Wanted: One animal shelter willing to work the hardest to save homeless animals. Prize: $100,000. For a reference: Check with the Humane Society of Boulder Valley.
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today announced that it has teamed up with television personality Rachael Ray for the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, with more than $500,000 in prize grants to help shelters save more homeless cats anddogs.
The contest challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into homes. Fifty competing shelters across the country will try to save at least 300 more cats and dogs during the months of August, September and October 2012 than they did during the same
period last year.
The ASPCA and Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. A $25,000 prize will go to the shelter with the second greatest increase, and the contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will
Organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $5,000 and $40,000 in additional grants.
If anyone wants to know the kind of difference the contest can make, ask Lisa Pedersen, CEO of the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which won the $100,000 top prize in 2010, the first year ofethe competition.
“The contest was an incredible experience and truly transformed the way we did things,” Pedersen said. “It set the bar higher and got the entire community involved. Close to
1,000 more animals were saved than the year before. And we’ve been to sustain it.”
Pedersen said the shelter looked at it’s entire adoption process and made sure that conversations with potential adopters were the right conversations.
“We made them (adoptions) a little more customized for each individual,” she said. “We also came up with a guarantee that if you take an animal home and it doesn’t work out, you can bring it back. This removes a fear that is a barrier to adoption.”
Another big gain was the amount of community involvement..
“It showed the power of getting people involved,” she said. “It created a fantastic conversation.”
The Boulder shelter was not eligible to enter the 2011 conest, but plans to enter this year. Shelters have saved 101,263 dogs and cats during the first two contest periods, said Bert Troughton, vice president of Community Outreach for the ASPCA.
“All my life, I’ve been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups,” said Ray. “My love for animals and for my pit bull, Isaboo, inspired me to create a pet food called Nutrish to raise money for animals in need. I donate 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement
programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters around the country.”
For more information about the contest: www.aspca.org/100kchallenge.
CAT FEES CUT – The Dumb Friends League is extending its waived adoption fee for cats 1 year and older through March 11. The special is taking place at both shelter locations—the Quebec Street shelter in Denver and the Buddy Center in Castle Rock—as well as the adoption center in Northfield-Stapleton and on its mobile adoption unit, the Pet Care-avan.
Every cat adoption includes a spay/neuter surgery, initial vaccinations, a microchip ID implant, a free office visit with a participating veterinarian and a bag of Hill’s Science Diet pet food. Interested adopters can view all pets in need of homes online at ddfl.org/adopt, as well as visit the shelters, which are open seven days a week. For more information visit ddfl.org or call (303) 751-5772.