Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Winners of the 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards Announced

Most of the winners were able to attend and collect their awards on the night. Photography: (c) Jo Lyons Photography.

Last week the winners of the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards were announced at the Getting 2 Zero Summit. I've included the press release below. There were so many worthy finalists and winners. Its great to see their work recognised.

The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce the WINNERS for 2019. The Rescue Awards is a national program that celebrates and recognises achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals Australia-wide.

“In our second year, it was very competitive with more than 1,000 entries across 8 categories, which made it very difficult for the judges! Our amazing winners demonstrated excellence and innovation in their approach to improving the lives of companion animals in their communities,” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards Founder and pet adoption advocate from Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians.

Following the announcement of the Finalists in August, one winner from each category was selected by an expert panel of 12 Judges. The winners were revealed on 12 September 2019  among hundreds of their peers at a special Rescue Awards Ceremony held during the 8th National G2Z Summit & Workshops in Queensland. Bondi Vet, Dr Alex Hynes and her rescue dog, Yoshi announced the winner of the Volunteer of the Year. The Ceremony was broadcasted live across the country via the Rescue Awards Facebook page.

A selection of the judges, overshadowed by Yoshi who lives with Alex (in the red dress). Image (c) Jo Lyons Photography.

This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and naming Partner. Sandy Matheson, Jetpets Managing Director, said, “Jetpets congratulates this year’s winners of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards. The quality of the entries were outstanding, and we are humbled to be able to share in celebrating the achievements of rescue organisations, volunteers and adopters alike, who have had a significant impact on the welfare of companion animals Australia wide.
For category 8, the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story received hundreds of entries from Aussie pet guardians who shared their stories about pet adoption and fostering.  Dan White, Senior Brand Manager of Advocate® at Bayer said it was incredibly difficult narrowing our choice down to 10 Finalists, let alone choose an overall winner!

Dan said, “The judging, although a lengthy process, has also been a thoroughly rewarding and uplifting one. All the stories – although different in a number of ways – have one thing in common: they demonstrate the difference a re-homed pet can make to an individual or people’s lives. 

“Moreover, the fact that almost twice as many stories were submitted as last year further demonstrates there are still many amazing and inspiring stories to be told.  Our overall winner (Sally and her hero cat Sandy) really exemplifies a real-life rescue story because Sandy literally saved Sally’s son’s life.  It’s been a real privilege for Advocate® and Bayer to be involved for the second year running.” 

Sandy the cat. Image by Sally Gaunt.

Cathy thanked Supporters for making the Rescue Awards possible, and acknowledged the great efforts of rescue groups, animal shelters and thousands of volunteers across the country.

Rescue Awards Ambassador and Animal Behaviourist Dr Joanne Righetti also congratulated the winners and thanked rescue organisations and their volunteers for helping surrendered and abandoned pets get a second chance in a loving home.

For more information/updates on the 2019 Awards, visit www.rescueawards.com.au, follow the Rescue Awards on FacebookTwitter and Instagram or sign up to the newsletter here.  #jetpetsrescueawards2018

2019 WINNERS

Category 1: Outstanding Rescue Group - Maneki Neko Cat Rescue (VIC)

Category 2: Outstanding New Rescue Group - Dandy Cat Rescue (VIC)

Category 3: Outstanding Animal Shelter - Second Chance Animal Rescue (VIC)

Category 4: Outstanding Council Animal Shelter - Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter (NSW)

Category 5: Innovation in Rescue – AMRRIC’s One Health Program (NT)

Category 6: Community Education and Outreach Program – Camden Council’s PAWS: Pet Awareness and Safety Program (NSW)

Category 7: Volunteer of the Year - Sue Quartermain (RSPCA Victoria)

Category 8: Advocate® People’s Rescue Story - Sally Gaunt and her hero cat, Sandy (VIC) adopted from RSPCA Burwood (VIC)

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards finalists announced

Image: Jo Lyons Photography

This year I am a judge for the Companion Animal Rescue Awards. Judging is an intensive and comprehensive process. We have teams of judges working on applications through various stages and now we have shortlisted the finalists.

For my part, its really important that we acknowledge, support and promote companion animal rescue done well. It is hard work, there are plenty of potential pitfalls, and the best organisations develop sustainable practices so they don't burn through resources, or volunteers and staff.

I've provided the official information below:

The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce the FINALISTS of the 2019 Awards, which celebrate and recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals Australia-wide.

186,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters every year¹, and thousands of volunteers dedicate their time to finding homes for surrendered and abandoned animals. The Rescue Awards is the platform to showcase excellence and innovation in rescue. In its second year, the program attracted more than 1,000 entries – more than double that of last year’s!

“We received many excellent industry submissions from around the country. The finalists have not only demonstrated best practice in animal care, but also ensure the sustainability of their organisation for the future” said Cathy Beer, Rescue Awards founder and rescue advocate from Pets4Life, an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians.

“Hundreds of entries of pet adoption and foster care were received for the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story category. The judges were moved by extraordinary stories of resilience and human-animal bond. The entries are an inspiration to rescue organisations to continue their efforts in saving and rehoming companion animals,” she said.

