NEW YORK, Nov. 30, 2012 - The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals today announced that a total of 56,232 pets found homes during the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a three-month competition where 50 shelters from across the United States worked to increase the number of animals saved-either by adoption, alternative placements or being reunited with their owners-in order to win a portion of the more than $500,000 in prize grants from the ASPCA and Rachael Ray.
Contestants saved 14,376 more cats and dogs in August, September and October than they saved in the same three-month period in 2011.
"When we started this contest in 2010, we wanted to help shelters save more lives," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "In the first year of the $100K Challenge, contestants saved 7,362 more lives. And this year, contestants nearly doubled that - saving 14,376 more lives over the same period last year. Each year, these shelters are raising the bar of what's possible."
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. The ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded the following prizes:
$100K Grand Prize and South Central Division Prize: City of San Antonio Animal Care Services in San Antonio, Texas
$25K 2nd Place Prize and $20K West Division Prize: Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho
$25K Community Engagement Award: Animal Rescue League Shelter and Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.
$20K Southeast Division Prize: Humane Society of Charlotte in Charlotte, N.C.
$20K North Central Division Prize: Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio
$20K Northeast Division Prize and $10K Most Improved Player: Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter (BARCS) in Baltimore, Md.
$10K Most Improved Player North Central Division: Medina County SPCA in Medina, OH
$10K Most Improved Player Southwest Division: Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA in Phoenix, AZ
$10K Most Improved Player Central Division: Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode in Diamond Springs, Calif.
$10K Most Improved Player Southeast Division: Big Dog Ranch Rescue in Wellington, Fla.
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. Applications for the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge open on Jan. 3, 2013 at www.aspca.org/100kchallenge