It’s National Volunteer Week – thank you to the thousands of volunteers who rehome pets

We put the spotlight on the great work volunteers do for companion animals this National Volunteer Week 18-24 May 2020.  The theme for National Volunteer Week is “Changing Communities. Changing Lives”.  This could not be more pertinent to the thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome companion animals to give them a second chance in a loving home.  We share ways you can help or volunteer for your local rescue or shelter.

COVID-19 has turned life upside down for all of us, including over 1,000 rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia.  These rehoming organisations are experiencing high adoption rates but they are also struggling to keep on going due to reduced donations.  Some rescues and animal shelters have had to greatly reduce their capacity to take in surrendered and abandoned animals.

“While rescue organisations are experiencing some of the highest ever adoption rates – PetRescue website has seen more than 12,000 pets adopted in just six weeks –  these organisations are also struggling with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic following the bushfires, said Pet4Life and Rescue Awards Founder Cathy Beer.

Ways you can support your local rescue or shelter

Adopt a pet

As more families experience financial hardship from the impacts of COVID-19, sadly more pets will be surrendered to animal shelters.

Now is a great time to consider adopting a pet when you’re spending more time at home.  Pets4Life lists what you need to ask a rescue or shelter before you adopt a pet in their adopt a pet fact sheet.

How do you know what is a good rescue or shelter to adopt a pet from? There are many excellent rescue groups and animal shelters out there.  We suggest you search for a pet via PetRescue and use the filters to find an adoptable pet located near you.  All PetRescue members have to agree to adhere to a code of conduct before they can list their adoptable pets.  Another great resource is charity, Pound Paws, which has a custom pet profile match.

Foster a pet

Not ready to take on a pet permanently?  Consider becoming a foster carer!  Foster care provides a loving home environment for rescue pets while they wait for their forever home.

Contact your local rescue or animal shelter to find out more about their foster care program.


The cost of rescuing, caring for, and rehabilitating animals is enormous.   Your local rescue or animal shelter would greatly appreciate a financial donation or become a regular giver.

If you’re not able to donate money, find out what your local rescue or animal shelter needs such as bedding, blankets, towels, toys, and treats.


There are many ways you can help a rescue group or animal shelter by volunteering your time and skills.  You could fundraise for your local rescue or animal shelter. Rescues and animal shelters use volunteers in the areas of admin, dog training, photography, animal care, customer service, adoption, foster care, and more.

Photo: Jo Lyons Photography, Official Photographer for the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2020

PetRescue and Pound Paws are Silver Rescue Supporters of the Rescue Awards.