This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and naming Partner. Sandy Matheson, Jetpets Managing Director, said: “Jetpets is proud to support The Companion Animal Rescue Awards in its second year. It has been fantastic to watch the program gain momentum as we all continue to celebrate the inspiring work rescue groups and volunteers achieve day in and out for animals around Australia. The awards are a very humbling initiative to be involved in and I congratulate all of the finalists.”

JUDGES:

The Finalists were determined by a panel of highly respected judges who have donated their time and expertise to assess the Rescue Awards entries.

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 smallanimaltalk.com.
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 & 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
11.  Dan White, Senior Brand Manager, Bayer Animal Health
12.  Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life


Image: Jo Lyons Photography


2019 FINALISTS

Outstanding Rescue Group: Forever Friends Animal Rescue (VIC), Greyhound Rescue NSW, Maneki Neko Cat Rescue (VIC), Perth Rescue Angels (W.A)

Outstanding New Rescue Group: Precious Paws Animal Rescue (QLD), Dandy Cat Rescue (VIC), Small Paws Animal Rescue QLD, Purrfect Paws Rescue (S.A)

Outstanding Animal Shelter: Just Cats Tasmania, Second Chance Animal Rescue (VIC), Cat Haven (WA), Central Coast Animal Care Facility (NSW)

Outstanding Council Animal Shelter: Sutherland Shire Animal Shelter (NSW)

Innovation in Rescue: AMRRIC’s One Health Program (NT), Lort Smith and Pets of the Homeless (VIC), Project Meow Geelong Cat Kindness Initiative & Desexing (VIC)

Community Education and Outreach Program: Second Chance Animal Rescue Outreach Program (VIC), PAWS: Pet Awareness & Safety Program (Camden Council, NSW), MADI Mobile Cat Desexing (Lost Dogs Home, VIC), Spring Valley Program (Claws and Paws, NSW)

Volunteer of the Year: Sue Quartermain of RSPCA Victoria, Jill Pottter of Forever Friends Animal Rescue (VIC), Margaret Panetta of RSPCA Victoria, Robert Morgan of RSPCA Victoria, Angela Hards of Pakenham Pony Rescue (VIC)

Advocate® People’s Rescue Story: Read the amazing and inspiring stories from our 10 finalists.

To find out more, click here.


WINNERS REVEALED
The winners will be celebrated at the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards ceremony on 12 September 2019 during the 8th National G2Z Summit & Workshops at the Mantra-On-View, Sunshine Coast, Queensland. More information to come via the Rescue Awards website.

The Rescue Awards ceremony will be streamed live on Facebook at @rescueawards at 6.15pm AEST on 12 September 2019.

Monday, July 1, 2019

Mental wellbeing for veterinarians - two conferences and a fundraising initiative

When I finished reading Nadine Hamilton's fantastic book, Hero used it as a pillow.


Have you noticed all the talk about well-being and veterinary professionals lately? There has been an explosion of publications about exodus from the profession, but equally there have been new resources like psychologist Nadine Hamilton’s book Coping with Stress and Burnout as aVeterinarian

Animal welfare, human well-being and environmental sustainability are inextricably linked. This idea is the foundation of the “OneWelfare” concept but also one that I have come to subscribe to because of my experiences as a veterinarian.

The good news is that finally society, and our profession, are coming to understand that you can’t do good animal husbandry if the humans looking after those animals aren’t looked after. You can’t look after humans and animals if the environment that supports all life is being harmed.

In October this year the Centre for Veterinary Education is hosting a two-day conference on One Welfare at the University of Sydney.

This is the perfect opportunity to meet solutions focused colleagues who want to tackle some of the bigger picture issues that will impact us all – and by us I mean humans, other animals and the environment.

For more info and to register, click here: https://www.cve.edu.au/conference/one-welfare-conference-ii

On Wednesday October 16 there is a one-day symposium on Mental Wellbeing for Veterinary Teams. This is a not for profit event facilitated by funds-raised by the Vet Cookbook. Registration is very cheap and covers catering.

Speakers include those from within but also many from outside of our profession. This day promises an extraordinary opportunity to collaborate, network and gain a sense of perspective about the current “mental health crisis”.

Please come along and contribute your ideas and energy.

I am of the firm belief that its one thing to participate in dialogue online about these issues, but meaningful action tends to come from face-to-face meetings where people have a chance to learn about each other. This is a rare chance to get a lot of members of our profession - vets, nurses, practice managers, groomers, kennelhands, stablehands, animal carers and students - into one space. That's how the magic happens.

Its great to see companies like Zoetis coming on board. Last week they announced a partnership with Beyond Blue in which they hope to raise up to $100,000 to support mental health in Australia. These kind of initiatives are important and should be encouraged.

Hopefully, with the encouragement of our profession, companies like this will put funds behind initiatives to help improve our sustainability - both in terms of human and animal welfare but also the environment. 

