(The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®
) today announced that the Humane Society of Southeast Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss. is at the top of the leaderboard in the Southeast Region of the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, as 770 pets were adopted or reunited with their owners during the first thirty days of the three-month competition, an increase of 309 lives saved over the same month last year. Forty-nine shelters from 33 states and territories across the United States are working to increase lives saved in order to win some of the $300,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
During the first month of the ASPCA $100K Challenge, many contestants tried out new methods of driving traffic to their adoption centers – many stayed open around the clock for 24-hour adoption events, offered unique promotions and discounts on adoption fees, and more.
“The Humane Society of South Mississippi really pulled out all the stops when it came to kickoff weekend, and it paid off in spades for them. They decided to stay open for 24 straight hours in an attempt to set a world record for the most adoptions, and they proudly sent 226 animals home with their new families in the first 24 hours of the competition. They’ve already decided that this 24-hour event was so successful that it will be an annual occurrence for them,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA.
In addition to the Humane Society of South Mississippi, contestants in the Southeast Region for the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge are: Decatur Animal Services in Decatur, Ala.; Walton County Animal Services in DeFuniak Springs, Fla.; Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Animal Care and Protective Services in Jacksonville, Fla.; SPCA Tampa Bay in Largo, Fla.; Orange County Animal Services in Orlando, Fla.; Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga.; Cobb County Animal Control in Marietta, Ga.; Humane Society of Greater Savannah in Savannah, Ga.; Kentucky Humane Society in Louisville, Ky.; Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C.; Gaston County Animal Control in Dallas, N.C.; Pitt County Animal Shelter in Greenville, N.C.; Burlington Pet Adoption Center in Haw River, N.C.; and St. Croix Animal Welfare Center in Kingshill, U.S.V.I.
During the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, contestants will compete to save at least 300 more animals—during the months of August, September, and October 2011—than they did over the same three-month period in 2010. The shelter with the biggest increase in animals saved will win a $100,000 grant. The agency that gets the most community members involved in saving animals will win a $25,000 grant, and those organizations that do the best in their regions will be eligible for between $5,000 and $25,000 in grants. In last year’s first-ever ASPCA $100K Challenge, contestants saved a total of 48,779 lives over three months – an increase of 7,362 lives over the same three months in 2009.
It has long been a priority of the ASPCA to create a country of humane communities where there is no more euthanasia of homeless animals simply because of a lack of space or the resources to adequately care for them. The ASPCA $100K Challenge builds on that goal by inspiring shelters and their communities to innovate and act to save more animals.
For more information about the contest, please visit http://challenge.aspcapro.org. To locate a 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge contestant near you, please visit http://challenge.aspcapro.org/challenge/contestants. To see a complete list of 2011 $100K Challenge events as they are scheduled, please stay tuned to http://challenge.aspcapro.org/shelter/events/all throughout the contest.