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Companion Animal Rescue Awards Winners Revealed for 2021

Outstanding pet shelters, rescue groups and volunteers from coast to coast receive the recognition they deserve

In another year that has been very challenging for rescue groups and animal shelters across the country, the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce the winners for 2021.

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.

“The Rescue Awards has been very competitive with outstanding entries across 10 categories, which made it very challenging for the judges!” said Cathy. “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 today at 12 pm AEDT at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony produced and broadcasted nationally by Gold Rescue Partner Refuel Creative and supported by Nature’s Gift.

This year, Pet Insurance Australia is the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner. Pet Insurance Australia CEO Ali Osmani said, “In another year of challenges for so many Australians, we are honoured and humbled to share in celebrating the achievements of rescues, shelters and thousands of volunteers who have devoted their efforts to caring for companion animals in such difficult times. On behalf of the entire Pet Insurance Australia team, we congratulate this year’s winners of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards.”

People's Rescue Story winners:
Mark Bent and Bella
The People’s Rescue Story and Foster Carer Story award categories received hundreds of entries from Aussie pet guardians who shared their incredible, heart-warming stories about pet adoption and fostering. 

This year, the entries included a rescue chicken, rabbits, a guinea pig, a snake 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, especially during extraordinary and unprecedented pandemic times.

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.

2021 Winners Companion Animal Rescue Awards

1. Outstanding Rescue Group:
Forever Friends Animal Rescue

2. Outstanding New Rescue Group
Central Queensland Animal Society

3. Outstanding Animal Shelter: Rachie’s Ratirement Home

4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter: Ballarat Animal Shelter

5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management: City of Launceston Council's Mobile Companion Animal Shelter for Emergency Evacuation

6. Community Education and/or Outreach Program: West Cairns Management Program

7. Volunteer of the Year: Lachlan Barnard from Forever Friends Animal Rescue

8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing: Greyhound Rescue NSW

9. People’s Rescue Story: 'Bella and Mark', (Mr Mark Bent), read their story

10. Foster Carer Story: 'Macy and Rosalinda', (Mrs Rosalinda Lowry), read their story

11. Special Foster Carer Award: 'Kaylee and Charmane', (Mrs Charmane Sharp), read their story

Live stream video of the Rescue Awards Ceremony is available here.

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

MEDIA RELEASE, 10th November 2021

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2021 Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards Finalists Revealed


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