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2022 Companion Animal Rescue Awards Finalists Revealed

Winners to be announced in virtual ceremony on October 26th

The Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards is delighted to announce the 2022 Finalists, shining the light on rescue groups, animal shelters, and companion animal welfare organisations who continue to save thousands of animal lives during these challenging times of high surrender of ‘pandemic pets’.

The Rescue Awards is Australia’s first and only national awards program that celebrates and recognises achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals.

The Rescue Awards is a for-purpose program managed by Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and provider of professional force-free dog training services.

“The Rescue Awards is the national platform to showcase achievements in rescue, sheltering, re-homing and companion animal welfare. The Finalists have demonstrated their tireless effort to not only rehome pets but also work with their community to keep people and their pets together,” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and rescue advocate from Pets4Life.

In its fifth year, the Rescue Awards attracted many and diverse entries from around the country across 10 categories. Like the past four years, the Volunteer of the Year category received the greatest number of entry submissions.

The surprise this year is the significant increase in entries from local government councils for the award category, Australian Pet Welfare Foundation Award for Councils.

“Companion animals are more than cats and dogs. It’s great to see rabbits, rats, and a pony among our amazing finalists across the country in the Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story and Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story award categories,” said Cathy. “The judges were moved by the hundreds of wonderful pet adoption stories and foster carer stories that show the power and strength of the human-animal bond.”

This year, Pet Insurance Australia is once again the Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner.

Pet Insurance Australia’s CEO Ali Osmani said, “Pet Insurance Australia is once again proud to support the Companion Animal Rescue Awards in its fifth year. It is inspiring to see how rescue groups, animal shelters and thousands of volunteers continue to rescue pets and save lives across the country in these challenging times. Pet Insurance Australia congratulate the finalists in 2022.”

2022 Finalists

The Finalists were determined by a panel of highly respected Judges. The Finalists are listed below:

Outstanding Rescue Group: Lamb Care Australia (VIC), Small Paws Animal Rescue (QLD), The Rabbit Sanctuary (NSW)

Outstanding New Rescue Group: Big Dollan’s Fur Rescue (VIC), Lake Road Veterinary Rescue (NSW), Strong Hearts Cat Rescue (VIC),

Outstanding Animal Shelter: Greyhound Rescue (NSW), Just Cats (TAS), SAFE Animal Rehoming (NSW)

Australian Pet Welfare Foundation Award for Councils: City of Cockburn (WA), Goulburn Mulwaree Animal Shelter (NSW), City of Palmerston (NT)

Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management: Greyhound Rescue (NSW), The Rabbit Sanctuary (NSW)

Working with the Community to keep People and their Pets Together: Mildura Loves Pets (VIC), Second Chance Animal Rescue (VIC), The Rainbow Paws Program (ACT)

Volunteer of the Year: Kate Button (Greyhound Rescue NSW), Maxine Cooper (Greyhound Rescue NSW), Tara Doherty (Rachie’s Ratirement Home QLD), Amy Gasnier (Northern Rivers Animal Services NSW), Kyla Grimmond (Rachie’s Ratirement Home QLD)

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

Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story: Find out the 10 finalists here.

Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story: Find out the 5 finalists here.

Plus a Special Foster Carer Award: Roxy and Others and Suzanne, read their story here.

Photo Credit (all): Jo Lyons Photography

Winners Revealed on 26 October 2022

Thanks to Refuel Creative, the winners will be revealed at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony on Wednesday, 26 October at 4pm AEDT. Join in the celebration and watch this special live streaming event via the Rescue Awards Facebook page at @rescueawards

Thank you to our wonderful Supporters for donating cash prizes and/or products and services for the winners. See the list of fabulous prizes. More information at

Please sign up for the e-newsletter or follow Rescue Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. #PIARescueAwards2022

Check out all of our Rescue Awards Supporters here  

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. 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, 14th September 2022

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