Frequently Asked Questions

What animals are considered a companion animal for the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2021 (known as ‘Rescue Awards’)?

A companion animal is a pet that lives with its human family. Companion animals include but are not limited to a cat, dog, rabbit, chicken, guinea pig, snake, ferret, and horse. A companion animal is not a working animal but can be an assistance dog that is also your pet and considered as a member of the family.

What is considered a Rehoming organisation for the Rescue Awards?

A rehoming organisation that is eligible to receive an award is a Rescue Group or Animal Shelter that has charitable/not-for-profit status or can demonstrate a not for profit purpose, or a Council run animal shelter/pound.

What is Pets4Life and what is their role in the Companion Animal Rescue Awards?

Pets4Life is the pro bono entity of Foresight Marketing & Communications Pty Ltd (a small consultancy).  Pets4Life is a for-purpose, independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those who are thinking of getting a cat or dog. Pets4Life also provides professional dog training services that uses positive reinforcement methods. Created by Cathy Beer, Pets4Life’s goal is to help reduce animal surrender and improve pet wellbeing in Australia. Pets4Life is independent of the pet industry and animal welfare sector.  Find out more about Pets4Life »

Cathy is a certified dog trainer (Delta Institute of Australia) and a volunteer instructor at Sydney All Breeds Dog Club in Sydney.  Cathy is a passionate pet adoption advocate and currently has one long term foster rescue dog at home called Twinkle. Companion animal rescue has come a long way and it’s time to celebrate achievements. So, Cathy created the Companion Animal Rescue Awards to showcase excellence, best practice, and innovation in rescue.

The inaugural Rescue Awards program was held in 2018. This is our fourth year of the program.  We are delighted to welcome Pet Insurance Australia as our Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner, hence, the program is called the ‘Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2021‘.

When is the Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2021 program open for entries and how do I receive notification?

The entry period is from 9 am (AEST) on 3 May to midnight (AEST) on 31 July 2021. To ensure you are notified with updates and announcements, please sign up for the  Rescue Awards eNews.

What are the Rescue Awards categories?

  1. Outstanding Rescue Group (for groups operating 36 months and over)
  2. Outstanding New Rescue Group (for groups operating 12 – 36 months)
  3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
  4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter (for council-run shelters)
  5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management
  6. Community Education and Outreach Program
  7. Volunteer of the Year
  8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing Award 
  9. People’s Rescue Story (for pet adopters)
  10. Foster Carer Story Award (for foster carers)

Who can submit an entry for Award Categories 1 – 6 and Category 8?

Entry is by self-nomination (except for Volunteer of the Year). The Entrant is the individual submitting a nomination on behalf of your organisation. The Entrant must be a representative of the your organisation (eg a manager or senior employee/volunteer at your organisation) who has sufficient knowledge of its operations. The Entrant must be an Australian resident aged 18 years or older.

Who can submit an entry for Award Category 7, Volunteer of the Year?

The person nominating a Volunteer for this award is the Entrant. The Entrant should be a manager or senior employee/volunteer who has sufficient knowledge of the rehoming organisation’s operations including your volunteer program. The Entrant must be an Australian resident 18 years and over.  The nominated Volunteer must be 18 years and over. Both the Entrant and the Volunteer must have been working at the rehoming organisation for 12 months as of 3 May 2021.  Self-nomination by the Volunteer will be ineligible.

Who can submit an entry for award category 9, People’s Rescue Story?

This award is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted a pet from a Rescue Group, Animal Shelter/Council run Animal Shelter, or Veterinary Clinic that rehomes pets. You must be an Australian resident 18 years and over to submit a valid entry for the People’s Rescue Story award. The pet may be the companion of another family member, e.g, a child’s pet. Entry is by self-nomination.

Who can submit an entry for award category 10, Foster Carer Story?

This award is for Aussie pet guardians who foster pets on behalf of a Rescue Group, Animal Shelter/Council run Animal Shelter, or Veterinary Clinic that has a network of Volunteer foster carers. You must be an Australian resident 18 years and over to submit a valid entry for the Foster Carer Story award.  Entry is by self-nomination.

The Rehoming organisation I adopted my pet from doesn’t exist anymore.  Can I submit an entry for Award category 9, People’s Rescue Story?

Yes! Where the online entry form asks for the name of the Rescue Group or Animal Shelter/Council run-Animal Shelter or Veterinary Clinic, you can name another organisation.  You can say in your pet adoption story that the Rescue Group or Animal Shelter does not exist anymore.

