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Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022 Open until July 31

Recognising rescues, shelters and councils that keep people and their pets together in times of hardship

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, pet ownership has substantially increased with thousands of Australians finding comfort and companionship in animals adopted from rescues and shelters during periods of uncertainty and social isolation.

The Companion Animal Rescue Awards returns for its 5th year to inspire rescue groups and animal shelters that continue their efforts in saving lives during these challenging times of the pandemic and more recently, the devastating floods in parts of Australia.

(L to R): Melissa Penn from SDCH, Josh Wheeler from Real Pet Food Company representing Ivory Coat, Cathy Beer from Pets4life, Judge Dr Anne Quain and Alesha Saliba from PetRescue

A celebration was held at 
Sydney Dogs and Cats Home (proud member of Companion Animal Network Australia) in Sydney to launch the 2022 Rescue Awards program. 

Pet adoption advocate and Rescue Awards Founder Cathy Beer welcomed back Pet Insurance Australia as the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner. The program is called the ‘Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022’.

“Right from our first year of the Rescue Awards back in 2018, Pet Insurance Australia has been one of our wonderful founding Supporters. I’m delighted to welcome back this fine Australian family- owned business as our Naming Partner. Pet insurance is critical to ensure pets receive top quality veterinary treatment and care. Pet Insurance Australia brings an international reputation for excellence and a caring approach to their customers seeking pet insurance,” said Cathy, also founder of Pets4Life.

The Rescue Awards is Australia’s first and only national awards program for hard working rescues, shelters, companion animal welfare organisations, foster carers, and passionate pet adopters. The program is managed by Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and provider of force-free, positive dog training services.

The Rescue Awards is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation, thereby raising the standards of rescue groups and animals shelters nationwide.

“Thousands of volunteers support over 1,000 rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia, said Cathy. “The Rescue Awards shines the light on staff and volunteers who not only help surrendered and abandoned pets to find a loving home but also provide outreach assistance to pet guardians in the community.”

Returning as the Rescue Awards Ambassador is Lara Shannon, Certified Dog Trainer, Animal Welfare Advocate and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play, Author of "World of Dogs" and "Eat, Play, (Love Your Dog)". Lara shares her enthusiasm for the Rescue Awards in her video message.

Pet Insurance Australia Spokesperson Nadia Crighton said, “Pet Insurance Australia is thrilled to be the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner for the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022.”

Ali OsmaniPet Insurance Australia CEO, said, "After supporting these important awards since its inception, it's a great honour to continue our support in a significant way. We encourage Australian rescues and shelters that work tirelessly to save the lives of pets to enter the Rescue Awards in 2022, and get the recognition they deserve."

Cathy also revealed this year’s JudgesCategoriesSupporters and Prizes, and thanks animal lovers across the country for helping to make a difference by adopting or fostering a pet.

“This year, the Rescue Awards have made some exciting changes to the award categories!” she said. “Thanks to the Australian Pet Welfare Foundation, Category 4 is now open to all councils with or without their own shelter. Category 6 is for anyone working with the community to keep people and their pets together. We’re also delighted to welcome Ivory Coat as our new sponsor for categories 9 and 10 (see category list below).”

Pet Insurance Australian Rescue Awards 2022 Categories:

1. Outstanding Rescue Group

2. Outstanding New Rescue Group

3. Outstanding Animal Shelter

4. Australian Pet Welfare Foundation Award for Councils

5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management

6. Working with the Community to keep People and their Pets Together

7. Volunteer of the Year

8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing

9. Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story

10. Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story

Rescue Awards Categories

The Rescue Awards 2022 has 10 Categories with one winner for each category.

Award categories 1 – 8 are for industry. Category 9, the ‘Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story’, is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted a pet and Category.

10 is the ‘Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story’ for foster carers of companion animals waiting for their forever home.


The Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce these 21 judges including three new judges, Farmer Dave GrahamDr Leigh Davidson and Connie MacLulich. The judges bring a diversity of expertise in the areas of companion animal welfare, rescue and sheltering, veterinary, training, compassion fatigue, digital marketing, animal behaviour and rehabilitation.

The Rescue Awards wishes to thank the judges for donating their time and expertise.

1. Tim Vasudeva, Financial Institutions & Corporate Engagement, WAP Australia

2. Nell Thompson, Coordinator for G2Z, Secretary for the AIAM Committee

3. Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand, Executive Director & Chief Scientist, Australian Pet Welfare Foundation

4. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue

5. Farmer Dave Graham, Co-founder & Manager RuffTRACK, Youth Worker, Dog Trainer

6. Dr Vanessa Rolf, Compassion Fatigue Therapist

7. Brooke Rankmore, CEO at Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)

8. Jona Osmani, Operational Manager, Pet Insurance Australia

9. Dr Anne Quain, Animal Welfare Veterinarian

10. Anne Boxhall, Animal Welfare Advocate with 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue

11. Barbara Hodel, President of the Pet Professional Guild Australia

12. Diana Rayment, Companion Animal Welfare Scientist, Shelter Supervisor at Second Chance Animal Rescue

13. Ryan Jones, Founder and CEO of Refuel Creative

14. Brittany Bloomer, International TV Presenter and Founder of charity Pound Paws

15. Annette Hughes, Publisher of Where Pets Are Found

16. Dr Leigh Davidson, Founder of Your Vet Online

17. Tara O’Connell, Creator of The Pet Diaries mobile app

18. Andrew Grill, The Actionable® Futurist, technology trends and the digital world expert

19. John Kim, Founder and CEO of Silverquest Consulting, Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Board Member

20. Connie MacLulich, Brand Manager (Ivory Coat), Real Pet Food Company

21. Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life and the Companion Animal Rescue Awards Full bios and photos of the judges can be found here.
Open for Entries

Enter online from 9:00am on 3rd May to close midnight AEST on 31st July, 2022 . 
To enter, visit and follow the links.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please visit, sign up to the e-newsletter or follow the Rescue Awards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram

Photography Credit (all): Jo Lyons Photography

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 launched Pets4Life in 2013 after interviewing leaders in the companion animal welfare space. Cathy successfully completed the Delta Institute of Australia Cert IV Companion Animal Services and the accredited Delta dog trainer course in October 2019. Cathy is a voluntary member of Willoughby Council’s Companion Animals Committee and a former volunteer instructor at the Sydney All Breeds Dog Club in Sydney. The Companion Animal Rescue Awards is a Pets4Life initiative. Visit

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 disappearing. Seeing first-hand how beneficial pet insurance could be.

Today, thousands of customers now benefit from their pets being insured.

MEDIA RELEASE, 3rd May 2022

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