Friday, November 16, 2018

Recognition for Companion Animal Rescue organisations

Jet Pets Rescue Awards Companion Animal Rescue rehome adopt
Sahara the rescue dog with Sandy Matheson from Jet Pets and Rescue Awards founder Cathy Beer.

This year I’ve taken some time out to work on some animal welfare related projects about which I will reveal more in due course. One of these was to be a judge for the Jet Pets 2019 Companion Animal Rescue Awards.

Awards like this are important in recognising the incredible work that so many people put into caring for, rehabilitating and rehoming companion animals all over Australia. They were founded by Cathy Beer, from Pets4Life, to provide recognition.

The application process is almost a mini-audit, and required entrants (of which there were ultimately 517) to review their processes. Just entering a competition like this is a fantastic way of reviewing an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses, and a means of benchmarking.

It is important to document and recognise the good work being done to promote animal welfare in a sustainable way. Lessons can be learned from the organisations performing well, helping bring the others up to speed.

Australia has over 900 rescue groups and animal shelters supported by thousands of volunteers.

Following the announcement of the finalists on 9 October 2018, one winner from each of the seven categories was selected by a panel of nine judges, of which I was one. All judges volunteered their time.

All up, 200 organisations registered for the awards, with 89 rehoming organisations ultimately completing a submission in categories 1-6.

Category 7, the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story, was open to people who had adopted or fostered a pet and there were 428 entries.

In reading the applications, it struck me that there is a need for companion animal rescue and rehoming organisations to discuss best practice and innovations to ensure all companion animals find appropriate homes. Awards like this are one way of doing it. If your organisation didn’t apply in 2018, consider applying in 2019 but do allow time as application requires detailed responses.

Category 1: Outstanding Rescue Group Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE)
Category 2: Outstanding Animal Shelter RSPCA QLD
Category 3: Outstanding Council Animal Shelter Shire of Campaspe Animal Shelter
Category 4: Innovation in Rescue Safe Pets Safe Families
Category 5: Community Education and Outreach Program The Good Neighbour Project (Cat Protection Society NSW)
Category 6: Volunteer of the Year Frances O’Connell (AWL South Australia)
Category 7: Advocate® People’s Rescue Story Jason Vallas and his faithful dog, Diesel

For more information/updates on the 2019 Awards, visit, follow the Rescue Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or sign up to the newsletter here. #jetpetsrescueawards2018