Category 1 – Outstanding Rescue Group
Forever Friends Animal Rescue (VIC) – Founded by Saskia Adams and a small group of her friends in 2011, Forever Friends Animal Rescue (FFAR) is a registered charity and incorporation run entirely by animal-loving volunteers. The organisation is an all-species rescue that saves the lives of dogs, cats, pocket pets, and farm animals on death row, and focuses on assisting those who need comprehensive veterinary and/or behavioural rehabilitation. To date, FFAR has saved over 8,000 lives (July 2020) and counting and is now one of the largest rescue organisations in Australia.
Greyhound Rescue (NSW) – Greyhound Rescue (GR) was established by Peter and Janet Flann in 2009 to find homes for greyhounds considered surplus to racing industry requirements. GR has re-homed over 1000 greyhounds. In 2019 GR rehomed 203 greyhounds. 124 dogs have been adopted since COVID in March 2020. GR is able to rescue and rehome greyhounds thanks to its dedicated team of volunteers and the generosity of its supporters
Perth Rescue Angels (W.A) – Perth Rescue Angels Inc is a Western Australian based not-for-profit animal rescue charity that was established in 2012. Perth Rescue Angels strive to change the lives of homeless, neglected, surrendered, and abused animals through foster care and adoption. They specialise in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming undomesticated cats, as well as those with special needs or requiring extra medical care. In 2018 they rehomed 1101 cats and kittens, with over 900 rehomed so far in 2019.
Hunter Animal Rescue (NSW) – Hunter Animal Rescue (HAR) is a not-for-profit organisation run by volunteers who dedicate their time to finding new homes for abandoned pets facing euthanasia. All animals are kept in foster carer homes. HAR became an incorporated not-for-profit association in 2004 and in January 2009 officially gained charity status. They rehome over 700 animals a year. These animals are rescued from pounds and shelters across the Hunter and beyond. They practice and advocate mandatory de-sexing to help combat the problem of overpopulation of companion animals, and encourage responsible pet ownership. Hunter Animal Rescue hosts and participates in numerous community events.
Maggie’s Rescue Co-operative (NSW) – Maggie’s Rescue Cooperative Ltd was founded in 2011 and is proudly a “No-Kill’ organisation. Our rescue was named in honour of Maggie, a Border Collie who suffered the worst kind of neglect. Witnessing the cruel suffering of Maggie inspired our founders to build our rescue – a cooperative of carers who together, help save the lives of companion animals and rehome them into families for life. Operating for almost 10 years, Maggie’s Rescue has successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed over 1,530 companion animals.
Category 2 – Outstanding New Rescue Group
Liberty Foundation Australia (NSW) – Liberty Foundation is a not-for-profit formed in September 2017 that has the primary aim of rehoming animals from research establishments. Since 2017, Liberty Foundation has rehomed more than 250 animals including a dog, rats, mice, guinea pigs, rabbits, and fish. They have all gone on to live out the course of their natural lives in safe, loving, and enriching homes, free from any scientific intervention or experimentation. Without Liberty Foundation, most if not all of these animals would have been euthanised.
BARRC (WA) – BARRC started in March 2019 after it was clear there were dogs in South West WA needing assistance. We wanted to help and support the community beyond just rescuing and rehoming dogs. We wanted to have an impact in reducing the number of homeless dogs. To date, BARRC has taken in 193 dogs and adopted 166 dogs. We intake dogs from local pounds, the majority from two shires, however, they have assisted another eight shires.
A Safe Place for Meow (NT) – A Safe Place For Meow was created in 2018 by a team of veterinary professionals but came to fruition in May of 2019. This group was created to prevent the euthanasia of healthy rehomable cats and kittens in the Northern Territory. They provide foster homes in safe and loving home environments, desexing, microchipping, vaccinations, and worming, treatment of medical conditions such as ringworm, behavioural training and advice, and surgical intervention of medical issues such as eyelid agenesis, abscesses, etc.
