The full extent of the animal rescue mission which took place during a raging fire in a paper and cardboard recycling factory at Taren Point on Friday night has been revealed.
Twelve dogs, 82 cats and four rabbits had to be evacuated as the fire in the Visy factory threatened the adjoining council animal shelter.
Four vans fitted with cages, as well as the private cars of staff, were used to transfer the animals to Engadine, Kirrawee and Sylvania veterinary hospitals.
Because of the urgency of the operation, together with dense smoke and the noise of fire-fighting operations, many of the animals were distressed as they were loaded into vehicles.
The animals were able to be returned to the shelter on Saturday afternoon.
Staff hope something good may come out of the ordeal, with shire residents being reminded of the animals who can be adopted.
The manager and staff of the animal shelter attended the council meeting on Monday night where deputy mayor Steve Simpson read a mayoral minute thanking them for their efforts.
Other councillors added their thanks and appreciation.
"I invite you to join me in recognising the responsiveness of staff and invaluable support of our community when a fire broke out at the Visy recycle facility, Taren Point, last Friday evening," Cr Simpson said.
"The Visy recycle facility receives council's household recycle waste and borders council's animal shelter.
"As fire broke out and first responders and emergency services attended, bringing the fire safely under control, our dedicated staff and volunteers evacuated over 70 cats, more than 10 dogs and several rabbits from council's shelter, to veterinary clinics in Sylvania, Kirrawee and Engadine late into the night.
"Many in the community expressed their concern and offered their assistance in any way they could.
"Veterinary staff ensured the animals had a restful night, and with the permission of rescue services, the animals were returned to the shelter on Saturday."
Cr Simpson said the fire also affected the council's household recycle waste collection service.
"I want to also recognise the dedication of Waste and Operations Services staff and others throughout council, for their rapid coordination to ensure household collection services can continue this week, with more resources made available to transport recycled material to Visy's St Peter's facility.
"It is adversities like this that demonstrate our strong sense of community and reaffirms the dedication and professionalism of our staff."
Dozens of cats, dogs and rabbits in the council animal shelter at Taren Point were relocated safely when the facility was threatened by a factory fire.
Investigations continue into the fire at the Visy cardboard and paper recycling centre in Alexander Avenue on Friday night.
A recycling factory in Taren Point packed with flammable paper and cardboard has gone up in flames. It took 100 firefighters hours to control the blaze as they tried to stop it spreading to neighbouring businesses. @laurakatebanks#7NEWSpic.twitter.com/RyWtLBufMw— 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) July 13, 2019
Sutherland Shire deputy mayor Steve Simpson thanked staff, local vets and emergency services for their efforts when the fire threatened the nearby animal shelter.
Cr Simpson said council staff worked to ensure every one of the animals was relocated safely.
"I'd also like to thank Engadine, Kirrawee and Sylvania veterinary hospitals for housing all of our cats, dogs and rabbits."
The shelter was closed on Saturday while a clean-up took place.
Cr Simpson said the council's recycling collection services would go ahead as normal in the coming week, but there may be some schedule delays as recycled material was delivered to an alternate location.
Investigations continue following a large factory fire at Taren Point overnight.
Emergency services were called to the cardboard recycling factory on Alexander Avenue, about 5.30pm on Friday.
Fire-fighters were able to control the blaze; however, it is expected it will not be fully extinguished for several hours. The extent of structural damage is yet to be determined.
The premises and its surrounding businesses were closed at the time, there have been no reports of injuries.
Officers from Sutherland Shire Police Area Command attended and established a crime scene.
Once the scene has been declared safe, police will investigate the cause of the fire.
Road closures are still in place for the southern end of Alexander Avenue and are expected to continue into Saturday morning.
For the latest traffic information, motorists are advised to visit www.live.traffic.com.
As inquiries continue, anyone with information is urged to come forward.
Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.