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Latest News

The Dog Podcast's first episode features Jo Burton on the benefits of Freework for Dogs 

Charlotte Bryan is excited to announce the launch of her new podcast, The Dog Podcast

The inaugural episode features Jo Burton from Paw and Order Noosa, a specialist in canine communication and Freework for dogs.

In this captivating first episode, Charlotte Bryan and Jo Burton dive deep into the world of Freework, a revolutionary approach to canine education and well-being. 

Jo, who holds a Diploma in Canine Communication and an Advanced Certificate in Canine Reactive Behaviour, shares her extensive knowledge and experience in this field.

The episode covers a wide range of topics, including:

  • The Concept of Freework: An integrated, multimodal approach to canine education that focuses on observing dogs’ posture, movement, and nervous system responses.
  • Historical Background: Insights into the development of Freework by Sarah Fisher and its application in animal-centred education.
  • Benefits for Different Life Stages: How Freework benefits puppies, adolescents, adults, and senior dogs by promoting considered movement, reducing over-arousal, and aiding in physical and emotional recovery.
  • Dealing with Behavioural Issues: Techniques for addressing common issues such as reactivity, resource guarding, and restlessness through Freework.
  • Freework Set-Up: Practical advice on how pet owners can start Freework sessions at home using everyday items to create engaging and beneficial environments for their dogs.

Jo Burton emphasises the importance of giving dogs the choice to engage in activities and the positive impact this has on their overall well-being. 

Listeners will gain valuable insights into how to create a safe and enriching environment for their dogs, fostering a stronger bond and promoting better behaviour.

Don’t miss this enlightening episode of The Dog Podcast

Watch the full episode on YouTube:

YouTube (Video):

Spotify (Audio):

Subscribe to stay updated on future episodes featuring industry experts discussing various topics related to canine health, training, and behaviour.

About Charlotte Bryan

Charlotte Bryan is a passionate dog advocate and the host of The Dog Podcast. She is dedicated to bringing expert advice and practical tips to dog owners, helping them understand and improve their relationship with their best friends. 


About Jo Burton

Jo Burton is a canine communication and dog-human relationship specialist at Paw and Order Noosa. With numerous diplomas and awards, Jo champions choice-based training and specialises in Freework sessions that enhance the lives of dogs and their owners. 


MEDIA RELEASE, 17th June 2024

Pets in Business: A pet-friendly policy could be the boost for a happier and more productive workplace

  • Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day on June 21
  • Australia CAN launches Pets in Business program to helps set up pet friendly policies in the workplace
  • 9 in 10 employees are highly bonded to their employer when pet-friendly benefits are offered*
In recent years, employers are increasingly welcoming pets into the workplace to reduce stress and improve employee retention. After all, studies show pet-friendly companies are more likely to attract, engage and retain employees*. Pets in the office also improve productivity and collaboration and alleviate employee stress and anxiety with their calming presence*.

In the lead up to Take Your Dog to Work Day (June 21), leading national animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN or CANA) officially launches its Pets in Business program to help employers set up pet-friendly policies that meet the needs of the business, non-pet owners and pet-owning staff.

“Now more than ever pets are an integral part of our lives,” says Trish Ennis, CEO of Australia CAN. “With many companies continuing to have employees split their working week between home and the office, it’s no surprise people want to bring their pets to the workplace too.”

Consumer research shows 85%* of Australian dog owners would go into the office more if they could take their pets. Plus, 63%* of employees in pet-friendly workplaces are “very satisfied” with their work environment (and that is nearly twice as many as those in workplaces where pets are not allowed).

“With work being a leading source of stress worldwide, employee satisfaction and morale are top-of-mind for most HR leaders, and pet-inclusive policies can help,” says Ms Ennis.

However, many workplaces are not prepared to have animals on site, with 64% of workplaces not having policies in place to support pets joining them, according to a global published study*.

“Creating a pet-friendly workplace involves carefully balancing the interests and rights of all employees, ensuring the welfare of the animals and managing the associated liability risks,” says Ms Ennis.

“Plus, not every workplace is suitable for pets; for instance, a warehouse or other area that operates high-risk machinery. Some animals are also prohibited, such as snakes, spiders and uncaged bunnies who can chew up cords! All pets need to be trained and not cause disruptions, such as reactive dogs that tend to bark at other people or animals.”

