NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, Texas is at the top of the leaderboard in Division Four of the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, for sending 627 pets home during the first 30 days of the three-month competition; an increase of 232 lives saved over the same month last year. Through August, 49 animal shelters from across the country will work to increase adoptions in order to win a piece of the more than $600,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
“When asked what makes them a tough contender, Citizens for Animal Protection said they’re ready and willing to think outside of the box to save more lives – something they’ve proven in this first month of the contest as they are now first in their Division and fourth overall so far,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “The shelter turned the so-called ‘dog days of summer’ into the ‘cat days of summer’ by electing to discount cat and kitten adoption fees by 50 percent throughout the competition, and it has worked. On the very first day of the contest, they found loving homes for 139 animals in their care.”
In addition to Citizens for Animal Protection, contestants in Division Four (those with an annual intake of 7,001-11,000 animals) for the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are:
- Anderson County P.A.W.S. in Anderson, S.C.
- City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services in Corpus Christi, Texas
- Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Ala.
- Mobile County Animal Shelter in Mobile, Ala.
- Osceola County Animal Services in St. Cloud, Fla.
- Pasco County Animal Services-FOAS Inc. in Land O Lakes, Fla.
- Salt Lake County Animal Services in Salt Lake City, Utah
- Western Arizona Humane Society in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
- Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pa.
The 49 contestants are working to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year's competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011.
The ASPCA and Rachael 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. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved, as well as a photo contest and general participation.
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 a portion of her 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, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.