SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: 3 May 2021: Coronavirus isolation led to a surge in petadoptions over the past year, saving thousands of animal lives. The CompanionAnimal Rescue Awards returns for its fourth year to celebrate and inspirerescue groups and animal shelters who have made an impact and continue theirefforts in saving companion animals.

The Rescue Awards is Australia’s first and only national awards program forhard working rescues, shelters, foster carers and passionate pet adopters. Theprogram is managed by Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat anddog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet.

At a celebration with guests from Greyhound Rescue, 2020 Outstanding RescueGroup winner, the Rescue Awards welcomed Pet Insurance Australia as the newPlatinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner. The program is now called the ‘ PetInsurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2021 ’.

“The Rescue Awards is absolutely delighted to welcome Pet Insurance Australiaas our new Naming Partner,” said Cathy Beer, pet adoption advocate and founderof the Rescue Awards and Pets4Life.

“Pet Insurance Australia is one of our wonderful founding Supporters, rightfrom the start in 2018. Pet insurance is critical to ensure pets receive topquality veterinary treatment and care. This fine Australian family-ownedbusiness brings an international reputation for excellence and a caringapproach to their customers seeking pet insurance.”

The mission of the Rescue Awards is to celebrate and acknowledge achievementsin the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals in Australia.It is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation, thereby raising thestandards of rescue groups and animals shelters nation-wide.

“The Rescue Awards shines the spotlight on thousands of heart-warming storiesfrom pet adopters and foster carers about how their adopted/foster pet hastransformed and changed lives,” said Cathy.

Every year, approximately 190,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s poundsand shelters, and thousands of volunteers support over 1,000 rescue groups andanimal shelters across Australia ¹. The Rescue Awards recognises thededication of staff and volunteers who work tirelessly to help rescue petsfind homes.

“Our past winners and finalists say the recognition by the Rescue Awards givestheir staff and volunteers the motivation to ‘keep calm and carry on’ re-homing surrendered and abandoned pets every day in a challenging environment,”said Cathy.

In 2021, the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards isbuilding on the success of 2020 when over 1,000 entries were received.

Returning as the Rescue Awards Ambassador is Lara Shannon , Certified DogTrainer, Animal Welfare Advocate, author of ‘Eat, Play Love your Dog’, Host ofChannel 10’s Pooches at Play and features in Channel 9s The Pet Rescuers.Lara shares her enthusiasm for the Rescue Awards in her video message.

Pet Insurance Australia Spokesperson Nadia Crighton said, “Pet InsuranceAustralia is thrilled to be the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner forthe Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards for 2021.”

Ali Osmani, Pet Insurance Australia CEO, said, “After supporting theseimportant awards for the past four years, it’s a great honour to continue oursupport in a larger capacity. We encourage Australian rescues and shelters whowork tirelessly to rehome, rehabilitate and foster pets of all shapes andsizes to enter and get the recognition they deserve.”

Cathy also revealed this year’s Judges, Categories, Supporters andPrizes, and thanks animal lovers across the country for helping to make adifference by adopting or fostering a pet.


**** The Rescue Awards 2021 has 10 Categories with one winner for eachcategory.

Award categories 1 – 8 are for industry. Category 9, the People’s RescueStory’ is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted a pet and category 10 isthe Foster Carer Story’ for foster carers of companion animals waiting fortheir forever home.


  1. Outstanding Rescue Group
  2. Outstanding New Rescue Group
  3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
  4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
  5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management
  6. Community Education and Outreach Program
  7. Volunteer of the Year
  8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing
  9. People’s Rescue Story
  10. Foster Carer Story


**** The Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce 21 judges who bring expertisein companion animal welfare, rescue and sheltering, veterinarians, compassionfatigue, digital marketing and animal behaviour.

The Rescue Awards wishes to thank the judges for donating their time andexpertise.

  1. Tim Vasudeva, Director of Corporate Affairs at Animals Australia
  2. Nell Thompson , Coordinator for Getting 2 Zero
  3. Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand, Executive Director & Chief Scientist, Australian Pet Welfare Foundation
  4. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue
  5. Dr Anthony Bennett, Veterinarian, Equine Dentist & Royal Easter Show panelist
  6. Dr Joanne Righetti , PhD Animal Behaviourist, Pet Problems Solved
  7. Dr Vanessa Rolf , Compassion Fatigue Therapist
  8. Brooke Rankmore , CEO at Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)
  9. Jona Osmani, Operational Manager, Pet Insurance Australia
  10. Dr Anne Quain, Animal Welfare Veterinarian
  11. Anne Boxhall , Animal Welfare Advocate with 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue
  12. Barbara Hodel, President of the Pet Professional Guild Australia
  13. Diana Rayment, Shelter Supervisor at Second Chance Animal Rescue
  14. Ryan Jones , Founder and CEO of Refuel Creative
  15. Brittany Bloomer , International TV Presenter and Founder of charity Pound Paws
  16. Annette Hughes, Publisher of Where Pets Are Found
  17. Stacey Gadway, The Pet Diaries Managing Director
  18. Andrew Grill, Pragmatic Futurist, technology trends and the digital world expert
  19. John Kim, Founder and CEO of Silverquest Consulting, Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Board Member
  20. Nadia Crighton , Pet Insurance Australia spokesperson
  21. Cathy Beer , Founder of Pets4Life and the Companion Animal Rescue Awards

Full bios and photos of the judges can be found here.


Enter online from 9am on 3 May to close midnight on 31 July 2021 AEST.

To enter, visit and follow the links.

Here are what some of our 2020 winners and 2021 judges have to say. Watchhere.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please, sign up to the e-newsletter or follow the RescueAwards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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