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Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh Wins $25K Community Engagement Award In 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

November 30, 2012

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. has won the ASPCA’s $25,000 Community Engagement Award as part of the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The shelter has also won an additional $5,000 for increasing lives saved by more than 300.

"In addition to saving a remarkable 2,176 cats and dogs in just three months – an increase of 533 animals over the same three months last year – Animal Rescue League did a phenomenal job of engaging its staff, volunteers, supporters, the public and the media," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "Animal Rescue League held unique events, ran creative adoption promotions, reached out to new audiences via various social media channels and enlisted their network of volunteers to help them save more lives."

The ASPCA Community Engagement Award is awarded to the contestant that did the best job of getting its community involved in saving more animals during the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The three finalists were determined based on which received the most online votes on the $100K Challenge website. Other finalists included Bangor Humane Society in Bangor, Maine and in Yakima, Wash. The winner was chosen from the three finalists by the ASPCA Grants Committee based on the following criteria: the number of people the contestant engaged during the contest; the breadth of ways the community participated; and the level of community enthusiasm for saving homeless animals as evidenced by photos, stories, links, news coverage and videos posted on the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge website.

All $100K Challenge contestants worked to save more cats and dogs during the months of August, September and October 2012 than they did during the same period in 2011. In addition to the Community Engagement Award, the ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded the $100,000 grand prize to City of San Antonio Animal Care Services for achieving the greatest increase in lives saved during the three-month period. A second place prize of $25,000 was awarded to Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho, the shelter with the second greatest increase in lives saved. Twenty other agencies will receive grants of $5,000 or more today for their successes at saving more lives.

All her life, Rachael Ray has been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups. Her love for animals and for her pit bull, Isaboo, inspired her to create a pet food called Nutrish® to raise money for animals in need.  Ray donates 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 and animal organizations around the country.

The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a groundbreaking contest that challenges animal shelters across the country to come up with innovative ways to engage their communities and get more homeless cats and dogs into loving homes. For more information about the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, stay tuned to www.aspca.org/100kchallenge for announcements in January 2013.