• Georgia Musolino

Australian sports stars who are devoted to their pets and animal rights

Whether these athletes compete in a team or individually, with a ball or racket, on a court or on a field, there’s one thing they all have in common – their love of animals. Despite the gruelling routines modern day sports stars face, these athletes, who all feature on the PickStar marketplace more than 1600 stars, find the time to also devote their lives to their pets and advocating for animal rights and causes. With Dogtober coming up in October, it's a great opportunity to fundraise for a great cause. And having an animal-loving athlete attend your event - virtual or in-person - can be a great incentive to drive attendance and boost fundraising efforts. We've also made it easier than ever to find a star that suits your needs and is available in your location. You can filter by athlete interests, location, social media following and more. Here are seven PickStar-listed athletes who are obsessed with their lovable pets. Check out more animal loving athletes here.

Tayla Harris


Many Australians know Tayla Harris as the AFLW superstar who was the subject of the now-famous photo of her kicking in full flight that catapulted her into the centre of a debate of equality and sexism in sport. Those who have been following Tayla on Instagram for some time would also know her as the owner of Beans, aka ‘Beansy Boy’, her spirited border collie. Whether it’s lunch at cafes, shopping or walks in the park, Tayla always has her number one dog by her side.

Tayla lifting weights with Beans (source: Instagram @tayla_harris)

When he’s not helping his mum with boxing or football training, Beans takes to the oval for his own game of competitive frisbee against best friend Turtle. Follow their friendship on their Instagram page @beansandturtle.


Like mother, like son!


Shayna Jack


One of the biggest things drawing Olympic swimmer Shayna Jack out of the water and back on land is her unique family of pets. Beyond the standard dogs, cats, parrots, cockatoos and horses, she has even befriended several reptiles, including bearded dragons and snakes.


Unsurprisingly, Shayna has recently become a RSPCA Ambassador for Queensland and takes every chance on social media to show-off her adorable friends at the RSPCA. Shayna has particularly become a big motivator at adoption-based events and strongly advocates the desexing of pets.

Shayna promoting the RSPCA's Cupcake Day (source: Instagram @shayna_jack)

Jack Ziebell


Any North Melbourne fanatic and AFL follower would know the story of Flash, captain Jack Ziebell’s German short-haired pointer who went missing in 2018. Jack’s perseverance to find Flash, which saw them reunited four months later, inspired many and was a true testament to the everlasting bond between man and man’s best friend.


Jack and Flash (source: Instagram @jackziebell)

Since being reunited, Jack has taken every opportunity to create enjoyable experiences and live life to the fullest with his boisterous buddy. Currently, their favourite past-time is spending entire days at the park playing fetch.



Caitlin and Peach at the beach (source: Instagram @brindlepeach)

Katie Brennan


AFLW player Katie Brennan’s passion for dogs goes beyond her beloved Bulldogs. With the help of her Vizsla Harper, Katie is dedicated to promoting the adoption of all rescue animals, whether it be dogs, cats or any other fury or feathered friends.


This year, Katie and Harper were the inspiring ambassadors for PETstock Australia’s National Pet Adoption Day event. In the lead up to this event on February 9,

Katie took to social media to spread awareness on pet adoption and encouraged her followers to visit a PETstock store and adopt a lovable pet.


Pet adoption is set to continue to be a significant mission in Katie’s life, who believes “every pet deserves a loving home”.


Katie and Harper (source: Instagram @_katiebrennan)

See more animal loving athletes here Caitlin Bassett


Caitlin Bassett, Australia’s favourite Diamonds netball captain watches over a different kind of team off the court. Over the years, Caitlin Bassett has owned dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rats, mice, birds, chickens, sheep and horses…basically enough to set up her own petting zoo.


But out of everyone, she has a particularly soft (and fluffy) spot for rabbits. When Caitlin transferred to Sunshine Coast Lightning in 2017, she even considered gaining a magician’s license just to bring her rabbits into Queensland, where strict laws only allow rabbits into the state if they are part of a magician’s act. While her plans were short-lived, moving across the country didn’t stop Caitlin from visiting her babies back in Perth.


“They taught me to be kind, gentle and patient…they gave me a sense of responsibility…they have always been a form of therapy” – Caitlin Bassett (source: Instagram @c_bass_netball)

Today, she is the proud mother of three rabbits, two dogs and a cat, and takes every chance to spread the love on social media (her cuddly rabbits will melt your heart).


Dylan Grimes


When AFL Richmond star Dylan Grimes isn’t hustling on the footy oval, he is out on the farm tending to his livestock. Dylan’s biggest hobby is taking care of his squad of sheep, cows and horses at Mount Macedon Winery. But he couldn’t do it without best friend Gus, the golden retriever, who diligently watches over the cow herd.


Dylan with a two hour old calf (source: Instagram @dylan_grimes2)

For Dylan, a real highlight is welcoming many lambs and calves into the world. And at the end of a hard day’s work, there’s nothing more rewarding for Dylan than "sunsets with old mate Gus", an experience that has become a trademark of his Instagram account .


Gus watching over the herd (source: Instagram @dylan_grimes2)

(Originally published April 28, 2019) Looking for an animal loving sports star for a campaign, partnership or guest speaking role?


PickStar has made the process easy, with the launch of a new filtering system allowing you to specifically search for athletes who are animal lovers.


Choose from 1600+ elite athletes past and present, for ANY idea with ANY budget ANYWHERE in Australia. Check out the PickStar marketplace now and get started.


#AnimalLover #AnimalRights #Dogtober #CaitlinBassett #TaylaHarris #DylanGrimes #ShaynaJack #JackZiebell #CaitlinFoord #KatieBrennan

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