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Companion Animal Rescue Awards Winners Revealed for 2022

Kudos to pet shelters, rescue groups and volunteers for continuing to fight the good fight

In a challenging year for rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia, the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce the winners for 2022.

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.

“Post-COVID surrender of ‘pandemic pets’ and spiralling cost of living have left animal shelters overflowing and rescue groups inundated with calls for help. Thanks to the incredible efforts of rescue organisations and their volunteers many animal lives have been saved, and their tireless effort deserves recognition,” said Cathy.

“The Rescue Awards has been very competitive with outstanding entries across ten categories, which made it very challenging for the judges! 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 on October 26 at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony produced and broadcasted nationally by Gold Rescue Partner Refuel Creative and supported by Real Pet Food Company’s brand, Ivory Coat.

Pet Insurance Australia returns as the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner in 2022.

Pet Insurance Australia CEO Ali Osmani said, “In another year of challenges for rescue groups and animal shelters, we are honoured and humbled to celebrate the achievements of these wonderful organisations and thousands of volunteers who work tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome companion animals around the country. On behalf of the entire Pet Insurance Australia team, we congratulate the 2022 winners of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards.”

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

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.

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.

2022 Companion Animal Rescue Awards Winners:

1. Outstanding Rescue Group: The Rabbit Sanctuary (NSW)

2. Outstanding New Rescue Group: Strong Hearts Rescue (VIC)

3. Outstanding Animal Shelter: Just Cats Tasmania (TAS)

4. Australian Pet Welfare Foundation Award for Councils: Goulburn Mulwaree Animal Shelter (NSW)

5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management: The Foster Carer Network 2.0 (The Rabbit Sanctuary, NSW)

6. Working with the Community to Keep People and their Pets Together: Second Chance Animal Rescue (SCAR)’s Community Outreach Program (VIC)

7. Volunteer of the Year: Kyla Grimmond from Rachie’s Ratirement Home (QLD)

8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing: Rachie’s Ratirement Home (QLD)

9. Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story: ‘Shirley, Bunny, Fargo and Lola and Kerry’ (Kerrie Haynes-Lovell, NSW), read their story

10. Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story: ‘Choo Choo and Sharlene' (Sharlene Simon, VIC), read their story

11. Special Foster Carer Award: 'Roxy and others and Suzanne’ (Suzanne Theuns, NSW), read their story

About Pets4Life

Pets4Life is an independent education resource, and provider of force-free dog training services. 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, Cathy Beer pursued her passion for pet welfare and launched Pets4Life in 2013. 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. 

To learn more, 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. 

To discover more, visit

Photo Credit (lead image): Jo Lyons Photography

MEDIA RELEASE, 27th October 2022

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