CANA’s Pets in Business program provides FREE resources to support the workplace, such as Pet Resume, Pet Friendly Workplace and Pet Free Zone Posters, Rules for Pets and Humans, and Office Pet Roster.

Eastern Innovation (EI) 
is a co-working space (lead image) in south-east Melbourne with suites, labs and offices for more than 40 future-focused businesses. 

EI is a CANA Pets in Business pawtner, welcoming pets in the workplace!

Asked how the partnership with CANA Pets in Business was enhancing the pet-friendly experience for both pets and employees/clients, Liz Small, Engagement Lead, Eastern Innovation says:

“Pets make Eastern Innovation a happier workplace. The pets love the attention and pats, and the owners love the attention their pets get. 
Clients with pets seem to be in the office more regularly.
We initially had some people who were anti pets in the office. Showing the pet friendly policy and procedures that pets would be under made them feel more comfortable. Having a pet friendly office is also a fabulous sales tool. Most people say that’s amazing. It’s a nice tool in our engagement with our new potential clients. We welcome more pets in the centre.”

For a donation, CANA can also set up employers with a branded Pets In Business kit that includes rules and regulations that meet the needs of everyone in the workplace. All donations go towards supporting the work of CANA member agencies.

“As some companies struggle to persuade employees to spend more time working onsite, implementing a pet-friendly policy might be the perfect solution for creating happier and more productive workplaces!” says Ms Ennis.

Puppy Bowl starring (L to R), Producer
Zac with Nellie, Paddy with Bear,
Maz with her son Henry and Happy
Triple M Central Coast (NSW) is also a pet-friendly workplace.

Maz Compton, Breakfast Host, Paddy & Maz explains “We often have pets in the office and are encouraged to bring our dogs into work any day of the week.

Having [our dog] Happy at work brings a smile to everyone’s face. He gets lots of pats and attention which he loves, and he gets to hang out with me during the day! 

I absolutely love it when any one of my colleagues brings their pet in to work. Of course, you need to be mindful that it is a good fit, the environment and the pup, to ensure that it’s a positive experience for all involved.

This year we hosted our first ever Puppy Bowl, a local spin on the Puppy Bowl which is hosted in the USA around the NFLs super bowl.
The idea being whichever puppy went to the Puppy Bowl first won! We had our listeners represented by each pup and the winner walked away with $500.”

For more information, resources or a branded Pets in Business kit, please visit

For tips to make your office pet friendly, please visit

Australia CAN represents the companion animal welfare work of member organisations across the country. The charity also celebrates the human-animal bond and promotes responsible pet ownership through national campaigns, partnerships and initiatives, such as Pets in Aged Care and Rent with Pets programs.

About Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN)

Companion Animal Network Australia (Australia CAN) is Australia’s peak body representing companion animals. It comprises six member agencies, each aiming to make the world a better place for pets. Through national campaigns, partnerships and initiatives, we celebrate the human-animal bond and promote responsible pet ownership. We use our national voice to campaign for the humane treatment of all companion animals and we rally support for programmes that deliver high welfare standards. 

To discover more, visit

MEDIA RELEASE, 17th June 2024

Related Topics: 

Australia's most Heroic, Talented, Sporting, Hard Working and Oldest Dogs revealed

The search for Australia’s most pawsome pooches in the inaugural The Dog Down Under campaign has ended, revealing the incredible tales of bravery, resilience, dedication and tail-wagging love that Australians right across the country share with their dogs.

Hosted by Lara Shannon, Author of World of Dogs and Eat, Play, Love (your dog) and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play and 7TWO’s Animal SOS Australia, the initiative began with a national Call for Entries, followed by six weeks of interviewing and filming entrants to sniff out the final Top 10* for each category.

Finalists for the Most TalentedEveryday HeroesHardest Working, Sporting Legends and Oldest Dogs categories have been revealed on social media, with the Overall Winners announced this week.

Shannon said, “After reading all 550 plus entries, I was blown away by how many of our canine companions are literally saving lives, protecting the community and bringing together people from all walks of life through a common bond and love of dogs. Meeting many of them along the East Coast of Australia, and with more states to come, it is very clear that for many Australians our dogs are more than just pets.