According to a company statement (slightly edited here for length):
  
“Whilst vets can be seen as the heroes of our community for treating and saving the lives of some of our most treasured family members, it can often be at significant cost to their mental health...
Day in day out, vets undergo a great deal of stress, not only caring for sick animals, but compassionately and knowledgeably working with the owners to provide the best care and treatment. Entering the profession because of their love for animals, they are often not prepared for the emotional pressures of the job. Whether it’s counselling a family through the decision process to euthanize, or having to carry out the procedure on a pet they have been treating regularly, vets suffer with grief every day. “We are very passionate about improving mental health and are proud to partner with Beyond Blue to tackle these very real issues affecting our vets, who suffer as a result of supporting our community,” says Lance Williams, Zoetis Vice President, Australia and New Zealand.
Beyond Blue Lead Clinical Adviser Dr Grant Blashki explains, “From my experience as a GP, people working in high pressure environments like veterinary services tend to experience more stress than people working in some other areas. “Things like long hours, financial worries and the emotional aspects of the job can start to pile up and impact their mental health. People working in such a caring profession often feel like they can’t justify time to look after their own mental and emotional wellbeing, but it’s incredibly important that they do.”
Natasha Wilks, a veterinarian for 20 years and Beyond Blue volunteer says, There are so many things which weigh on our minds; the long hours, financial struggles, and the difficult situations we are placed in.
 “During my final and seventh year of study, I was feeling exhausted and burnt out, I had spent the last seven years working every weekend and weeknight. It all came to a head when I had a rotation where we lived at the veterinary hospital to monitor all the patients overnight. I was very teary and didn’t want to do it. This was my turning point to seeking help.
 “For me to reach out and admit that I wasn’t coping was a massive step. I’d been brought up to soldier on and to deal with things myself. I realised I couldn’t keep doing it anymore. I was exhausted, depressed and I needed help.” Natasha has experienced many ups and downs throughout her veterinary career in different working environments adding, “Nowadays I recognise when I’m becoming exhausted and I’ve learned to slow down.”
 “For me, the signs are when I become more negative, frustrated and judgmental, less willing to spend time with friends and I let things get to me.”
“My identity isn’t tied to my veterinary career anymore, so when I have challenges in practice I try not to take it personally and focus on the things I can control.”
Part of taking control for Natasha has been about finding what she loves and making time to enjoy them.  “Exercise is really important in helping me stay well. I don’t pound the pavement, but I walk with our old retriever who still has a lot of energy. I walk and smell the air, notice all the new flowers and listen to the birds,” she said. 
Zoetis is committed to helping offer greater support to our vets and will be raising $100,000 from sales of their companion animal products, as well as livestock products, from 15 July to 31 October, with funds being used by the Beyond Blue Support Service, to provide advice and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
 “The Support Service, entirely funded by generous donations, is a free, life-changing and sometimes life-saving service, there for people day and night – via phone, web chat or email – whenever they need someone to talk to,” said Beyond Blue CEO Georgie Harman.
 The Beyond Blue Support Service costs on average $48 per contact with counsellors available by phone, webchat or email, meaning Zoetis’s kind donation will help over 2,000 people get the support they need through the service. For more information on how you can help Zoetis to raise vital funds and support mental health through its partnership with Beyond Blue please visit www.zoetis.com.au Mental health professionals are available 24/7 at the Beyond Blue Support Service – 1300 22 4636 – or via beyondblue.org.au/get-support for online chat (3pm-12am ADST) or email (within 24 hours).”



Monday, June 10, 2019

Are you the guardian of a rescue or foster companion animal?

My own rescued companion, Hero. 


Do you give a companion animal a second chance? Do you live with a rescue pet?
The Jet Pets Companion Animal Rescue Awards are offering you the opportunity to share your story and how Australia how pet adoption changes lives for the better.

The Advocate® People’s Rescue Story Award is about celebrating adoption and foster care.
To be eligible, you need to be over 18 years old and have adopted or fostered a companion animal. There are fabulous prizes for the winner AND the rehoming organisation involved. 

Entries close on June 30.

Meantime if you have a favourite companion animal rescue organisation, encourage them to enter the Jet Pets Companion Animal Rescue Awards. These awards were designed by Cathy Beer, of Pets 4 Life, to recognise the incredible work done by many organisations who look after companion animals.


Friday, April 12, 2019

Do you rescue, rehabilitate and rehome companion animals in Australia?


Pets4Life
One of the kittens at the launch of the 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards at the Cat Protection Society.

Do you rescue, rehabilitate and rehome companion animals in Australia? If the answer is yes, you can enter the 2019 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards.

I was a judge on the panel in 2018, and have joined the 2019 judging panel again as this was an amazing experience. Last year there were 517 entries, and reviewing a selection of these gave me great hope for the companion animal population served by these dedicated groups.

Rescue Awards founder, and rescue advocate from Pets4Life Cathy Beer, established the awards to celebrate and recognise achievements in companion animal rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming, and to encourage innovation in this space.

“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,” she said.

“In 2019, we’re building on the success of last year. 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.”

JETPETS RESCUE AWARDS 2019 CATEGORIES
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

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.
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)

Photoshoots with kittens...definitely a task for the brave (spot the second kitten...)


Enter online from 1 May to close midnight on 30 June. To enter, visit www.rescueawards.com.au and follow the links.

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.