Outstanding pet shelters, rescue groups, and volunteers from coast to coast receive the recognition they deserve

In another year that has been very challenging for rescue groups and animal shelters across the country, the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards announced the WINNERS for 2021 on 10 November 2021.

Photo: Rachie’s Ratirement Home

The Rescue Awards is a national program that celebrates and recognises achievements in rescue, sheltering, rehabilitation, and rehoming of companion animals Australia-wide. The program is founded by Cathy Beer, professional dog trainer, and pet adoption advocate from Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians.

“The Rescue Awards has been very competitive with outstanding entries across 10 categories, which made it very challenging for the judges!” said Cathy. “Our amazing winners demonstrated excellence and innovation in their approach to improving the lives of companion animals during these difficult times.”

Following the announcement of the Finalists in September, one winner from each category was selected by an expert panel of 21 Judges. The winners were revealed today at 12 pm AEDT at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony produced and broadcasted nationally by Gold Rescue Partner, Refuel Creative, and supported by Nature’s Gift.

This year, Pet Insurance Australia is the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner. Pet Insurance Australia CEO Ali Osmani said, “In another year of challenges for so many Australians, we are honoured and humbled to share in celebrating the achievements of rescues, shelters, and thousands of volunteers who have devoted their efforts to care for companion animals in such difficult times. On behalf of the entire Pet Insurance Australia team, we congratulate this year’s winners of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards.”

The People’s Rescue Story and Foster Carer Story award categories received hundreds of entries from Aussie pet guardians who shared their incredible, heart-warming stories about pet adoption and fostering. This year the entries included a rescue chicken, rabbits, a guinea pig, a snake as well as many cats and dogs who have found their forever homes.

Photo: Mark Bent & Bella

Cathy thanked Supporters for making the Rescue Awards possible by donating exciting Prizes and acknowledged the great efforts of rescue groups, animal shelters, companion animal welfare organisations, and thousands of volunteers across the country, especially during extraordinary and unprecedented pandemic times.

Rescue Awards Ambassador Lara Shannon, certified dog trainer, animal welfare advocate, author of “Eat, Play Love your dog” and “World of Dogs”, and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play, congratulated the winners and thanked rescue organisations and their volunteers for helping surrendered and abandoned pets get a second chance in a loving home.


Outstanding Rescue Group: Forever Friends Animal Rescue

Outstanding New Rescue Group: Central Queensland Animal Society

Outstanding Animal Shelter: Rachie’s Ratirement Home

Outstanding Council Animal Shelter: Ballarat Animal Shelter

Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management: City of Launceston Council’s Mobile Companion Animal Shelter for Emergency Evacuation

Community Education and/or Outreach Program: Cairns Regional Council’s West Cairns Management Program

Volunteer of the Year: Lachlan Barnard, Forever Friends Animal Rescue

Refuel Creative Digital Marketing: Greyhound Rescue NSW

People’s Rescue Story: ‘Bella and Mark’, (Mr. Mark Bent), read their story

Foster Carer Story: ‘Macy and Rosalinda’, Mrs. Rosalinda Lowry, read their story

Special Foster Carer Award: ‘Kaylee and Charmane’, Mrs. Charmane Sharp, read their story

About Pets4Life

Pets4Life is an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those who are thinking of getting a cat or dog. Our goal is to help reduce cat and dog surrender and improve pet well-being in Australia. After over 20 years in the corporate world as a professional marketer, Cathy Beer pursued her passion for pet welfare and created Pets4Life in 2013 after interviewing leaders in the companion animal welfare space. Cathy is an accredited Delta dog trainer and a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild Australia. Cathy is a voluntary member of Willoughby Council’s Companion Animals Committee and a casual volunteer instructor at the Sydney All Breeds Dog Club. Visit pets4life.com.au.

About Pet Insurance Australia

Pet Insurance Australia is a family-owned Australian Pet Insurance business, with a long and successful history in the pet industry. Not only do they have years of experience, but they have an international reputation for excellence.  Pet Insurance Australia takes pride in that they are not just business owners; they are pet people and pets are part of our daily lives. They strongly believe that being passionate, and developing personal relationships is the key to business success and they have endeavoured to deliver exactly that to their customers. At PIA they treat every pet as if it was our own. Pet Insurance Australia was launched back in 2008. Since then, PIA has witnessed expressions about financial worries disappear. Seeing first-hand how beneficial pet insurance could be. Today, thousands of customers now benefit from their pets being insured. To discover more, visit www.petinsuranceaustralia.com.au