NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Southern Pines Animal Shelter in Hattiesburg, Miss. is at the top of the leaderboard in Division Three of the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. They found homes for 458 pets during the first 30 days of the three-month competition, an increase of 191 lives saved over the same month last year. Through August, 50 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.
“Southern Pines had an incredibly clever ‘Once Upon an Adoption’ fair to kick off the contest, and they haven’t stopped saving lives since,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “They found loving homes for more than 450 dogs and cats in just the first 30 days of the contest, and they’re well on their way to reaching their goal of 1,500 adoptions.”
In addition to Southern Pines Animal Shelter, contestants in Division Three (those with an annual intake of 4,001-7,000 animals) for the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are:
- Alachua County Animal Services in Gainesville, Fla.
- Everett Animal Shelter in Everett, Wash.
- Gwinnett County Animal Welfare & Enforcement in Lawrenceville, Ga.
- Oakland County Animal Control & Pet Adoption Center in Auburn Hills, Mich.
- Shelby Humane Society in Columbiana, Ala.
- Spartanburg Humane Society in Spartanburg, S.C.
- SpokAnimal C.A.R.E. in Spokane, Wash.
- The Humane Society of Washington County, Inc. in Hagerstown, Md.
- Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter in Georgetown, Texas
The 50 contestants are working to save more animals during the months of June, July and August 2014 than they did over the same three-month period in 2013. Last year's competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 12,050 over the same period in 2012.
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 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 information about the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.