Animal welfare charity Companion Animal Network Australia (CAN) has appointed Trish Ennis as its first CEO.

Formerly Animal Welfare League Australia (AWLA), Ennis joined the charity in December 2019 as National Executive, and says she’s honoured to be appointed as CEO.

“Companion Animal Network Australia launched in October 2020 and today clearly speaks to who we are – it is Australia’s only national peak body representing companion animals and the industry that works with them.”

Australia CAN’s mission is to support the human-animal between the estimated 30.4 million pets and their owners across Australia, and recently launched which aims to decrease the number of pet’s being abandoned due to current rental laws.

Ennis said Australia CAN’s next projects include Pets in the Aged Care and Pets in Business, which Ennis said is particularly poignant given the number of people getting pets during Covid and not wanting to return to work full-time.

“Older people are often forced to say goodbye to their companion animals when moving into aged-care accommodation, causing immense grief. Furthermore, the outcomes for their beloved pets vary, including surrender to a shelter. Australia CAN is working with aged care experts to find ways of preserving the bond between people and pets in aged care accommodation.

In order to continue the work of their members and corporate support, Australia CAN needs donor support.

“I look forward to building Australia CAN and developing strong partnerships and donor support to allow our members to continue the amazing work they do with the animals and families whilst continuing to develop the programs.”