Cat Lovers Ballarat (VIC) – Cat Lovers Ballarat started with just 1 person, Sheryl Page. Cat Lovers has since grown to be a registered domestic animal business that rescue, rehome and offer discount vet working. We have a group of foster carers who are committed to raising kittens, rehabilitating strays who were abandoned, and teaching “feral” born cats how to trust and love humans. They particularly take on sick, neonatal kittens, “feral” and senior cats who would otherwise be euthanised and have successfully rehomed them.
Category 3 – Outstanding Animal Shelter
Rachie’s Ratirement Home (QLD) – Rachie’s Ratirement Home is the only specialised rat and mouse rescue in Queensland. Founded in November 2017 as an altruistic side hobby, it has evolved into a registered not-for-profit incorporated association, run by and for the rodent-owning community. They operate out of the main rescue site at Sunnybank Hills, where our volunteer team cares for a fluctuating number of domestic rats and mice.
Cat Haven (WA) – Cat Haven was established in 1961 with the aim of “rescuing cats from the perils of the streets”. Over the decades since, it has grown to be Western Australia’s premier cat welfare organisation, with over 8000 cats surrendered to Cat Haven every year. As an ‘open admission shelter’, they operate with the ethos to never turn a cat away. They actively work towards their mission by; providing a facility to care for lost, stray, or unwanted cats, rehoming as many cats as possible through effective adoption and foster service, providing cost-effective sterilisation and microchipping, promoting community awareness of cat welfare and responsible cat ownership and by providing quality onsite boarding facilities. Cat Haven is part of the national ‘Getting to Zero’ program. Their euthanasia rate has dropped dramatically from around 75% a decade ago to just 12% in 2019 and is still dropping!
Central Coast Animal Care Facility (NSW) – Central Coast Animal Care Facility (CCACF) successfully tendered to manage Gosford Pound on behalf of Central Coast Council as of 1st July, 2016. CCACF work closely with other pounds near and far to ensure as many rehomable animals as possible can be saved. Working alongside local businesses spanning the entire Central Coast region, it is their goal to have all animals chipped and identified, while educating pet owners of the responsibility of pet ownership, unwanted litters, and timely vet intervention.
Sydney’s Animals for Everyone (SAFE) – SAFE was launched in September 2017 by staff who previously worked for the Animal Welfare League who closed their Sydney Ingleside shelter in 2017. For the first two years, we cared for all of our rescued animals through foster carers but in August 2019 we established a Rehoming Centre (SAFE Haven) for cats in Roseville. Here, cats are available for viewing and adoption, and we also offer premium boarding facilities. We continue to care for dogs in foster homes until adoption. Their aim is to rehabilitate and rehome every pet that comes into our care and this is their first priority in every case, regardless of the animal’s history.
Category 4 – Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
Shoalhaven Animal Shelter (NSW) – Run by Shoalhaven City Council since 1 June 2018, the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter’s main aim is to ensure the animals they find will receive the best care and can be adopted to caring people. The Shoalhaven Animal Shelter has moved into its brand-new premises at 19 Nowra Hill Road (Entry BTU Road), Nowra Hill. The new shelter has been built to ensure safety and comfort for the animals.
Townsville City Council (QLD) – Townsville City Council (TCC) is the largest local government authority in Northern Australia. TCC commenced the management of the animal shelter on 24 April 2018. The animal shelter team cares for Townsville’s stray animals from impounding through to behaviour and veterinary assessment, and ultimately rehoming through our adoption centres back into the community.
Category 5 – Innovation in Rescue
Paws and Recover – Sydney police officer, Senior Constable Jacki Largo frequently met people in social housing who were being hospitalised or sent to gaol. Faced with an unknown and frightening experience, their greatest concern was the safety of their pets. Through a network of volunteers Paws and Recover offers practical help such as dog walking, respite pet care through fostering in a home environment, transporting pets to the vet, and support in assisting people to care for their pets in times of crisis.
