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With a goal of 5,000 pledges, Be Kind to Animals Week is back for 2021

Running from Friday 1 to Thursday 7 OctoberBe Kind to Animals Week is a time to reflect on the importance of being kind to animals and demonstrate how simple acts of kindness can have an enormous impact on all the furred, feathered, fleeced, and finned beings we share this planet with.

Now in its eleventh year, Be Kind to Animals Week is hoping to exceed 5,000 pledges. This involves a commitment to eat kind by choosing to dine on plant-based recipes for the week, and can be extended to shop and live kind too.

To support participants in their pledge, Edgar’s Mission, a not-for-profit sanctuary for rescued farmed animals who started the Be Kind to Animals Week campaign back in 2010, is sending out free Kindness Kits along with daily emails filled with plant-based recipe inspiration and other kindness tips. Edgar’s Mission is also offering the chance to win a hamper full of ethical goodies.

This year, a number of Australian household names have come on board as official ambassadors for Be Kind to Animals Week to throw their support behind the week-long pledge, including DJ, producer, and wellness enthusiast, Dara Hayes (aka DJ Tigerlily).

"Research has proven that animals feel pain and emotions, share languages, family bonds, and rituals,” Dara says. “They are just as deserving of our kindness. Switching to a plant-based lifestyle was the best decision I have ever made. It is empowering to be a voice for the voiceless and to live a life that is causing no cruelty or harm to other beings. It costs nothing to be kind.”

Joining Dara is actress Jet Tranter, sisters and fashion designers Jess and Stef Dadon, athlete and nutritionist Tammy Fry, and Be Kind to Animal Week’s youngest ambassador Nella Trainor.

The events of the last 18 months have made us all take a moment to reflect on how we can better support each other. 



During that time, Edgar’s Mission has rescued 196 animals in need and their sanctuary is home to between 400 and 500 animals at any given time.

This includes orphans like Kiki Dee, one of the tiniest lambs Edgar’s Mission has ever rescued.

“Kiki Dee’s eye had been pecked by a bird, but a kind heart brought her to the sanctuary,” says Edgar’s Mission Founder and Director, Pam Ahern.

“Today, after lots of love and care, she is a happy and very affectionate sheep. It just goes to show the power of kindness, and it also speaks to the range of emotions all animals feel, no matter what they look like.”



Pam adds that Be Kind to Animals Week is a great opportunity to stop and think about how being kinder can improve our own lives, animals’ lives and the world.

In addition to reflecting on the simple choices we make every day, including what we eat and the products we use, Be Kind to Animals Week aims to show the many ways people can make a positive impact on animals’ lives.

“You can support your favourite animal welfare charity by volunteering or donating, organise a beach or park clean up, leave water out for local wildlife and so much more.”

During the week, Pam will also be doing a series of library talks across Melbourne, which can be booked through the library. She will also host two live virtual tours from the sanctuary through Edgar’s Mission’s Facebook page.

To make your pledge and for more information, free fun resources and a downloadable colouring competition for kids, please visit bekindtoanimalsweek.org.au.





Be Kind to Animals Week Library Talk Series with Pam Ahern

About Edgar’s Mission:

Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary is a not-for-profit haven for rescued farmed animals with a vision for a humane and just world for all. Set on 153 peaceable acres near Lancefield, Victoria (Australia), about 60 km north of Melbourne, it rescues and provides sanctuary to animals in need, currently providing lifelong love and care to between 400 to 500 rescued animals at any given time. Through education, outreach, advocacy, community enrichment and sanctuary tours, it encourages people to expand their circle of compassion to include all animals.

“If we could live happy and healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?” 


MEDIA RELEASE, 15th September 2021


Cat lovers invited to share their furry tales in a new writing competition

With lockdown boredom continuing for Melburnians, storytellers young and old are invited to showcase their creativity in a new writing competition launched by the Cat Protection Society of Victoria.

The ‘Furry Tales Children’s Story Competition’ is calling for writing enthusiasts to write and submit their own unique short story aimed at preschool to junior primary school aged children that helps to educate the community on responsible cat ownership and raise the profile of cats as companion pets.

“At the Society, we know the incredible star power of cats, and can’t wait to see how budding writers bring their furry tales to life,” says Rachel Bitzilis, Marketing and Communications Manager, The Cat Protection Society of Victoria.