They are important members of the family, providing protection, inspiration and companionship, helping people to keep going when times get tough.

“The judges and I could never have imagined how hard it would be to select just ten finalists, and will be sharing as many of the stories that we can on social media and other platforms throughout the year, to recognise and celebrate the important role dogs play in our lives and the wider community.”

The stories of the Top 10 Finalists for the Most Talented, Hardest Working, Everyday Heroes and Sporting Legends categories, as well as Australia’s Oldest dogs of all shapes and sizes, will be shared in a five-part TV series ‘The Dog Down Under’, airing on Channel 10 from 7 September 2024.

The Overall Winners include:

MOST TALENTED – Bunny, the soulful pianist and singer (NSW)

Bunny, aka Bunsoo the little Boston terrier, is an incredibly talented pianist and singer. She sings her owners an original composition on the piano every morning and enjoys taking her show on the road to the retirement home where she swaps her instrument for a keyboard. 

A video of Bunny’s soulful performance went viral last year, with nearly 7 million views! Bunny is not only a very talented and sweet girl, she’s as cute as a button too. TikTok account: @bunsoobaby.

EVERYDAY HERO – Ninna, the life saver (QLD)

Ninna is a 14-year-old Staffy that plays many roles. She’s a nursing home and mental health ward therapy dog and personal Assistance Dog to her guardian, Alyssa, who writes, “Ninna helps me navigate the world, being my eyes and trusted partner.

Ninna tells me when my chemicals are changing, due to Septo-optic dysplasia, which caused my blindness. She also saved my life during a traumatic road accident which saw myself and two others trapped in a car that had rolled over the side of the Killarney Range, Qld, 10 years ago, by licking us constantly to keep us conscious and connected. She also helped me to become the first blind person to pursue a dog training career in Australia”.

HARDEST WORKING – Kaos, Qld Police Dog Hero (QLD)

Kaos became an operational police Dog in 2014. Turning 12 in October, Kaos has since retired. Living at home with his handler James and family, Kaos continues to help raise awareness about the important role Police Dogs play in keeping the community safe.

Kaos was based in Brisbane, but deployed across Queensland regional areas, and was successfully located and apprehended hundreds of offenders.

In February 2020, PD Kaos was stabbed in the throat while apprehending two serious offenders in North Brisbane, receiving a 12cm deep laceration into his throat, cutting his larynx and oesophagus and missing his carotid artery by millimetres. What makes this story even more incredible is that after sustaining this injury when apprehending the first offender, he was redeployed, apprehending the second offender whilst seriously injured.

Kaos required multiple surgeries, but after a few months’ recovery, was able to return to full operational duties. Prior to his injury, police dogs and horses were only protected under the Qld Animal Welfare Act. A new law has since been passed to provide additional penalties for police dogs and horses, ensuring Kaos’ legacy lives on.

SPORTING LEGEND – Roxy, the extraordinary dog sledder (SA)

Hurtling down rugged and windy trails at 25-30km/h with sledding teams all around her, the pressure to perform goes beyond just winning for Siberian Husky, Roxy. She HAS lot more at stake. Her sled-racing partner and guardian, Lilyana, is legally blind.

In 2022, after spending three weeks on her deathbed in hospital and being diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, Lilyana decided that life was too short to not pursue her passion for dog sledding.

“The level of trust Roxy and I have for one another to keep each other safe is beyond words. It is an incredibly difficult sport to compete in with limited eyesight, but if Roxy thinks I've called the wrong turn, she will slow down to give me time to look around, as she knows which way other teams have gone. It's the little things like this that really solidify my trust in her. Roxy is a very sensitive, well-behaved dog with a heart of gold. I might look after her, but she looks after me more. If it wasn't for our loving bond, I wouldn't be able to do the sport we have both come to love so much!

OLDEST DOG – Phil the 19.5 year old ‘pirate’ (QLD)

Phil's tale is a Cinderella story with a fairy tale ending. At 13 years of age, Phil found himself at the RSPCA in Perth, after experiencing a neglectful home and then navigating some health issues. 

He spent 6 months at the shelter, wondering if his forever home would ever come along and give him a second chance at life. Meanwhile in Brisbane, two Veterinarians, Mina & Anthony, received a call about Phil, as they were looking to adopt a well-mannered senior dog, and would have no trouble managing him medically - so the match was perfect!

