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. FFAR is one of the only all-species rescue organisations in Australia, assisting dogs and cats, pocket pets, horses, former battery hens, and other farmed animals. FFAR’s mission is to save and transform the lives of homeless, neglected, sick, and abused animals. This year, FFAR reached its 10th birthday and 10,000 lives saved – a milestone worth celebrating!
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 care 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. Celebrating their 10th birthday this August, Maggie’s Rescue has successfully rescued, rehabilitated, and rehomed over 1,680 companion animals!
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.
Category 2 – Outstanding New Rescue Group
Central Queensland Animal Society Inc – Central Queensland Animal Society (CQASI), a registered not-for-profit animal rescue charity was founded in 2019 by Lauren Batley and Brooke Lacey. CQASI actively works in the community and liaises with the Animal Management Centre and other rescues to ensure all animals in need are rescued. In the past 2 years, CQASI has successfully implemented both a heavily discounted (sometimes free) Desex Program and a Last Litter Program, called the Litter-less League Program, within the community to help prevent any unwanted litters.
I Want a Greyhound (QLD) – I Want A Greyhound (IWaG) Inc. is a Brisbane-based, registered not-for-profit greyhound rehoming, education, and support charity. IWaG was founded by four greyhound-loving people with many years of experience as greyhound foster carers, adopters, and volunteers for greyhound rescue and welfare advocacy groups. As well as rehoming, we believe it’s important to focus on educating the wider community about the welfare of greyhounds. Since launching on 1 July 2018, IWaG has welcomed 111 greyhounds into its rehoming program and attended over 30 events.
Category 3 – Outstanding Animal Shelter
Central Coast Animal Care Facility (NSW) – Located in Erina, Central Coast Animal Care Facility (CCACF) successfully tendered to manage Gosford Pound on behalf of Central Coast Council as of 1st July, 2016. They are a no-kill facility with a small, but passionate team dedicated to being a voice for animals and providing them their second chance at a happy ever after. 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 about the responsibility of pet ownership, unwanted litters, and timely vet intervention.
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 is a registered charity with kennel facilities housing over 30 dogs and a network of foster carers. GR is anti-racing and has a no-kill policy, except terminal illness. GR is able to rescue and rehome greyhounds thanks to its dedicated team of volunteers and the generosity of its supporters. One of their roles is to educate people about the gentle and relaxed nature of greyhounds who are wonderful pets deserving a loving home.GR has re-homed over 1000 greyhounds.
Just Cats (TAS) – Just Cats Tasmania Inc. (Just Cats) was founded in 2012 by Rachel Beech. Just Cats Tasmania was incorporated in July 2013 and a board was appointed to provide governance and support to Rachel. Since those early beginnings in 2012, Just Cats has taken in and rehomed some 8000 cats and kittens. The organization’s growth has been significant to the point that it now employs 7 staff and has a Board of 6 professional businesspeople, 49 Volunteers, and 36 Foster Carers.
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. While they take direct rescue action, they have a strong focus on education as the most sustainable and far-reaching way to support animals and owners. They are recognised as the experts on pet rat and mouse behaviour and welfare not only by the pet-owning community nationally, but also the breeders and show communities that we work with to educate on genetics and ethics as keys to long-term welfare.
Category 4 – Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
Ballarat Animal Shelter (VIC) – In 2017, the City of Ballarat acquired operations from the previous operators in a bid to provide better conditions and enrichment for the animals, longer opening hours for the community, and an educational hub for animal welfare, responsible pet ownership, and adoptions. In 2019- the City of Ballarat amalgamated the animal shelter services and the animal management services together. They have increased reclaim rates, reduced euthanasia rates, and have implemented programs that benefit animals in our region including welfare cases, giving long-term seized dogs a more enriched life, and rehoming poultry, goats and sheep, and horses.
Category 5 – Innovation in Rescue
Mobile Companion Animal Shelter for Emergency Evacuation (TAS) – The City of Launceston is the largest municipality in Tasmania by population, working capitol expenditure, and net-worth. The highest risk within the municipality is major flooding, with a potential breach of the flood levee system resulting in the rapid evacuation of many thousands of residents (and their animals) from the affected areas. The “Mobile Animal Shelter” uses the platform of a 40-foot shipping container. The specific aim of this project is to eliminate any disadvantage and to provide for the safest possible outcome for companion animals and their owners, during an emergency evacuation.
Pet Medical Crisis (VIC) – The Pet Medical Crisis (PMC) provides a structured criterion for people in need, to apply for veterinary assistance for pets in need. PMC is a unique charity that 10 years later, over 800 pensioner’s pets have been saved from unnecessary euthanasia. PMC provides a unique opportunity for disadvantaged pet owners to save their pet’s life, not incur unsustainable debt, and to be able to enjoy all the benefits that pet ownership brings. Their aim is to make veterinary dental issues a thing of the past so pensioners have security in owning a pet for their mental, physical and social wellbeing.PMC currently assists 30 pets/month.