“Short story entries can be focused on a cat who has found themselves seeking refuge at our adoption shelter, about a cat who is adopted into their purr-fect forever home, about the challenges faced by a cat living on the street without a home to call its own, about your own family cat, or a cat that has had a profound impact on your life!”


There will be two categories: a junior category open to children twelve years and under, and an open category, open to anyone twelve years and above.

Entrants will have their work judged by a panel including an animal behaviourist and author, a primary school teacher and representative from the Cat Protection Society of Victoria.

The winning entry from both of the two categories will be combined into a Children’s Book that will be professionally illustrated and published and available for purchase via the Society’s retail and online stores. 

All proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards continuing to provide the highest levels of care and rehoming of cats and kittens in need. 

The Children’s Book will also be incorporated into The Cat Protection Society’s Primary School Education program to be introduced in 2022.


The winning author from the Junior category will receive a $150 Ultimate Kids Gift Card, a certificate and a private shelter tour with plenty of time for cat and kitten cuddling with three friends. 

The winning author from the Open age category will receive a $300 Visa Debit Card Voucher.

The Furry Tales Children’s Story Competition is open now until Sunday 17th October, with winners announced at the start of November.



For more information, please visit www.catprotection.com.au/furry-tales

About the Cat Protection Society of Victoria

The Cat Protection Society of Victoria is a not-for-profit animal welfare organisation committed to working with the community to ensure that every cat has the opportunity for a loving, safe and healthy home. With an adoption shelter, a feline dedicated veterinary clinic, retail shop and café, the Society relies entirely on the kindness of donations, legacies and memberships for its day-to-day existence and to ensure they can provide the highest levels of care to cats in need. 

For more information, please visit www.catprotection.com.au

MEDIA RELEASE, 15th September 2021




The Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards is delighted to announce the 2021 finalists, shining the light on rescue groups, animal shelters, and companion animal welfare organisations who continue to save thousands of animal lives during these challenging times.

The Rescue Awards is Australia’s first and only national awards program that celebrates and recognises achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals. The Rescue Awards is a for-purpose program managed by Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet.

“The Rescue Awards is the national platform to showcase achievements in rescue, sheltering, re-homing and companion animal welfare. The Finalists have demonstrated not only excellence but also their resilience and ability to innovate in these difficult times to rescue and re-home pets,” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and rescue advocate from Pets4Life.

In its fourth year, the Rescue Awards attracted many and diverse entries from around the country across 10 categories. Like the past three years, the Outstanding Rescue Group and Volunteer of the Year are the most competitive industry award categories.

“Companion animals are more than cats and dogs. It’s great to see rabbits, rats, a chicken and a guinea pig among our amazing finalists in the People’s Rescue Story and Foster Carer Story award categories,” said Cathy. “The judges were moved by the hundreds of wonderful pet adoption and foster care stories that show the power and strength of the human-animal bond.”


This year, Pet Insurance Australia is the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner.

Pet Insurance Australia’s CEO Ali Osmani said, “Pet Insurance Australia is proud to support the Companion Animal Rescue Awards in its fourth year. In a year that has been very challenging, it has been inspiring to see how rescue groups, animal shelters and thousands of volunteers around Australia continue to rescue pets and save lives. Pet Insurance Australia congratulate the finalists in 2021.”

21 Judges, 10 Categories

The Finalists were determined by a panel of highly respected judges who have donated their time and expertise to assess the Rescue Awards entries. For a list of the judges and biographies, please visit here.

2021 Finalists

✔️ Outstanding Rescue Group: Forever Friends Animal Rescue, Hunter Animal Rescue, Maggies Rescue Co-operative, The Rabbit Sanctuary

✔️ Outstanding New Rescue Group: Central Queensland Animal Society Inc, I Want a Greyhound (IWaG)

✔️ Outstanding Animal Shelter: Central Coast Animal Care Facility, Greyhound Rescue, Just Cats, Rachie’s Ratirement Home

✔️ Outstanding Council Animal Shelter: Ballarat Animal Shelter

✔️ Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management: Mobile Companion Animal Shelter for Emergency Evacuation, Pet Medical Crisis, The Rainbow Paws Program

✔️ Community Education and/or Outreach Program: AWL NSW Mobile Truck, RSPCA NSW Safe Families, SCAR Community Outreach Program, West Cairns Management Program

✔️ Volunteer of the Year: Alison Dower (Rachie’s Ratirement Home), Kaye Cromie (Lort Smith), Lachlan Barnard (Forever Friends Animal Rescue), Louise Stott (RSPCA VIC), Melissa Penn (Sydney Dogs and Cats Home), Paula Oberosler (Greyhound Rescue)

✔️Refuel Creative Digital Marketing: Greyhound Rescue, Rachie’s Retirement Home

✔️ People’s Rescue Story: Find out the 10 finalists here.

