Media Information Sheet

Pet ownership and rescue in Australia

Australia continues to have one of the highest household rates of pet ownership in the world. According to Animal Medicines Australia, 69 percent of households now own a pet, up from 61 percent two years ago, and there are an estimated 30.4 million pets across the country.  Sadly, every year, around 190,000 dogs and cats are left unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters. (Source:

Thanks to the great work done by not-for-profit rescue groups and animal shelters over the last decade, the rate of adoption has steadily increased and the rate of euthanasia has decreased in Australia. PetRescue helps rescue organisations reach the pet-seeking public by getting their adoptable pets online. Their website received 250 searches a minute (before the Coronavirus arrived in Australia in 2020) from families around Australia who want to adopt a cat or dog or another companion animal.

COVID-19 and pet adoption

In early 2020, the PetRescue website saw a recording-breaking number of pets finding loving families, that is, 14,883 pets adopted in just a few months. PetRescue had a 200% increase in enquiries, and 1,557, 886 visitors to their website! More on these phenomenal statistics from PetRescue.

While rescue groups and animal shelters have experienced some of the highest ever adoption rates over the last couple of years, these rehoming organisations continue to struggle with the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic following the devastating bushfires and more recently, floods in 2022. Rescue groups and animal shelters urgently need donations to maintain their operations to help families and their pets facing hardship.

Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022

The Companion Animal Rescue Awards (Rescue Awards) is a Pets4Life initiative, whose mission is to recognise and celebrate outstanding examples of rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of companion animals Australia-wide. The Rescue Awards is a for-purpose, national program.  It is THE platform to recognise achievements and innovation in companion animal welfare and management.

In our fifth year, we are delighted to welcome back Pet Insurance Australia as our Platinum Rescue Hero & Naming Partner!  This year’s program is called the ‘Pet Insurance Australia Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2022‘.  A huge thank you to our amazing panel of Judges who donate their time and expertise, and our wonderful Supporters from not for profit animal welfare and pet industry.

2022 Categories

There are 10 categories in 2022, with one winner for each category.  Award categories 1 – 8 are for the industry, ie, rescue/shelter/companion animal welfare organisations.  Category 9 is for Aussie pet guardians who have adopted a pet and Category 10 is for foster carers.

  1. Outstanding Rescue Group (for groups operating over 36 months)
  2. Outstanding New Rescue Group (for groups operating 12 – 36 months)
  3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
  4. Australian Pet Welfare Foundation Award for Councils
  5. Innovation in Companion Animal Welfare and Management
  6. Working with the Community to keep People and their Pets Together
  7. Volunteer of the Year
  8. Refuel Creative Digital Marketing 
  9. Ivory Coat People’s Rescue Story
  10. Ivory Coat Foster Carer Story


The Rescue Awards wishes to thank the judges for donating their time and expertise.

  1. Tim Vasudeva, Financial Institutions & Corporate Engagement, WAP Australia
  2. Nell Thompson, Coordinator for G2Z, Secretary for the AIAM Committee
  3. Emeritus Professor Jacquie Rand, Executive Director & Chief Scientist, Australian Pet Welfare Foundation
  4. Vickie Davy, Co-Founder & joint CEO of PetRescue
  5. Farmer Dave GrahamCo-founder & Manager RuffTRACK, Youth Worker, Dog Trainer
  6. Dr. Vanessa Rolf, Compassion Fatigue Therapist
  7. Dr. Brooke Rankmore, CEO at Animal Management in Rural and Remote Indigenous Communities (AMRRIC)
  8. Jona Osmani, Operational Manager, Pet Insurance Australia
  9. Dr. Anne Quain, Animal Welfare Veterinarian
  10. Anne Boxhall, Animal Welfare Advocate with 28 years’ experience in sheltering and rescue
  11. Barbara Hodel, President of the Pet Professional Guild Australia
  12. Diana Rayment, Companion Animal Welfare Scientist, Shelter Supervisor at Second Chance Animal Rescue
  13. Ryan Jones, Founder, and CEO of Refuel Creative
  14. Brittany Bloomer, International TV Presenter and Founder of charity Pound Paws
  15. Annette Hughes, Publisher of Where Pets Are Found
  16. Dr. Leigh Davidson, Founder, Your Vet Online
  17. Tara O’Connell, Creator of The Pet Diaries mobile app
  18. Andrew Grill, The Actionable® Futurist, technology trends and the digital world expert
  19. John Kim, Founder, and CEO of Silverquest Consulting, Australian Marketing Institute (AMI) Board Member
  20. Connie MacLulich, Brand Manager (Ivory Coat), Real Pet Food Company
  21. Cathy Beer, Founder of Pets4Life and the Companion Animal Rescue Awards


Key dates

Launch 3 May 2022
Open for entries  3 May 2022
Entries close 31 July 2022
Judging August 2022
Finalists announced 14 September 2022
Winners revealed October/November 2022

About Pets4Life

Pets4Life provides force-free dog training services based in Sydney as well as an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians. Our mission is to help families make great choices and become even better pet guardians.

Cathy Beer is the Founder of Pets4Life. Cathy Beer has a big heart for pet welfare and pet adoption. After over 20 years in the corporate world as a professional marketer, she pursued her passion for pet welfare and created Pets4Life in 2013 after interviewing leaders in the companion animal welfare space. Cathy has given a number of presentations at pet events. In 2018, Cathy created and launched the Companion Animal Rescue Awards, a for-purpose Pets4Life program to celebrate and recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of companion Animals Australia-wide. 

Cathy is an accredited professional dog trainer with qualifications from the Delta Institute of Australia. Cathy is a professional member of the Pet Professional Guild Australia that advocates positive reinforcement dog training methods. She is a voluntary community member of Willoughby Council’s Companion Animals Committee and a former voluntary training instructor at the Sydney All Breeds Dog Club.  She lives in Sydney with her husband John, and much-loved rescue doggie, Twinkle.

Every animal deserves a good life, not just a life of existence – Pets4Life’s manifesto.

About Pet Insurance Australia

Pet Insurance Australia is a family-owned Australian Pet Insurance business, with a long and successful history in the pet industry. Not only do they have years of experience, but they have an international reputation for excellence.

Pet Insurance Australia takes pride in that they are not just business owners; they are pet people and pets are part of our daily lives. They strongly believe that being passionate, and developing personal relationships is the key to business success and they have endeavoured to deliver exactly that to their customers. At PIA they treat every pet as if it was our own.

Pet Insurance Australia was launched back in 2008. Since then, PIA has witnessed expressions about financial worries disappear. Seeing first-hand how beneficial pet insurance could be. Today, thousands of customers now benefit from their pets being insured.


Contact us

For media enquiries, please contact:
Cathy Beer, Pets4Life on 0419 296 656 or [email protected]   or
Caroline Zambrano, Pet Journo on 0403 550 730 or [email protected]

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