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2019 Companion Animal Rescue Awards back to inspire pet rescue

After a successful launch in 2018 attracting 517 entries, the Companion Animal Rescue Awards is back again this year to inspire rescue groups and animal shelters to continue their efforts in saving companion animals. 

The 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards program launched today amongst rescue felines at the Cat Protection Society of NSW shelter in Sydney. New judges, categories and supporters were revealed! The Cat Protection Society was the recipient of the 2018 ‘Community Education and Outreach Program’ Award for its Good Neighbour Project

“Every year, 186,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters, and thousands of volunteers support over 900 rescue and animal shelters across Australia¹,” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and rescue advocate from Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet.

The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is a for purpose program whose mission is to celebrate and recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals in Australia. The Rescue Awards is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation in rescue.

“In 2019, we’re building on the success of last year. The judges are looking forward to receiving more outstanding submissions from the rehoming industry and I’ll have the tissues handy when I read the entries for the 'Advocate® People’s Rescue Story” said Cathy. “The Rescue Awards has not only unveiled the extraordinary work of an amazing rescue community, but also inspired the industry to improve processes, collaboration and innovation to help companion animals get a second chance in a loving home.”

This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and naming Partner. Sandy Matheson, Jetpets Managing Director, said: “We are excited to come on board again as the Platinum Partner for the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards. Our motivation was simple; we want to support the amazing work being done by so many individuals and rescue groups across the country. I’m looking forward to congratulating the winners at this year’s ceremony.”

JetPets Rescue Awards 2019 Categories

The 2019 Rescue Awards has eight categories with one winner for each category

1. Outstanding Rescue Group
2. Outstanding New Rescue Group
3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
5. Innovation in Rescue
6. Community Education and Outreach Program
7. Volunteer of the Year
8. Advocate® People’s Rescue Story

Award categories 1 – 7 are for rehoming organisations, including a new category ‘Outstanding New Rescue Group’ for rescues operating 12 - 36 months.

Category 4 Innovation in Rescue is now open to individuals/ organisations including veterinarians, who are doing things differently to help improve welfare outcomes for companion animals who need a home.

Category 8 'Advocate® People’s Rescue Story is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted or fostered a pet.

“It’s clear, pet adoption changes lives for the better. This year we’re looking for 1,000 Advocate® People’s Rescue stories about how an adopted or foster pet has transformed and changed their human’s life,” said Cathy.


The 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards welcome back last year’s judges who are looking for inspiring examples of excellence and innovation within and beyond the shelter.

The Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce new Judges Bondi Vet Dr Alex Hynes (and rescue dog Yoshi), Anne Boxhall who brings 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue, and Bayer Veterinarian Dr Liisa Ahlström (with rescue cats Charlie & Olive).

The judges are:

1. Nell Thompson, Coordinator for Getting 2 Zero (G2Z) and Secretary of the Australian Institute of Animal Management (AIAM).
2. Tim Vasudeva, Director of Corporate Affairs at Animals Australia.
3. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue, not for profit organisation that brings thousands of rescue pets face-to-face with thousands of potential adopters every day.
4. Dr Anthony Bennett, Veterinarian & Co-star of Lifestyle Channel’s TV series Village Vets.
5. Sandy Matheson, Founder & Managing Director of Jetpets, a pet travel company focused on the safety, comfort and welfare of pets.
6. Dr Anne Fawcett, Animal Welfare Veterinarian. Dr Anne’s blog is
7. Dr Michael O’Donoghue, Small animal veterinarian and Co-Founder of ‘People and Pets’, a nationwide grief and pet loss counselling service.
8. Dr Alex Hynes, Emergency Veterinarian and co-star in the new series of Bondi Vet TV show.
9. Anne Boxhall, Companion animal welfare advocate with 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue
10. Dr Liisa Ahlström, Veterinarian, Companion Animal Products, Bayer Animal Health (category 8 Judge)
11. Dan White, Senior Brand Manager, Bayer Animal Health (category 8 Judge)
12. Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life (category 8 Judge)

Pets4Life welcomed back renowned animal behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti of Pet Problems Solved, as the Rescue Awards Ambassador.


Enter online from 1 May until midnight on 30 June
To enter, visit and follow the links.

Winners revealed

The winners will be celebrated at the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards ceremony on 12 September 2019 during the G2Z Summit on the Gold Coast, Queensland. More information to come on the Rescue Awards website.

For updates on the Rescue Awards program, please visit, sign up to the e-newsletter or follow the Rescue Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #jetpetsrescueawards2019

2 Photo credits (images 1 and 3): Jo Lyons Photography, image 2: Rescue Awards

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 created Pets4Life in 2013 after interviewing leaders in the companion animal welfare space. Cathy is completing the Delta Institute of Australia course to attain a Cert IV Companion Animal Services and an accredited Delta dog trainer. Cathy is a voluntary member of Willoughby Council’s Companion Animals Committee and a volunteer instructor at the Sydney All Breeds Dog Club. Visit

About Jetpets

Jetpets are Australia’s leading pet travel experts. Their in house team of pet travel consultants, pet handlers and resident vets have been caring for people’s beloved pets for over 27 years. Setting the highest standards of care for pets travelling interstate and overseas, the Jetpets team love nothing more than reuniting and bringing families together. Jetpets provide a complete pet travel service, taking care of everything involved in transporting a pet from their home to their final destination. For helpful information on pet travel visit, or to speak with an experienced pet travel consultant on 1300 668 309.

MEDIA RELEASE, 10th April 2019

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