Celebrating National Volunteer Week 17 – 23 May 2021

During Australia’s largest annual celebration of volunteers, the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards recognises and applauds the hardworking volunteers and rescue organisations that help save animal lives.

“There are over 1,000 rescue groups and animal shelters supported by thousands of volunteers across the country,” said Cathy Beer, Founder of the Rescue Awards, Australia’s first and only national awards program for rescues, shelters, foster carers, and passionate pet adopters.

In its fourth year, the Rescue Awards program returns, supported by Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner Pet Insurance Australia, to celebrate and inspire rescue groups and animal shelters who have made an impact and continue their efforts in saving companion animals.

Shelley Tinworth, Volunteer of the Year 2020

Shelley Tinworth, Volunteer of the Year 2020

“Volunteers are superheroes who donate their time and effort to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome pets,” said Cathy. “I shudder to think what would happen to hundreds of thousands of dogs, cats, rabbits and other companion animals that are abandoned or surrendered every year without the help of volunteers. During National Volunteer Week, we encourage people to consider volunteering for a rescue organisation as a foster carer or in another capacity.”

Volunteers support rescue groups and animal shelters in a variety of ways, such as helping at events and fundraising activities, cleaning animal enclosures, walking and socialising with animals, feeding, grooming and bathing, foster caring and much more.

Sydneysider Shelley Tinworth was awarded Volunteer of the Year in last year’s Rescue Awards for ‘nurturing the volunteer community’ of Greyhound Rescue NSW, which also received the 2020 Outstanding Rescue Group award.

“I was completely humbled to receive the 2020 Volunteer of the Year Award. I’m one small clog in the wheel of our incredible rescue group and so many others do so much more than me,” said Shelley.

“Volunteering with Greyhound Rescue has been completely life-changing in the best possible way. I have made lifelong friends who share the same outlook in terms of animal welfare and compassion for these beautiful creatures. It is an absolute honour to spend time with the greys at our rescue center each week, and know that you are contributing, albeit in a small way, to them finding their loving forever homes, as they all deserve.”

Volunteering has also been hugely beneficial to Shelley’s mental health – “you can’t help but be on cloud 9 after a shift at Greysland,” she said.

Shelley was the guest of honour at the 2021 Pet Insurance Australia Rescue Awards launch accompanied by her wife Belinda, who also volunteers as the Home Visit Crew Coordinator, helping to prepare ‘forever homes’ for adopted Greyhounds.

“We all want what is best for our precious greys, and that means finding them the perfect home, and supporting the amazing humans who want to give them a loving home,” said Shelley.

Enter the Rescue Awards 2021

The Rescue Awards encourages rescue groups and animal shelters to shine the light on their amazing volunteers and nominate an outstanding individual for the Volunteer of the Year 2021 award category. The winner receives national recognition and fabulous prizes including one year’s free pet insurance from Pet Insurance Australia.  Entries for all award categories close at midnight 31 July 2021 AEST.

Foster carers can share their story to enter the Foster Carer Story award category to WIN a prize pack worth $1,400!

Pet adopters can share their happy tail of pet adoption to enter the People’s Rescue Story award category to WIN a prize pack worth $1,400!

For more information about the Pet Insurance Australia Rescue Awards categories, judges, prizes, and supporters, visit here.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please visit www.rescueawards.com.au, sign up to the e-newsletter or follow the Rescue Awards on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.