Central Coast Animal Care Facility’s Freedom Busters (NSW) – Freedom Busters is an initiative implemented by Central Coast Animal Care Facility to help those families who are struggling to reclaim their pet. Freedom Busters is made of many facets and can involve monetary assistance, training, repairs, veterinary work, whatever is needed to reunite the animal with their family.
Sunny Days Cat Cottage Stray Cat Rehab (VIC)– The organisation as a foster care network and as a shelter, is 100% focused on the rescue, humane rehabilitation, and appropriate rehoming of stray born cats. The rehabilitation centre is for stray/feral/street born cats, which would provide long term care for cats, in large group ‘colony’ pens, in a tranquil and out of the way yet still publically accessible setting.
Defence Community Dogs (VIC) – Defence Community Dogs (DCD) provides highly trained Assistance Dogs to serving and ex-serving Australian Defence Force members, who need physical and emotional support to deal with injuries and illnesses including Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD). The program provides a new life and purpose to rescue dogs – each dog in their program is a rescue dog
Category 6 – Community Education and Outreach Program
Second Chance Animal Rescue Outreach Program (VIC) – The SCAR Outreach Program is an initiative established to support the disadvantaged in their community who love their pets but are facing financial hardship. This program is an innovative way to target the at-risk animals in our community, desexing them to avoid unwanted litters and microchipping to avoid pound intakes. Since implementing this program they have so far achieved a reduction in shelter intakes by 20% in our facility and assisted 2300+ families in keeping their pets in their homes via reduced veterinary costs, pet food packages & ongoing support from our vet & shelter team.
West Cairns Management Program – Jointly supported by the Department of Housing and Public Works, the West Cairns Animal Management 3 Year Program is a bi-partisan approach to animal management in the suburb of Manoora. The consists of targeted community education, data collection, and temporary non-surgical fertility control and vaccination of animals. the program focuses on educating and protecting the people and the environment and helping to break the cycle of euthanasia of healthy and adoptable animals.
Banyule’s Free Cat Desexing Program – Banyule City Council is located approximately 19km in the North West region from the Melbourne CBD. Banyule City Council has been running a completely free cat desexing program, including microchipping and first-year registration, since 2013. The program addresses any over-population and high euthanasia rates among cats in the City of Banyule. The success of this strategy hinges on building trust with residents, many of whom had fed cats for years. They have now become owners of de-sexed, micro-chipped, and registered cats. Council has de-sexed 780 cats for free to date.
RSPCA NSW HEART – RSPCA NSW launched the HEART (Humans Enriching Animals for the Rehabilitation of Trauma) program in 2019. HEART is a Community Outreach Program aimed at newly arrived refugee primary school-aged students. The aim is to provide education to new young Australians about our native animals, as well as information on responsible animal care, NSW animal welfare laws, and how to be safe around dogs. The program not only educates students who had no previous interaction with animals, but some of the students had also fled their homeland, leaving their animals and pets behind. This program provided them a chance to reconnect with animals and share their stories with us and their peers.
Category 7 – Volunteer of the Year
Krystelle Lloyd VIC (Campaspe Animal Shelter volunteer) – Krystelle is an Animal Shelter Support person who provides an additional level of care for animals, often referred to as ‘animal enrichment’, and includes care activities such as animal play, animal grooming, walking dogs, and other exercises, as well as, socialisation and developing materials for animal play. Campaspe Animal Shelter says ‘Krystelle’s passion and dedication to working with the animals is an inspiration to us all!’
Shelley Tinworth NSW (Greyhound Rescue volunteer) – Shelley’s current role is Volunteer Coordinator, in this role Shelley is responsible for the kennel roster, ensuring that all shifts, seven days a week are adequately staffed, publishing the roster on a weekly basis, finding last minute roster coverage as required, assisting in recruiting volunteers and fielding new volunteer inquiries and providing new volunteers with our GR training modules and training day information.