Phil fast became a loved member of the family and shares his home with three children, two cats and another older doggo, Elizabeth. At age 15, Phil sadly developed a very rare form of
dry eye in both eyes resulting in left eye being surgically removed. 

Phil enjoys the simple things - cuddles with the family, stealing every toy in the house for himself, day naps, and going for long walks so he can read and reply to his 'pee mail'. Phil is due to celebrate his 20th birthday this August and is still in excellent health.

The Dog Down Under 2024 campaign is supported by Major Partner, Petstock, and Category Sponsors, Antinol® PLUS (Sporting Legends), Big Dog Pet Foods (Oldest), Credelio™ PLUS (Everyday Heroes), Buddy & Belle (Hardest Working) and VitaPet (Most Talented).

Finalists and Winners can be viewed on Instagram @thedogdownunderoz and Facebook.

* One finalist selected for each of the Oldest Dog size categories: Miniature/Toy/Small, Medium, Large & Giant Breed - with the oldest dog across all categories earning the Overall Winner’s title.


FINALIST Most Talented – ‘Cinnamon’ (ACT) – special talent is playing Connect 4

FINALIST Everyday Heroes – Lachie (ACT) - Chaplaincy Support Dog for the ACT Emergency Services Agency

FINALIST Sporting Legend – Luna (TAS) – champion sports dog, accredited Animal Assisted Therapy Dog and first dog to be working officially in the Tasmanian Health Service.

FINALIST Sporting Legend – Harli (WA) – 8kg dog with a big heart, beating the big dogs in WA Agility Dog of the Year (2022 & 2023) and Winner of Agility Nationals 2023.

MEDIA RELEASE, 13th June 2024

Prepare to embark on an uplifting journey with a four-legged friend this August: PAWGUST awaits!

Join Guide Dogs for a month-long adventure guaranteed to set tails wagging. The challenge is simple: get out and about for daily walks or runs throughout the month. 

Whether you aim for 60km, 100km, or an impressive 125km, each step you take will make a paw-sitive impact. You don’t even need a dog to sign up!

PAWGUST isn't just about fitness; it's a chance to support Guide Dog pups on their journey to becoming life-changing companions. Since its inception in 2018, PAWGUST fundraisers have helped train 134 Guide Dogs and raised an impressive $6.7 million.

Guide Dogs Australia relies heavily on community support, as minimal government funding is received. 

Your contributions help fund essential services like Guide Dogs, Orientation and Mobility Services, Psychology Services, and more, empowering individuals with low vision, blindness or other specialised needs to enhance their independence, safety and confidence.

But that's not all! As you rack up kilometres, you'll unlock exclusive PAWGUST rewards. Register today and go into the draw to win some PAWsome exclusive prizes!

Meet Alana and her Guide Dog, Rocket

University student and second-year PAWGUST participant Alana, shares her story of how Guide Dog Rocket has given her the confidence to attend lectures in-person and join uni life with her peers.

"Having Rocket has made an enormous difference to my life. I wouldn't leave the house nearly as much. I would have chosen to study online and would miss out on so much."

Alana shared that she often walked into obstacles while using a white cane, but Rocket helps her to walk away from them, providing her with a feeling of safety and independence.
"It's hard to realise the impact of a Guide Dog if you haven't met someone like me. The work that Guide Dogs do is really changing people's lives."
Let's walk, run, and change lives, one step at a time. Are you ready? Let the PAWGUST adventure begin!

Visit to register and learn more about this incredible event.

If you’re not able to lend a paw and get involved with PAWGUST this year, you can support Alana and Rocket by donating here:

Share your PAWGUST journey using #PAWGUST and inspire others to join the pack!

#PAWGUST #GuideDogsAustralia #ChangingLives #DogLovers #JoinThePack

Animal Rights Week (ARW) is held in the third week of June every year and was created in 1991 by the US-based organisation In Defense of Animals. This year in honour of ARW (17-23 June 2024), The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds (CPG) decided to take a look at virtual Greyhound racing.

