It wasn't quite the fancy awards evening they'd hoped for but staff at Shoalhaven Council's Animal Shelter still celebrated via Zoom after a big win recently.
The shelter was named Outstanding Council Animal Shelter at the Jetpets Companion Animal Rescue Awards.
The national awards recognise achievements in 12 categories in the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of companion animals sector.
Since reopening as the the Shoalhaven Animal Shelter two years ago after previously operating as an RSPCA centre, the shelter has had no euthanasia of healthy and rehomable animals. More than 1639 animals have found loving new homes.
Team leader Jodie Parnell said she's very proud of the shelter's efforts and the support it receives from the community.
"We don't kill animals to make room for more and we're able to do that through support from council and the public," she said.
"If we look like we're getting full, we'll have a weekend where the adoption fees are half price, or we'll have support by people who may not be able to adopt an animal but will pay some of the adoption fee for someone else."
Caring for the animals isn't just a Monday to Friday gig but Ms Parnell said the small team of 10 all love their job and its rewards.
"When you see an animal that's been there for a while and someone comes in a falls in love, it's the best feeling," she said.
"The staff are also very, very dedicated and caring and it's nice to see them being rewarded."
"When we get an email with a little update and photo of that pet in their new home, it's the best."Jodie Parnell
Ms Parnell said a big, old dog called Alfie stole the staff's hearts last year and clocked up many months in the shelter.
There was celebrations all round when he finally found his forever home.
Since Covid the shelter has seen an unprecedented demand for companion animals. Even with lockdown laws easing, Ms Parnell said she doesn't expect those animals will return.
"We don't have a fear of those animals coming back because they're so entrenched in their new lives," she said.
"When we get an email with a little update and photo of that pet in their new home, it's the best."
If you're looking for a rescue pet there's only three available at the moment at Shoalhaven Council's Animal Shelter - two cats and a guinea pig.