PETstock's "rescue" calendar fails to support rescue groups

November 9, 2018

PETstock's annual calendar is out. According to their pitch;

PETstock Assist is committed to making a long-term difference and positive change in the lives of pets and families within our communities.

The aim of this calendar is to raise much needed fund for one of our PETstock Assist charity partners, PetRescue.

PetRescue is a national animal welfare charity with a vision of a future where every pets is safe, respected and loved.
They create and deliver a whole raft of innovative programs and services to help thousands of rescue pets each year.

PETstock Assist shares this vision, and is proud to
support PetRescue's work and future growth so they can continue to deliver outstanding animal welfare programs and services to all pets and humans who need them.

(highlighting mine)

For the last few years the calendar has been filled with pictures and stories of rescue pets given to PetRescue for PETstock to use in their calendar. However thanks to PetRescue's contemptuous behaviour towards rescue groups over the last 12 months, rescue groups have downed tools when it comes to working for PetRescue's benefit.

Turns out goodwill is hard earned and easily lost.

This presented a problem for PetRescue as in order to claim their $100k sponsorship package, they need a calendar to sell. No calendar = no money for PetRescue.

So PetRescue and PETstock put their heads together and thought up a plan for collecting stories they could use without rescue group's permission or consent.

The created a 'competition' to draw in adopters and bypassing rescue groups entirely. They ran concurrent promotions back in August;

PetRescue promotion
PETstock promotion

And it worked! According to their in-calendar blurb

Our 2019 models are rescue pets who have changed their owners lives for the better.

We have over 700 people and their pets share their stories via our 2019 calendar competition and then worked with pet photographers across Australia to capture our twelve winners and their individual personalities.

Now, if you're a rescue group who busts hump, volunteering on the weekend so that PETstock stores can (lend your rescue halo) offer pets to their clients, to have your work co-opted like this is annoying at best. At worst, it shows that rather than be an “umbrella group” representing rescue PetRescue is now cynically grabbing IP it is not entitled to, nor has it gained permission to use.

Even more dishonestly, the names of the rescue groups were included back into the photos implying that they were consulted (they weren't).

And even more dishonestly that that, despite all the money raised from this calendar going to PetRescue and none of it going to rescue groups, many of the pets chosen for the calendar never had a PetRescue listing.


The Cat Haven invested a large amount of vet care into Peggy and she was adopted in October by her foster carer; PetRescue neither paid for the surgery, nor helped with the adoption.

Ronney and Marley

Are from the Animal Welfare League SA who rarely list pets. They were never featured on PetRescue.


Is from Furever Friends Bendigo Furever Friends Bendigo (PetRescue ID 10417) which started in 2013, closed down in March of this year, because running a rescue group is a huge emotional and financial drain.


Is from the Animal Wefare League QLD, who has not had a PetRescue account since the early months of 2017, when they deleted themselves from the site. The AWLQ have chosen to distance themselves from the organisation, and yet PetRescue are still claiming Mak as their own.

While a whole bunch of other rescue groups will just now be finding out that they've been included in a fundraising calendar for PetRescue without their permission.

Rockys K9 Rescue
Wish Animal Rescue
Soquilichi Ranch Rescue
Pets Haven
Sunny Days Rescue and Rehab
Lort Smith
SAFE Perth
Sydney Dogs and Cats Home
Can groups opt out?

Nope. These calendars are literally on shelf, being sold now.

Your rescue groups is in PetRescue's calendar, for PETstock's corporate pleasure, whether you like it or not. (No you don't get any of the $100k)

Your adopters are our adopters.

Imagine for one moment a human charity, made and sold a calendar full of photos of children in hospital who, they'd not participated in helping, nor probably even met - and sold this calendar not to help the hospital, or the support services who helped these kids -didn't even ask those guys - but instead kept the money for themselves?

Now imagine if instead of working to exclude rescue and their needs, PETstock gave the tens of thousands of dollars raised by this calendar to the rescue groups who support PETstock’s success. Imagine if this money went direct to help real, live animals be saved.

Ask your branch manager if the donations raised in their store can come to your rescue direct.

(PetRescue is an online tool - it gets to keep online sales).

This is a very workable model which would see the majority of funds invested in the grassroots rescue groups which make EVERY SINGLE rescue promotion by PETstock possible.

If your rescue group has been included in this calendar, make your feelings known to PETstock. You should get the support.

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