While no-one would want to encourage gambling, the fact is that Australians already punt on physical Greyhound racing. Very few do it at a track any more. It’s mostly done online via a smartphone. This means it would be easy for punters to shift 'en masse' to betting on virtual Greyhound racing (VGR) which is also available via smartphones. A change like this could end the dog deaths and injuries that occur daily in this country (2024, 2023202220212020).

Incredibly, last year in Australia there were 120 on-track deaths and more than 200 off-track deaths.

On-track, injured dogs are put down by vets. While most of the injuries are broken legs which could be treated, it only costs about four dollars for the drugs to kill a dog. As a result, that’s the most common solution chosen by the racing industry as there’s no guarantee a dog will run as fast post-fracture. 

If as they say – ‘they love their dogs’ – they would spend the $4,000 to $8,000 to treat a simple fracture, or the $8,000 to $12,000+ to treat a complex fracture. Sadly, while injury rebate schemes exist to help racing dog owners pay for their dog’s treatment, Greyhounds are still killed instead.

So if virtual greyhound racing (VGR) could avoid all of this carnage, how does it work? Virtual sports are simulated versions of real world sports such as football, basketball and tennis. According to BetZillion - “The selection of virtual sports betting markets is vast, and there is no way to list all bet types available”. Virtual Greyhound racing is similar to the many other forms of sports betting on the web.

Each participant in VGR has a unique number and individually varying odds of winning the game. It’s available in most countries, including Australia, but no real dogs suffer or die. 

Essentially, the available betting markets for online virtual sports betting sites are just as large as those available for betting on real sports. VGR is just a simulation like so many other virtual sports where the winner is determined by software which uses a random number generator (RNG).

Although they all use software in various forms, virtual sports shouldn’t be confused with:
  • e-sports, short for electronic sports, which is a form of competition using video games and often takes the form of organized, multiplayer video game competitions, particularly between professional players, played individually or as teams,
No doubt in the future, punters will be able to bet on VGR using virtual reality – as if they were actually at a track but in the meantime. 

However, if VGR was adopted not only would it stop the carnage, but it also would also mean an end to a host of other welfare issues these dogs face. These issues include overbreeding and euthanasia, doping, live baiting and cruelty.

Due to over-breeding, Greyhounds are unavoidably whelped that are unsuitable for racing. This results in healthy dogs being homeless and subject to neglect, abuse or euthanasia. In its policy document on greyhound racing, the RSPCA says –
“Currently, the industry is not accountable and lacks transparency particularly in relation to the fate of Greyhounds who leave the industry.”
Most dogs finish their racing lives before turning four years of age and are then discarded by their racing owners. That’s a lot of ex-racers looking for a post-racing home. 

Ex-racing Greyhound enjoying life as a pet - Photo courtesy of Greyt Greys Rescue
Consequently, industry participants are regularly looking for quick ways to get rid of slower dogs, hence the need for tracking.

In fact, not one state in Australia tracks a Greyhound for the whole of its life, so some of them just ‘disappear’ when deemed too slow or old. 
Where tracking does exist, it is partial and usually only applies when a dog is considered to be of economic value, i.e., a winner. State governments around Australia have been profoundly irresponsible when it comes to using tracking to protect racing dogs:
  • there is no tracking in the NT, SA or Tasmania,
  • there is partial tracking in NSW, QLD, VIC and WA,
  • the ACT banned Greyhound racing (and only ever had a tiny dog racing industry).

Whole of life tracking is the only way to protect young, healthy Greyhounds from unnecessary euthanasia. To be effective, it must track Greyhounds for the whole of their natural life including:

✔️ birth to death record-keeping, not tracking a dog merely while it is actively engaged in racing, and

✔️ tracking all Greyhound pups, whether they are named and/or micro-chipped or not.

Doping is another serious welfare problem for racing Greyhounds. The Sydney Morning Herald reported in 2018 that Greyhounds test positive for drugs 10 times more than horses at races. This pattern is consistent with Greyhound doping elsewhere

For example, the practice of treating Greyhounds with arsenic and cobalt has been widespread in the racing industry because it is held these drugs enhance performance. An excessive amount of arsenic has an effect on the vascular system (blood vessels), leading to swelling and bleeding in the organs. This table lists the most common drugs used on Greyhounds, why they are used and the health risks for dogs. Winning dogs are swabbed by to find evidence of illegal drug use, not to protect the dogs, but to reassure punters that their money is not being ripped off due to doping.

