The inaugural Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards wraps up for 2018, how did we go?
The Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards 2018 (Rescue Awards) is a Pets4Life initiative whose mission is to celebrate and recognise achievements in rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals Australia wide. The inaugural Rescue Awards 2018 program was a resounding success. This is just the beginning! We will be building on this year’s success to continue to raise the profile of outstanding rehoming organisations and the benefits of pet adoption in 2019.
A huge thanks to our Entrants, team of Judges, Supporters, and a small hard-working team of volunteers and professionals including Ryan Jones of Refuel Creative, Chris Zidanski and Ric Navarro of Ruff Diamonds, Annette Hughes of Where Pets Are Found, Jo Lyons Photography and Caroline Zambrano, Pet Journo.
The inaugural Rescue Awards would not have possible without our Ambassador, renowned animal behavourist PhD Dr Jo Righetti of Pet Problems Solved, and 22 Supporters. Thank you to Jetpets who jumped on board as our Platinum Rescue Hero and Naming Partner and our Gold Rescue Partners – Purina, Bayer, Ruff Diamonds (Multimedia and Entertainment), Refuel Creative, and Pets4Life. Thank you to our Silver Rescue Supporters – G2Z, PetRescue, AIAM, Pet Problems Solved, Pet Insurance Australia, Greencross Vets, DOGUE, Pound Paws, Rosehip Vital, Where Pets Are Found and our official photographer, Jo Lyons Photography. Thank you to our Rescue Advocates – KONG, Life on the Hedge, K9SCentral, AWAMO, Love’em and Woofmag.
The Rescue Awards 2018 program started in early May with a pre-launch media release followed by an official launch event on 14 June in Sydney where 65 attendees from rescue groups, animal shelters, Judges, Supporters came together to celebrate companion animal rescue. Celebrity animal trainer Peta Clarke donated her time and treated the guests with a Nose Work demonstration with her talented rescue dogs and cat called ‘Todd River’. There were 7 categories in 2018. Categories 1 – 6 were for rehoming organisations and category 7, the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story was for Aussie pet guardians who adopted or fostered a companion animal. Entries opened 1 July to 31 August. We received a rush of submissions from rehoming organisations in the eleventh hour (literally)! The judges spent many hours assessing the entries. The finalists were announced on 9 October 2018. The winners were announced via a live broadcast event on 12 October 2018 at Jetpets head office in Melbourne.
517 completed entries in total were received.
- 200 rehoming organisations registered their interest
- 89 valid completed submissions for rehoming categories 1 – 6 and
- 428 entries for the Advocate® People’s Rescue Story.
Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry. The bar was set high for categories 1 – 6 and the time and effort to make a submission was no mean feat.
WHAT THE ENTRANTS SAID
Sue Hedley, SAFE
“It’s a huge honour. Animal rescue work is both rewarding and challenging and to be recognised like this is a real feather in the cap for hard-working volunteers in SAFE branches across regional WA and SAFE Metro in Perth. It’s also about the success of the foster care model, with homeless animals being the real winners. It’s affirming to see the support that major sponsors like Jetpets, Bayer, Purina and others have given to the rescue awards program. It highlights the value and importance being placed on the rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals across Australia.”
Michael Beatty, RSPCA Queensland
‘This is a great honour and belongs to all our dedicated staff and volunteers. I believe that perhaps part of the reason we were chosen was our ongoing willingness to try new initiatives to improve animal welfare throughout Queensland. Financially this will also benefit the nineteen rescue groups who took part in our Big Adopt Out event last month. We intend to purchase enrichment toys so these can help the many animals in their care.’
Jai Wilson, Deaf Dogs Rescue Australia
‘It was wonderful of you to highlight some wonderful deserving rescues. We were so grateful to be a part of the awards. I hope that you may run the awards annually as it really does make you look at your rescue and think “what really sets us apart and makes us different.’
Richard Mussell, AWL SA
‘Frances being named the 2018 Volunteer of the Year is a testament to her hard work and her commitment to improving the lives of the animals in the care of the AWL. Frances is an asset to the AWL team and it’s great to have her efforts recognised through this award, myself and the team are incredibly proud of Frances’s achievements. I would like to extend a special thanks to the partners, supporters and sponsors of the 2018 Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards, the prizes that AWL will receive from these groups as part of Frances being named Volunteer of the Year will go directly toward the thousands of animals in our care, and will assist us to continue providing great outcomes.’
Kate Kemp, Campaspe Animal Shelter
‘We are very proud of the achievements made since the Campaspe Shire Council brought the management of the animal shelter in-house from November 2016. The recognition we have received by winning the Outstanding Council Animal Shelter award is not just a credit to the animal shelter and Campaspe Shire teams (staff and volunteers), but the entire community that has supported the shelter, helping us do our job better. The shelter has worked very hard to increase engagement and communication within the community, as well as utilising a number of progressive adoption marketing strategies which have proven to be very successful. Having all this work recognised by our peers within the industry is very overwhelming.
The added award of the prizes kindly donated by the partners and supporters of these awards is also overwhelming. All of the prizes will help us continue to do the best we can for the animals in our care and continue to improve our services. We would like to thank Cathy Beer the founder of the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards, all of the judges, partners and supporters who made these awards a reality. It is wonderful to finally see all areas of our industry being recognised. Congratulations to all the finalists and winners in each category it is fantastic to see so many organisations striving to achieve the best that they can.’
Jennifer Howard, Safe Pets Safe Families
We want to say a massive thank you to everyone involved, Cathy Beer, Jetpets and to all the judges and sponsors. Being a complete volunteer -run rescue running off donations and fundraisers, this recognition and prizes are massive to us, in fact, the Jetpets travel voucher will allow us to fly a pet immediately with their owner escaping Domestic Violence, we usually have to do a donation drive for this cost, so this is a life -saving gift for us not only for a pet but for the Owner leaving a dangerous situation. Thank you so much to all the sponsors your gifts will bring relief to pets and people in crisis helping reduce the number of animals being surrendered and euthanised and allowing people to leave dangerous situations, so many people delay leaving due to their pets and pets are often used as pawns to control their victims. ‘
SOCIAL MEDIA PROGRAM
We had a comprehensive social media program from early May to 30 November 2018. Our core hashtag ‘#JetpetsRescueAwards2018’ was included in our social media posts.
Thanks to the combined effort of the Rescue Awards and our Supporters, the social media program achieved an estimated reach of over 69,889 to date. On 12 October (winner’s announcement), the Rescue Awards generated a social reach of 10,224.
One of the highlights of the social media program was the Facebook live broadcast event held at Jetpets head office and managed by Refuel Creative on 12 October. The broadcast included 8 videos produced by Ruff Diamonds. It was watched around the country with great excitement among the entrants and has so far generated over 3.3K views, reached 9,145 people, 136 comments and 40 shares.
Five media releases were disseminated at key milestones over the six month program period. Thank you to the media for supporting the Rescue Awards 2018. We had 60 pieces of content across magazines/newspapers, eNewsletters, social media, TV, radio, and websites promoting the Rescue Awards and highlighting our winners. Our full list of media coverage. Here’s a few examples:
- Channel 9’s Today Show in July featuring Rescue Awards Founder, Cathy Beer and 3 pet adoption stories
- ABC 702 radio interview with James Valentine
- Dr Jo Righetti interviewed by ABC Melbourne Afternoons Richelle Hunt
- WIN TV News segment on Campaspe Animal Shelter’s winning the Outstanding Council Animal Shelter Award
- Vet Practice Magazine articles and blog posts
- Volunteer of the Year winner Frances O’Connell story in the Sunday Mail Advertiser
- Advocate®People’s Rescue Story winner Jason Vallas and Diesel story in the HeraldSun in Victoria