally think of before opening the floodgates, the route of can even be abrupt. 

“We sent out an SMS warning the floodgates would be opened in the match that the river continued to upward thrust,” Mr Reeves acknowledged.

“And the river did upward thrust rather rapid.” 

Mr Reeves acknowledged the match showed how crucial it turned into as soon as to train the early flood warnings significantly. 

“Taking the warnings significantly, and being professional about what impact could well per chance perhaps potentially happen for your private dwelling … in the match of a flood, would be suitable to contain during a catastrophe match,” he acknowledged. 


Canine risk it all to help their owner save his cattle in flood