Who is eligible to win the Volunteer of the Year Award?

A volunteer worker at a Rescue Group or Animal Shelter or a Council run Animal Shelter for at least 12 months as of 3 May 2021.

Are Veterinary Clinics who re-home pets eligible to win an award?

Yes!  Veterinary Clinics can enter category 5, ‘Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management’, which is also open to Rescue Groups, Animal Shelters, and Council run Animal Shelters as well as other individuals and organisations who are doing things differently to help reduce animal surrender and improve outcomes for companion animals.

What are the fabulous prizes to be won?

Thanks to our wonderful Supporters, we have fantastic prizes for each category. Check out the loot >>

Plus freebies for entrants!! 
Every valid entrant who completes a submission for categories 1 – 8 receives one FREE membership to Vet Product Direct’s VPD Club valued at $64.95 and enjoys up to 40% discount. 

Categories 9 and 10 – every entrant to the People’s Rescue Story or Foster Carer Story receives one $20 gift voucher from Vet Products Direct to purchase any product.  Woohoo!

Are application forms kept confidential?

Yes. The information on the application form will only be used by Pets4Life (in connection with the administration of the award), and the independent panel of judges.

Is there a cost associated with the Rescue Awards?

There is no cost to submit an entry.

How do I submit an entry for industry Categories 1 – 8 and what is the process?

Entry is online via the Rescue Awards website from 3 May to 31 July 2021.  You can edit and work on your submission any time during the open for entries period. Email entry is ineligible.  ENTER >>

Once the entry period has closed, one of our team will review it to determine your eligibility. The panel of Judges will assess the eligible submissions in August followed by anonymous judging. Upon a final discussion with the Judges, up to four Finalists will be determined for each Category.

How do I submit an entry for the People’s Rescue Story?

You can submit your entry via the Rescue Awards online form here.

How do I submit an entry for the Foster Carer Story?

You can submit your entry via the Rescue Awards online form here.

Who are the judges for award categories 1 – 8?

Our panel of 19Judges brings a depth of experience in sheltering, rescue, animal behaviour, training, and digital marketing as well as a diversity of perspectives from companion animal welfare and the pet industry.  Find out more about the Judges »

Who are the judges for the People’s Rescue Story and Foster Carer Story?

There are two Judges for these Award Categories:

How are the Winners selected?

All submissions for categories 1 – 8 are assessed and scored out of 100 by a panel of 18 judges. A judge will be removed if there is a conflict of interest with a particular entrant. Following the judges’ assessments, there will be anonymous judging.  Up to 4 finalists will be determined and announced on 15 September 2021. The winners will be selected during this process. The winners will be revealed at the Rescue Awards Ceremony in October 2021. 

The entries for category 9, People’s Rescue Story, and category 10, Foster Carer Story will be assessed by a panel of two judges who will determine the finalists and one winner for each category.  The finalists will be announced on 15 September 2021 and the winners announced at the Rescue Awards Ceremony in October 2021.

When are the Finalists and Winners announced?

The Finalists were announced on 15 September 2021 via the Rescue Awards social media, eNews, and media release distributed locally and nationally.

The Winners will be revealed at a Rescue Awards Ceremony in October 2021 followed by communication from the Rescue Awards team.  Thanks to our Gold Rescue Partner, Refuel Creative,  this special event will be live-streamed via the Rescue Awards Facebook page.  A media release will be distributed to national media, pet media, and media located in the winner’s local community as well as announcements in the Rescue Awards social media and eNews. 

For Categories 1- 8, the Winners receive a trophy and a certificate.  The Finalists receive a certificate. 

Will my personal information be shared with a third party?

When you submit an entry for industry Categories 1 – 8, you will need to provide your details in the online entry form.  These details will NOT be shared with anyone without permission except in the circumstances where the winners’ contact details will be provided to the relevant Awards Supporters for the purpose of prize delivery.  This is covered in the Terms and Conditions for categories 1-8.

When you submit a valid entry to the People’s Rescue Story or the Foster Carer Story award categories, you will need to check the box to say you agree to the  Terms & Conditions or the Foster Carer Story Terms and Conditions. Your contact details are contained by Pets4Life, who manages and owns the Rescue Awards program. There is no sponsor for these categories in 2021. 

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Your question not answered in the FAQs?

Ensure you Get the Facts about the Rescue Awards.  Did we miss anything? Please Contact us with your questions. We’re a small team, please allow 48 hours to come back to you.

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