This award recognises individuals who have changed animals’ lives by volunteering.

Jennie Appleford (Gold)

Jennie has been described as an all-round superstar volunteer across many different areas of RSPCA WA. Her ongoing commitment to Community Action Days has contributed to the success of these events and her work on the school holiday program and in various administrative roles has enriched the organisation. Jennie also volunteers with the animals, spending time with cats, kittens, rabbits and guinea pigs, enriching their lives and helping prepare them for adoption.

Sue and Paul McGann (Gold) 

Sue and Paul dedicated the whole of last summer to locating, rescuing, and caring for 199 flightless cygnets abandoned by their parents when the Vasse-Wonnerup wetlands dried up before they were ready to fly. As the babies tried to make their way to Geographe Bay, foxes and domestic dogs became a constant threat. The selfless couple worked tirelessly to ensure the rescue and rehabilitation of the birds, keeping the frailest in their own backyard until they were strong enough for release.

Colleen Ryan (Gold) 

Colleen is RSPCA WA’s longest serving volunteer, dedicating over 20 years to helping the lives of shelter animals. Described as the shelter’s ‘living history book’, she started off cleaning kennels and has carried out so many other roles including laundry, dishes, dog walking and bathing. Colleen is a role model for other volunteers and often helps train them.

Robyn Knox (Silver)

Robyn is a longtime coordinator and volunteer at the Coastal South Region of Pets of Older Persons (POOPs). Robyn coordinates the volunteer walkers. Outside of her role she also offers second chances to the dogs whose elderly owners can no longer care for them, organising foster and adoption. Robyn also often drives clients’ pets to appointments. 

Jade Guilfoyle (Silver) 

Jade spends two days a week volunteering at Native Animal Rescue and weekly at Duncraig Senior High School as a Bushranger Cadets instructor. Jade has released swans into the wild, produced information sheets for public education about animal rehabilitation and runs the Native Animal Rescue Instagram account. Jade is also a dedicated fundraiser for the causes she loves.

Frank Howe (Silver) 

For more than seven years, Frank has been a valuable member of the Greyhounds as Pets team, enriching the lives of dogs as they transition from racing dogs to pets. Frank has helped around 2000 dogs prepare for their forever home. He plays with them, cuddles them, walks them, and helps with general kennel work.

Linda Shone (Silver)

Every Wednesday for the past 7 years, Linda has tackled the endless stream of dirty laundry at RSPCA WA. In a four hour shift she will wash, dry and fold over 200 towels and blankets, plus dozens of stuffed toys and dog beds. So far this year, Linda has done 360 loads of washing and has created a system that prioritises washing according to the size and type of animals in care that week

Kelli Ferris (Silver)

Kelli has been a volunteer at Swan Animal Haven for 30 years. Kelli is said to be the one to take on the jobs no one else wants and she is a great support for other volunteers and staff. In addition to her weekend shift volunteering directly with the dogs, she also volunteers as a management committee member. 

Rachel Olsen (Silver)

Rachel is a volunteer with Western Australian Seabird Rescue (WASR). She played a pivotal role in the rescue and rehabilitation of nine pelicans found covered in oil, south of Perth in June. Rachel has personally advocated for the welfare of these pelicans and has been liaising with government and WA Wildlife to mitigate and manage the ongoing oil-spill problem.

Elaine Foster (Silver) 

Elaine is a full-time volunteer with Goldfields Native Animal Care, caring for injured wildlife in Kalgoorlie-Boulder. Elaine is on call 24/7 and will answer any call for help, backed by her dedicated team of volunteers. Elaine’s role includes wildlife rehabilitation, fundraising and educating the community about wildlife care. She is described as exemplifying compassion and dedication towards both people and animals.

Tracey Berville (Bronze) 

Tracey is a volunteer with Perth Rescue Angels. She began as a foster carer before becoming the go-to person for trapping cats. Tracey is described as the core support person for the rescue, helping with day-to-day operations and supporting other foster carers. Her motto is ‘no cat left behind’ and she will often spend days and nights at a site until all cats there are rescued. 

Dee Friello (Bronze) 

Dee has contributed more than 875 hours as a volunteer with RSPCA WA, sorting donations, doing kennel laundry, and driving. Dee’s strong work ethic, approachability, and reliability has helped foster a positive team atmosphere among staff and volunteers. Dee’s commitment to the less sort after roles in the shelter shows her dedication and commitment to supporting animals in the shelter.

Michele O'Neil (Bronze)

Michele runs the WA Pet Project, a foster care-based not for profit adoption program for cats and dogs. Michele’s responsibilities range from assisting fosters to conducting adoption interviews. She collaborates with veterinarians to ensure the wellbeing of medically complex rescues. Her vision is for a world where animal rescues don’t need to exist.

Claire Pragnall (Bronze)

Claire runs the Karlup Animal Sanctuary, looking after joeys, emus, pigs, ponies, alpacas and more. She also takes in retired racehorses and orphaned lambs during lambing season. Claire makes herself available to attend road accidents involving wildlife, saving those she can and ending the suffering quickly and painlessly of those she cannot. 

Meet the other Animal Welfare Award winners