✔️ Foster Carer Story: Find out the 5 finalists here.

✔️ Plus a Special Foster Carer AwardKaylee and Charmane (WA)

2021 Winners

The winners will be revealed at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony in November 2021. Details will be announced on the website and social media in the coming weeks. Join in the celebration and watch this special event via the Rescue Awards Facebook page at @rescueawards.

Thank you to our wonderful Supporters for donating cash prizes and/or products and services for the winners. See the list of fabulous prizes.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please visit www.rescueawards.com.au

Sign up for the e-newsletter or follow the Rescue Awards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram. #PIARescueAwards2021

Photo Credit (all): Jo Lyons Photography

MEDIA RELEASE, 15th September 2021



Never clean your cat's litter box again!

We all love our cats. Their litter boxes? Not so much... 

It’s no news that litter boxes are dirty and smelly, and the odour is often the first thing you notice when you walk in the door. 

Cleaning litter boxes is so far down the chore list it gets put off for days, and no wonder - no one wants to do it! But what if you could simply throw your cat’s dirty litter box away each month, and never have to clean it out again?

Kitty Fresh brings the ultimate solution to the dirty litter box dilemma directly to your door: a disposable, recyclable litter box with premium litter included

Delivered to your door each month, it takes seconds to dispose of the old one and set up kitty’s clean, fresh litter box.

Kitty Fresh’s patented, all-in-one disposable litter box is the first of its kind in Australia. With a thin waterproof liner and premium plant-based litters, a box will last one cat an entire month. 

The box and liner are also recyclable, providing you dispose of the dirty litter separately.


Whether you choose bamboo or tofu, both are all-natural clumping litters that are good for the environment, good for your home and good for your kitty. 

With no added scents or colours and superior odour control, the only thing you’ll smell is freshness! Simply scoop the wee clumps and poo daily to maintain kitty’s box, and eliminate the smell for good. 

Kitty Fresh is so sure of their product, they guarantee you will notice a difference from the clay, crystal and paper litter options you’re using.

Kitty Fresh is a new Aussie owned and operated family business, and their mission is to keep it fresh for Aussie cats and their people.



What are the main benefits of using Kitty Fresh?

✔️ No cleaning dirty trays

✔️ Premium all natural litters with superior odour control

✔️ Scooping clumps and poo daily takes seconds

✔️ Easy set up

✔️ Simply close and seal old box to dispose

✔️ No more lugging heavy bags of litter from shop to car, car to home

Some tips for successful transitioning:

Try these simple tips to help your kitty adjust to their Kitty Fresh box:

1. Make sure you place your Kitty Fresh box in the same location as your previous litter box

2. Add a layer of your old litter on top to help kitty get the idea

3. Be sure to scoop daily to keep the box fresh. 



Price & how to get started:

RRP: $27.95/box plus shipping ($8.95 Brisbane, $9.95 Australia-wide, $18.95 Australia for remote areas).

To get started, visit www.kittyfresh.com.au 

You can also follow Kitty Fresh on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KittyFreshAustralia 

or on Instagram at www.instagram.com/kittyfresh_au/

MEDIA RELEASE, 1st September 2021



The Cheerble company - the most backed pet toy brand in crowdfunding history - has finally found an ideal solution for keeping pets hydrated and their water dish always clean while their parents are away.

After running three successful campaigns and delivering thousands of Wicked Bones, Wicked Balls and Cheerble Board Games to their backers, they finally launched their fourth product, Drinkie - a brand new smart self-cleaning dispenser for cats and small dogs.

Having raised over $140K+ on Kickstarter in 10 days, the product seems to be the next favourite among pet parents.

Unlike the traditional pet water fountains on the market, Drinkie cleans your pet's dish all by itself and using the smart app, you can set 4 times limit of self-cleaning.