The Rainbow Paws Program (ACT) – The Rainbow Paws Program was established in 2014 to support the pets of vulnerable Canberran’s doing it tough such as the homeless, those escaping domestic violence, the isolated elderly, and those on low incomes due to physical or mental disability. The Rainbow Paws Program has five programs it delivers to meet the needs of pets and their owners in Canberra, which are – The Hotel Bookings Program (emergency boarding), Code Rainbow (emergency vet care), Snip Snip (subsidised desexing), Street Support (delivery of pet food/supplies to vulnerable members of the community), and the Rolling Tuckerbox (delivery of donated pet food to community pantries and centres).
Category 6 – Community Education and Outreach Program
Animal Welfare League NSW Mobile Truck – Animal Welfare League NSW™ is a registered charity that has been operating for over 60 years. The Animal Welfare League Mobile Vet Truck is an Australian-first, fully-fitted out B-Double trailer that has been purpose-designed to enable Animal Welfare League NSW to travel to regional areas in NSW to provide desexing, vaccination, and microchipping programs to communities doing it tough.
RSPCA NSW Safe Families – The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals New South Wales (RSPCA NSW) is a not-for-profit organisation in Australia that cares for, treats, protects, and rehomes animals across the state. RSPCA NSW believes that pets and people belong together. The Safe Families program was designed to assist any domestic violence refuge that was wanting to become pet friendly. RSPCA NSW created a “package” enabling refuges to accommodate humans and pets together on-site. The RSPCA’s unparalleled experience in housing and caring for animals uniquely positions them to provide the expertise required. With the support of RSPCA NSW programs, they have safely housed and cared for 1,748 pets, allowing families time to find a safe refuge for themselves, with the aim of reuniting them with their beloved pet as soon as possible.
Second Chance Animal Rescue Outreach Program (VIC) – The SCAR Outreach Program (SOP) 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 SOP we have collaborated with approximately 30 human service organisations through our PFP & veterinary outreach services, assisting more than 3190 families in keeping their pets in their homes via free, heavily subsidised, or low-cost veterinary care, pet food packages, & ongoing support from our veterinary & shelter teams.
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 Program officially started in August 2019 and is currently focussing on social housing properties where there is the greatest and most immediate need, The Program 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.
Category 7 – Volunteer of the Year
Lachlan Barnard (Forever Friends Animal Rescue, VIC) – Lachlan is Volunteer Construction Manager at the Forever Friends Animal Rehabilitation Sanctuary, and has been for the last twelve months. Lachlan threw away his job security and annual paycheck to contribute to FFAR by taking over the construction of their Rehabilitation Kennels, Cattery, and Stables, as well as the building and maintenance of other structures at their Sanctuary.
Kaye Cromie (Lort Smith, VIC) – Kaye has been a volunteer with Lort Smith for the last eight years. As a volunteer she supports the operations of the Adoption Centre, is a foster carer, and sits on our Volunteer Advisory Committee. As a foster carer, Kaye provides care to surrendered animals that need to remain in Lort Smith’s care for a longer period of time to allow for growth, development, rehabilitation or respite.
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.
Alison Dower (Rachies Ratirement Home, QLD) – Alison Dower or #AdminAlly is our Secretary and Social Media Manager within Rachie’s Ratirement Home. As the Secretary, Ally’s primary role is to keep members informed and the management side of the rescue organised, as well as ensuring legal requirements are met.
Paula Oberosler (Greyhound Rescue, NSW) – Paula’s roles are Team Leader, Application Coordinator (volunteer) – co-ordinating and managing applications, managing and training the team of application coordinators; Managing the kennel shop including managing the stock and merchandising, stocktaking, pricing and promoting; Committee member; Sub-committee member of the review of end-to-end process and procedure for adoption and foster applications; and Kennel shift volunteer.
Melissa Penn (Sydney Dogs and Cats Home) – Melissa Penn’s involvement with the home started some 22 years ago just before she adopted her first cat, Terry. Decades-long involvement with The Home has allowed Melissa to generate trust and long-term relationships with management, members, and volunteers within the organisation, and January 2020 saw Melissa elected unopposed to the Board of Directors, as Vice President.
Louise Stott (RSPCA VIC) – Louise is a volunteer in the cattery at RSPCA Epping. She volunteers every Saturday morning from 8:30am to 12:00pm, working in the cat adoptions area. Louise’s tasks include cleaning the individual cat condos – where the cats live while they are waiting to be adopted. Louise is also a foster carer at RSPCA Epping. She will take home the animals that require some TLC in a loving home environment.
Category 8 – Refuel Digital Technology Award
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 is a registered charity with kennel facilities housing over 30 dogs and a network of foster carers. GR is anti-racing and has a no-kill policy, except terminal illness. GR is able to rescue and rehome greyhounds thanks to its dedicated team of volunteers and the generosity of its supporters. One of their roles is to educate people about the gentle and relaxed nature of greyhounds who are wonderful pets deserving a loving home.GR has re-homed over 1000 greyhounds.
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. While they take direct rescue action, they have a strong focus on education as the most sustainable and far-reaching way to support animals and owners. They are recognised as the experts on pet rat and mouse behaviour and welfare not only by the pet-owning community nationally, but also the breeders and show communities that we work with to educate on genetics and ethics as keys to long-term welfare.-
Category 9 – People’s Rescue Story
Read the amazing stories from our 10 finalists.
Category 10 – Foster Carer Story