Cheryl Keneally SA (Safe Pets Safe Families volunteer) – Cheryl has both an administrative role as well as a hands-on role. SAFE keep clear and detailed records for all aspects of their organisation as well as policies that Cheryl refers to and updates as required. Cheryl collects all their data and processes applications for each of the potential volunteers. This involves performing all our DHS clearances, checking volunteer references, inputting information into our databases, and communicating with volunteers.
Mel Tarei WA (SAFE Bunbury volunteer) – Mel is currently the Dog Coordinator and Administrator. She steps in when needed to assist the Cat Coordinator also. She is truly the glue of the organisation as she has experience in all the roles. She is our main dog foster carer and takes in new intakes for assessment with her own dogs to see how socialised they are before they are given to selected foster carers.
Peter Sharp NSW (Sydney Dogs and Cats Home volunteer) – Peter is a Sydney-based photographer who has loved animals for as long as he can remember and has volunteered with Sydney Dogs and Cats Home for over 3 years and is currently one of our volunteer animal photographers, author of Lost but Found, Rescue Dogs and their Stories of Adoption.
Leanne Simpson NSW (Hunter Animal Rescue volunteer) – Leanne holds multiple roles in HAR. She has been a volunteer with HAR for 10 years. As a Foster Career Leanne has cared for and rehomed almost 1000 animals, many of these with special needs. She has converted a room of her house to be a kitten wonderland where kittens grow and recuperate under her loving watch.
Margot Undercliff NSW (Greyhound Rescue NSW volunteer) – Margot contributes in various areas and has 3 main roles, 1) Help A Hound Sponsorship Coordinator, 2) Shift Leader, Margot does a regular weekly shift at the kennels, and 3) Meet and Greet Coordinator. As a Committee Member Margot attends and contributes to quarterly Committee meetings.
Category 8 – Refuel Digital Technology Award
Greyhound Rescue NSW – GR is a registered charity with kennel facilities housing over 30 dogs and a network of foster carers. GR rehomed 203 greyhounds in 2019. GR is anti-racing and has a no-kill policy. GR would only euthanise due to terminal illness. GR accepts dogs in need and does not discriminate on the grounds of age, colour or sex, and accepts injured or deformed dogs. GR has a sanctuary program for elderly or severely injured greyhounds and covers vet bills for the greyhound’s life. GR requires adopted greyhounds be treated as pets, including sleeping in the house.
Cat Haven WA – The Cat Welfare Society Inc., also known as Cat Haven, was established in 1961 and is WA’s largest shelter for homeless, lost, and abused cats. Cat Haven takes in over 8,000 cats and kittens every year and has a zero euthanasia rate for treatable re-homable cats. Cat Haven’s core business is not only about improving the welfare of cats and kittens but also about improving the lives of people in the community and protecting our environment.
The Rabbit Sanctuary NSW – The Rabbit Sanctuary is a non-profit organisation that rescues stray, abandoned, lost, injured, and unwanted rabbits. It takes in rescue rabbits from all kinds or sources – other rescue organisations, shelters, council pounds, vets who have rabbits dumped at their clinic, individuals who surrender their own rabbits, individuals who find abandoned rabbits, and so on. The rabbit will be cared for by the Rabbit Sanctuary, or by a foster carer. Foster Carers are chosen carefully to make sure the rabbit is in good hands.
Greys4PetsInc (QLD) – Greys4Pets Inc is a registered charity and rescue located in SE QLD. It finds homes for rescued, surrendered, retired Greyhounds and domestic dogs from pounds and private homes. We have a no-kill policy in place. The rescue was founded in 1993 by Elaine Luke, once a Greyhound racer who began to see the cruelty of the sport. It affected her that racing Greyhounds only had an average lifespan of 2-5 years.
Category 9 – Advocate® People’s Rescue Story
Read the amazing stories from our 10 finalists.
Category 10 – Drontal® Foster Carer Story