Live baiting of Greyhounds is also illegal, but occurs regularly. This is because there is an old-fashioned belief held by some racing industry participants that ‘blooding’ gets Greyhounds to run faster. 

This is not true. The RSPCA says

“Live baiting involves small animals such as a rabbits, possums or piglets being used as a lure or bait to train greyhounds to race around a track. ‘Bait’ animals are attached to the mechanical lure and are hurled at speed around the track while greyhounds are released to pursue, catch and maul them. Live baiting may also involve pulling animals on leads/ropes and inciting dogs to maul them. The animals involved experience pain, fear, injury and distress and will eventually die. The same animals may be used repeatedly, suffering a very long and painful death.”

In addition to the small animals used for live baiting, Greyhounds themselves suffer many forms of cruelty while in the dog racing industry. This includes neglect, underfeeding, surgical AI and being discarded to universities and labs for experimentation, dissection and terminal blood donation.

Visual evidence of cruelty sustained
by a racing Greyhound
When a dog doesn’t win, it can suffer neglect. Most commonly, slower dogs are sometimes left in a paddock and fed a subsistence diet while the trainer or owner tries to get them rid of them. 
This is how so many ex-racers end up on the online market Gumtree looking for a home or arriving at community rescues underweight and in poor condition. A CPG survey found that the racing industry hands over most of its dogs in a neglected condition, despite welfare codes requiring the exact opposite.

Meanwhile, female Greyhounds are subjected to surgical artificial insemination (SAI), an old fashioned and painful breeding procedure which is no longer necessary. SAI requires an incision into the abdomen through all muscle layers to allow semen to be injected directly into the uterine horns of a female dog. The female dog must then carry pups to full term while healing. Given this, SAI is unjustifiable ethically.

Despite this, over 80 percent of Greyhound breeding is done using SAI because the dog racing industry is slow to adopt newer and less invasive methods, like TCI (trans cervical insemination). TCI is used worldwide and occurs via a vaginal and cervical catheter. No anaesthetic is required and the procedure only takes about 15 minutes. In late 2022, the Australian Veterinary Association issued its policy against SAI which said –

“All states and territories in Australia should adopt the prohibition of surgical AI in dogs, in their respective Animal Welfare Acts…Veterinarians should phase-out the use of surgical AI by 1 January 2024.”

So far, no state or territory government in Australia has announced it will act on this expert advice, although it has been recommended by a recent inquiry into the SA dog racing industry.

In Queensland, the cruelty is even worse. The Miles Government is allowing the dog racing industry to send unwanted dogs to a grisly end in labs, rather than require any effort to rehome ex-racing Greyhounds. Over the last five years, according to the Queensland Racing and Integrity Commission (QRIC), 900 retired greyhounds have been “surrendered to other agency”, which means universities and veterinary practices.

At university labs, discarded Greyhounds are used for experimentation, while at vet practices they are used for terminal blood donation. Greyhounds have an ideal blood type for use in animal hospitals to treat patients requiring a blood transfusion. Most Greys have a negative blood type which makes them universal donors

They also have a gentle temperament, easily accessible veins and their blood has a high percentage of red blood cells. Before being euthanised, healthy Greyhounds are bled dry and their blood is ironically supplied to animals that need life saving treatment. Many like to think that terminal blood donation no longer goes on, but that’s not true.

Given these appalling practices, it’s surely time to switch to virtual Greyhound racing, instead of old-fashioned physical dog racing? This would get rid of the cruelty and neglect which has now been an ongoing part of dog racing for decades. 

Greyhounds have the right to a good life as a pet, just like any other animal. 

It’s time they got to enjoy life on a couch, not on a track or locked up 23 hours a day and given only 30 minutes of exercise

With the adoption of VGR instead of physical racing, these beautiful dogs could thrive in the future as pets, instead of suffering to make money for racing owners who care more about their hip pocket then they do about animal rights.

written by James Alexander Palfi and Fiona Chisholm, CPG volunteers, June 2024 for Australian Dog Lover (all rights reserved).

Lead image designed by Melissa Buckley, CPG Volunteer.

