In a year that has pushed limits and tested emotions across the pet rescue industry, the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is thrilled to announce the Winners for 2020. 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 third year, the Rescue Awards has been very competitive with more than 1,000 entries across 10 categories, which made it very challenging for the judges! Our amazing winners demonstrated excellence and innovation in their approach to improving the lives of companion animals during these difficult times,” 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 September, one winner from each category was selected by an expert panel of 20 Judges. The winners were revealed yesterday (Oct 15) at a virtual Rescue Awards Ceremony run by Gold Rescue Partner, Refuel Creative in Adelaide. The Ceremony was broadcasted live at 4pm AEDT across the country via the Rescue Awards Facebook page.

This year, Jetpets is again the Platinum Rescue Hero and naming Partner.

Jetpets General Manager Sandy Matheson said, “In a year of challenges and hardship for so many people, we are very humbled to be able to share in celebrating the achievements of rescue organisations, volunteers and adopters who have made significant sacrifices and devoted their efforts into caring for the welfare of companion animals in such difficult times. On behalf of the entire Jetpets team, we thank and congratulate this year’s winners of the Companion Animal Rescue Awards.”

The Advocate® People’s Rescue Story award category (sponsored by Advocate®) and the Drontal® Foster Carer Story award category (sponsored by Drontal®) received hundreds of entries from Aussie pet guardians who shared their stories about pet adoption and fostering.

Mel Hutchinson, Marketing Associate from Elanco (formerly Bayer Animal Health) said it was incredibly difficult to narrow the choice down to just a small group of finalists, let alone choose an overall winner for each of the categories!

Mel said, “We’re proud to support the Rescue Awards for a third year running. The number of entries increases every year as does Aussies’ passion for pet adoption. This year we chose Wolf the Maremma as our pet adoption story winner and Sass the kitten as our foster carer story winner. Also, we were so moved by the story of Mumma Zura, a rescue dog who looks after puppies for the RSPCA NSW, that we created the Drontal® Special Foster Carer Award.”

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

This year’s Rescue Awards Ambassador Lara Shannon, Certified Dog Trainer, Animal Welfare Advocate and Host of Channel 10’s Pooches at Play, 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.


Category 1: Outstanding Rescue Group – Greyhound Rescue NSW

Category 2: Outstanding New Rescue Group – Liberty Foundation Australia (NSW)

Category 3: Outstanding Animal Shelter – Cat Haven WA

Category 4: Outstanding Council Animal Shelter – Shoalhaven Animal Shelter (NSW)

Category 5: Innovation in Rescue – Central Coast Animal Care Facility’s Freedom Busters (NSW)

Category 6: Community Education and Outreach Program – Banyule’s Free Cat Desexing Program (VIC)

Category 7: Volunteer of the Year – Shelley Tinworth (Greyhound Rescue NSW)

Category 8: Refuel Digital Technology Award (new) – The Rabbit Sanctuary (NSW)

Category 9: Advocate® People’s Rescue Story – Kate O’Donnell and her dog Wolf (NSW) adopted from Dog Rescue Newcastle

Category 10: Drontal® Foster Carer Story (new) – Rachel Arthur and her foster cat Sass (NSW); foster carer for Sydney Dogs and Cats Home

Plus a Special Drontal® Foster Carer Award: Mumma Zura, an American Staffy who has fostered over 200 puppies (NSW)

Image: Rescue Awards Founder Cathy Beer and Daisy the rescue dog at Refuel Creative HQ – Jo Lyons Photography