Petbarn Foundation

Petbarn Foundation (The Trustee for the Petbarn Foundation) has been recognised for Outstanding Achievement in The Australian Charity Awards 2023. The Australian Charity Award for Outstanding Achievement [OAA] recognises charitable organisations that have achieved outstanding results through initiatives that have significantly benefited charitable causes.

The Petbarn Foundation is a registered charity part of Greencross Pet Wellness company, dedicated to finding homes for surrendered animals in Australia for over a decade.

The Petbarn Foundation is comprised of Petbarn and its network of stores, Greencross Vets, the largest veterinarian network in Australia and over 25 animal emergency hospitals and referral centres. Through its partnership with RSPCA, the Foundation has facilitated the adoption of over 68,000 pets and donated over $25 million to help people and pets in need through funds, products and services.

The pandemic brought a surge in pet ownership, with an estimated 30.4 million pets in the country. Household-owning pets increased from 61% to 69%, and 19% of all pet dogs and 24% of pet cats were acquired during the pandemic. However, the post-pandemic era presented new challenges. There has been a significant decrease in adoption rates and an increase in pet surrenders, leading to overcrowding in shelters.

The Petbarn Foundation responded to the challenges of decreased adoption rates and an increase in pet surrenders by redoubling its efforts to find loving homes for pets in need.

With 11 years of experience in animal rescue, the Foundation recognised that animal shelters were facing a difficult situation.

The Petbarn Foundation and its partners developed a six-month strategy comprising two phases to tackle this issue. The first campaign, Rethink Rescues, aimed to increase awareness of the plight of shelter animals and dispel myths around rescue pet ownership. The second campaign, Rescue Month, aimed to promote the adoption of rescue animals with ambitious targets of saving 700 animals.

The campaigns were carefully orchestrated, with public relations and social media supporting events at Petbarn stores, including ‘Cat Dating’ and ‘Adopt-A-Dog’ meet and greets. The campaign had clear call-to-actions around the Foundation’s ambitious targets and crisis-facing shelters. The Foundation focused on finding homes for surrendered pets and giving rescue pets the best chance at a happy, healthy life with a loving family.

Through a donation of $200k the Foundation would also support twenty rescue partners with the cost of care for their rescues.

Over the six-month campaign and its two phases, the Foundation:

  • Coordinated 53 dog and 125 cat rescue events;
  • Secured almost 180 pieces of media coverage, including 16 TV segments with a combined potential reach of nearly 300m;
  • Saved 375 dogs and 876 cats, a total of 1,297 animals, 551 more than the target and
  • Incredibly the Foundation passed 67,000 animals saved since the Foundation’s creation in 2012.

The campaign also bucked the trend with declining adoption rates. February 2023 saw the highest adoption rate since 2021, at the height of the pandemic – a genuine testament to the campaign’s success.

The Petbarn Foundation will continue to have rescues as a key priority in its mission to enrich the lives of pets, animals and the people who love and need them.

To find out more about Petbarn Foundation, visit

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