About The Coalition for the Protection of Greyhounds

CPG is a dedicated group of people across Australia who work together to inform the public about the cruelties of Greyhound racing. 
Learn more by following their channels on: FacebookWebsiteInstagrammedia coverage.

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The Comedy Pet Photo Awards have revealed the winners of this year’s competition and are thrilled to announce that the winners have been announced for Comedy Pets 2024.

The overall competition winner is Sarah Haskell with her fabulous image (above) called ‘Not just for cats!’ of Hector doing his best impression of a cat and trying to squeeze through the cat flap.

Sarah said of the moment she took the winning photo:

“Hector saw the cat do thought he would give it a try. This is about as far as he got before reversing out the way he came. I can imagine him thinking…’But the cat made it look so easy’ Not so for Hector!’

The annual photo competition, now in its 5th consecutive year, calls on all pet and animal lovers to submit hilarious images and videos of their funny furry friends for a chance of winning the prestigious title of Comedy Pet Photographer of the Year.

The Awards were created by Paul Joynson-Hicks and Tom Sullam, to highlight the positive and vital role that pets have in our lives and to encourage engagement around animal welfare. 

Finding out about the happy news, Sarah recalls:

I am utterly thrilled, such great news, that I will have to share with Hector before the announcement (so if word gets out, blame him!)

These Comedy Pet Photo Awards have been a good natured, friendly competition with comical animal characters that you feel you can somehow relate to, that make you smile, and you want to know more about. Delighted that Hector and I have been part of it, and tremendously proud to be a winner. (Those that know me well will also know that my exact response on being told this fabulous news was more concise and totally unprintable!).

Hector is a much-loved member of my extended family, and has been my (unwitting, unknowing) Muse for a few years now. He has a kennel club name that sounds more like a what-3-words location; he is much better suited to Hector, and it is much easier to say! He will be 14 (human) years in July, so all his visitors make a great fuss over him - Hector has no idea why, quite clearly, but just loves the attention. 

I have carried a camera pretty much in some form since school days, but it is only recently that I have worked out that pet photography, dog photography in particular, is what I like doing. The interaction with these expressive, clever, often comical characters, when I am doing 'pawtrait' shoots, can only make me (and others, hopefully) smile!

As winner of the top prize, Sarah receives a cash prize of £500, a fantastic camera bag from ThinkTank and a beautiful bespoke trophy. When asked what she would do with the prize money, Sarah joked ‘A bigger cat flap and then some camera equipment!’

People’s Choice Award
Winner: Kazutoshi Ono - Tarzan
As usual, the judges had a brilliant time deciding the winners with so many funny pet images entered from all over the world.

Michelle Wood, who helps run the Awards said: “We’ve had a fantastic competition this year, with so many really good entries from across the globe. And a record number of Junior entries which makes us very happy. 

In a world that can be hard to fathom, our pets are the one constant in our lives that make sense and are a vital source of support, joy and sometimes, great hilarity. 

We would have a competition to celebrate them every single day if we could, and to be able to share these brilliant winners with you and laugh out loud with these loveable creatures is the reason this competition exists!"

2024 Grand Category Winners:

✔️ Overall Winner & Dog Category Winner: Sarah Haskell (lead image)

✔️ Cat Category Winner: Kenichi Morinaga

✔️ Horse Category Winner (below): Debby Thomas

✔️ People’s Choice Award Winner: Kazutoshi Ono

✔️ All Other Creatures Category Winner: Jonathan Casey

✔️ Pets Who Look Most Like Their Owner’s Category Winner (below): Darya Zelentsova 

✔️ Junior Category Winner (below): Charlotte Kitchen (who was 16 when she entered the competition)

As well as the category winners – 8 photographs were recognised as Highly Commended from the following photographers: Sylvia Michel who had two entries recognised; Julie Smith, Atsuyuki Ohshima, Vera Faupel, Luiza Ribeiro, Emma Beardsmore and competition regular and former competition winner Kenichi Morinaga.

The judging panel included TV presenter, writer, conservationist and animal lover Kate Humble, professional photographer and nature lover Gerrard Gethings and his son Jarvis Gethings, plus Barry the Border Terrier, for balance. TV Vet and animal welfare campaigner - Emma Milne and our very own professional pet photographer and former competition winner - Elke Vogelsang.

The 2025 competition will be open for entries next year via the website: