Bella the wire-haired Jack Russell was a mature dog when the Vagg family from Baulkham Hills adopted her three years ago.

“We had a puppy and we wanted to get a second dog but didn’t want another puppy,” said Kate Vagg. “We were looking to adopt an older dog and saw Bella (at the Blacktown Animal Holding Facility). She was 16. She has a lovely nature and calmed our puppy down.”

Although she’s now 19, Bella is still more keen on her walks than youngster Cookie, says Kate.

It is stories like these that the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards is looking for.

Pets4Life established the awards three years ago to recognise achievements in the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of companion animals in Australia.

Last year more than a thousand entries were received.

Rescue Awards Founder and pet adoption advocate Cathy Beer said the aim was to put the spotlight on the sector.

“While rescue organisations are experiencing some of the highest ever adoption rates – PetRescue website has seen more than 12,000 pets adopted in just six weeks – these organisations are also struggling from the financial impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic following the bushfires.”

Every year, approximately 190,000 pets remain unclaimed in Australia’s pounds and shelters, and thousands of volunteers support rescue groups and animal shelters across Australia.

The Rescue Awards recognise the dedication of staff and volunteers who help rescue pets find homes.

The 10 categories include Advocate® People’s Rescue Story for pet guardians who have adopted a pet. Drontal® Foster Carer Story is open to the thousands of volunteer foster carers looking after rescue pets until they find a new home.

“Pet adoption changes lives for the better,” said Cathy. “This year we’re looking for 1000 heart-warming stories from pet adopters and 500 inspiring stories from foster carers about how their adopted/foster pet has transformed and changed their human’s life.”

Enter online until midnight on July 31. To enter, visit www.rescueawards.com.au and go to ‘Enter’.

1. Outstanding Rescue Group
2. Outstanding New Rescue Group (for groups operating 12 – 36 months)
3. Outstanding Animal Shelter
4. Outstanding Council Animal Shelter
5. Innovation in Rescue
6. Community Education and Outreach Program
7. Volunteer of the Year
8. Refuel Digital Technology Award (new)
9. Advocate® People’s Rescue Story
10. Drontal® Foster Carer Story (new)

*Pets4Life is an independent education resource for cat and dog guardians and those thinking of getting a pet.

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