The way it works is simple yet smart: once your cat or dog drinks from the dish, the dispenser uses its patent-pending Pulse System to rinse it, moving stray whiskers, food particles, and germs into an airtight waste water tank.

At the same time whilst your pet is away, it tops up the dish with clean water from the fresh water tank, keeping it always full for your pet.




This way the dispenser keeps dirty water away from your pet, ensures constant access to clean water served from a self-cleaned dish, without any need for filters that can cause secondary pollution and harm.

In fact, thanks to its large 3-litre capacity, Drinkie provides your pet a five-day supply of clean water - offering real peace of mind for you, whether you're on vacation, a business trip or just staying late at work.

"One day I realised I could no longer afford a pet sitter at $25/hour. However, with my frequent travelling, I couldn't leave my cat and dog drinking stale water from a dirty dish either" says Hannah Huang, COO of Cheerble

"That's when I had the eureka moment: why not create a smart solution to keep my pets hydrated and their dish clean?
With Drinkie we are turning that idea into a bright reality".



Another cool thing about the dispenser is that with its smart app, you can not only set the time and frequency of rinsing, but also get notified about low water levels in the dispenser and monitor your pet's drinking habits to warn you about any anomalies that could signify a serious problem.

What's more, Drinkie features an ultra-silent design: simply set it to the night mode, and the dispenser will continue providing water to your pet silently at night - you won't hear it even if it's in your bedroom.

As to Drinkie's cleaning, it's simply a breeze. 
Whenever it's time to refill, just take out the containers and dish, rinse them off or wash under warm water, that's it!

With all its smart features, this could indeed be the answer to many busy pet parents' prayers and become the next big thing in their life.

Price & Where to Buy:

Price: A$134.00 (US$99.00) early bird offer then RRP: US$169.00.

Available for pre-order on Kickstarter until 2 September, 2021 with estimated delivery in January 2022.

For additional information or to pre-order Drinkie, visit the campaign page.

MEDIA RELEASE, 5th August 2021

Related Topics:

Cheerble board game all-in-one toy for cats


Pet Insurance Australia applauds the recent changes made to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Act 2021. These vital changes in NSW will help protect animals and punish those responsible for crimes against pet welfare.

“This is another important step in the right direction to ensure cruelty to animals is not tolerated within our communities,” Nadia Crighton from Pet Insurance Australia says. “NSW has taken a massive leap forward by increasing financial penalties and jail time for animal welfare offenses.”

New South Wales has recently passed the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Amendment Act 2021 that has made several important changes to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act 1979.

Changes include:
  • Cruelty: increase from $5,500 and/or six months imprisonment to $44,000 and/or 12 months’ imprisonment for individuals each offense. The corporate penalty will increase from $27,500 to $220,000 for each offense.
  • Aggravated cruelty: the maximum penalty per offense will increase from $22,000 to $110,000 for an individual and/or two years’ imprisonment and from $110,000 to $550,000 for a corporation for each offense.
  • Failure to provide food and shelter: increase from $5,500 to $16,500 for individuals and/or six months’ imprisonment, with corporate penalties increasing from $27,500 to $82,500 for each offense.
“Those who are found to be cruel to animals, including aggravated cruelty and failing to provide shelter, water or food will now face the full force of the courts,” Crighton says.
“People also found guilty will be prohibited from purchasing, owning or working with an animal.”



Th
is is a big win in helping stomp out puppy farms and kitten mills that are profiting directly off the cruel treatment of breeding cats and dogs.

“Puppy and kitten farms have been a major issue in Australia for years,” Crighton says. “Not only profiting of the terrible condition these animals are kept in, but also producing sick and unhealthy puppies and kittens for the unsuspecting public.”

These amendments are a clear sign that the community's thoughts are now being echoed in actual change.

“When it comes to puppy farms and kitten mills it’s vital that the general population is well-educated on where their future pets come from,” Crighton says. “It’s imperative people do their research and ensure they are investing in a good breeder.”

Consider:

✔️ Adopt a pet - approximately 190,000 pets remain unclaimed in shelters and pounds across Australia each year.

✔️ Ensure you visit your breeder.

✔️ Ask to see the parents of your puppy or kitten.

✔️ Contact breed clubs and research your chosen breeder.

✔️ Understand that you may have to wait. Good breeders tend to have waiting lists for their pets.

MEDIA RELEASE, 27th July 2021

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