Open for entries 1 May 2019!

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA: 10 APRIL 2019: After a successful launch in 2018 attracting 517 entries, the Companion Animal Rescue Awards is back again this year to inspire rescue groups and animal shelters to continue their efforts in saving companion animals.

The 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards program launched today amongst rescue felines at the Cat Protection Society of NSW shelter in Sydney. New judges, categories and supporters were revealed! The Cat Protection Society was the recipient of the 2018 ‘Community Education and Outreach Program’ Award for its Good Neighbour Project.

“Every year, 186,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters, and thousands of volunteers support over 900 rescue and animal shelters across Australia¹,” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and rescue advocate from Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet.

The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is a for purpose program whose mission is to celebrate and recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals in Australia. The Rescue Awards is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation in rescue.

“In 2019, we’re building on the success of last year. The judges are looking forward to receiving more outstanding submissions from the rehoming industry and I’ll have the tissues handy when I read the entries for the ‘Advocate® People’s Rescue Story” said Cathy. “The Rescue Awards has not only unveiled the extraordinary work of an amazing rescue community, but also inspired the industry to improve processes, collaboration, and innovation to help companion animals get a second chance in a loving home.”

This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and naming Partner. Sandy Matheson, Jetpets Managing Director, said: “We are excited to come on board again as the Platinum Partner for the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards. Our motivation was simple; we want to support the amazing work being done by so many individuals and rescue groups across the country.  I’m looking forward to congratulating the winners at this year’s ceremony.”

The 2019 Rescue Awards has eight categories with one winner for each category. Award categories 1 – 7 are for rehoming organisations, including a new category ‘Outstanding New Rescue Group’ for rescues operating 12 – 36 months.


1.    Outstanding Rescue Group
2.    Outstanding New Rescue Group (new in 2019)
3.    Outstanding Animal Shelter
4.    Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
5.    Innovation in Rescue
6.    Community Education and Outreach Program
7.    Volunteer of the Year
8.    Advocate® People’s Rescue Story

Category 4 Innovation in Rescue is now open to individuals/ organisations including veterinarians, who are doing things differently to help improve welfare outcomes for companion animals who need a home.  Category 8 ‘Advocate® People’s Rescue Story is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted or fostered a pet.

“It’s clear, pet adoption changes lives for the better. This year we’re looking for 1,000 Advocate® People’s Rescue stories about how an adopted or foster pet has transformed and changed their human’s life,” said Cathy.


The 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards welcome back last year’s judges who are looking for inspiring examples of excellence and innovation within and beyond the shelter.  We are thrilled to announce new Judges Bondi Vet Dr Alex Hynes (and rescue dog Yoshi), Anne Boxhall who brings 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue, and Bayer Veterinarian Dr Liisa Ahlström (with rescue cats Charlie & Olive).

  1. Nell Thompson, Coordinator for Getting To Zero (G2Z) and committee member of the Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM).
  2. Tim Vasudeva, Director of Corporate Affairs at Animals Australia.
  3. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue, not for profit organisation that brings thousands of rescue pets face-to-face with thousands of potential adopters every day.
  4. Dr Anthony Bennett, Veterinarian & Co-star of Lifestyle Channel’s TV series Village Vets.
  5. Sandy Matheson, Founder & Managing Director of Jetpets, a pet travel company focused on the safety, comfort and welfare of pets.
  6. Dr Anne Fawcett, Animal Welfare Veterinarian. Dr Anne’s blog is
  7. Dr Michael O’Donoghue, Small animal veterinarian and Co-Founder of ‘People and Pets’, a nationwide grief and pet loss counselling service.
  8. Dr Alex Hynes, Emergency Veterinarian and co-star in the new series of Bondi Vet TV show.
  9. Anne Boxhall, Companion animal welfare advocate with 30 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue
  10. Dr Liisa Ahlström, Veterinarian, Companion Animal Products, Bayer Animal Health (category 8 Judge)
  11. Dan White, Senior Brand Manager, Bayer Animal Health (category 8 Judge)
  12. Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life (category 8 Judge)

More about the Judges.

Pets4Life welcomed back renowned animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti of Pet Problems Solved, as the Rescue Awards Ambassador.


Enter online from 1 May to close midnight on 30 June. To enter, visit and follow the links.


The winners will be celebrated at the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards ceremony on 12 September 2019 during the G2Z Summit on the Gold Coast, Queensland. More information to come on the Rescue Awards website.


Photo from left to right: Kristina Vesk, CEO of Cat Protection Society NSW, Penny Jeavons of Bayer, Anne Fawcett (Judge), Cathy Beer of Pets4Life and Joanne Righetti (Ambassador).