Over a whirlwind three months of this year’s ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, tens of thousands of animals’ lives were saved. We asked for photos of these happy dogs and cats, and received hundreds of adorable submissions. It was a difficult task, but we narrowed them down to 40 photos that we thought best represented the Challenge spirit, and then asked you to vote for your favorites. The response was outstanding! All told, the finalists received 15,320 total votes.
We are excited to announce the five grand prize winners and 20 runners up—grand prize winners will each win $2,000 grants for their respective shelters, and runners up will receive $1,000 grants for their shelters.
Southeast Division: •Jane (Central Brevard Humane Society) •Colby (Oconee County Humane Society) •Cola (Humane Society of Charlotte) •Opal & Sloth (Young Williams Animal Center)
North Central Division: •Max (Ashtabula County Animal Protective League) •Jinx (Ashtabula County Animal Protective League) •Simon (Great Plains SPCA) •Tucker & Bonnie (SICSA)
South Central Division: •Professor McGonagall (Denton Animal Shelter Foundation) •Maverick (BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions) •JoJo Bubbles (Humane Society of Southern Arizona) •Andy (BARC Animal Shelter & Adoptions)
West Division: •Marisol (Canyon County Animal Shelter) •Kyra (Canyon County Animal Shelter) •Sammy Girl (Escondido Humane Society) •August (Humane Society of Central Washington)
Northeast Division: •Chocolate Mike, Jr. (Baltimore Area Rescue & Care Shelter BARCS) •Eleanor (Bangor Humane Society) •Baxter (Humane League of Lancaster County) •Sebastian (Last Chance Ranch)
Congratulations are also in order for the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge Community Engagement Award finalists. These contestants are being honored for motivating their respective communities the most during the three-month contest. After weeks of energetic outreach and lively voting, we’re pleased to announce that Animal Rescue League and Wildlife Center (Pittsburg, PA), Bangor Humane Society (Bangor, ME) and Humane Society of Central Washington (Yakima, WA) have received the highest number of public votes. All three organizations are also in the running to win the $100K grand prize. Stay tuned for the BIG grand prize announcement on November 30!
Ninja has come a long way. This sweet dog was one of 50 rescued by ASPCA Humane Law Enforcement agents last summer from a dog fighting ring in the Bronx. Ninja suffered in terrible conditions in the dingy, dark basement of an apartment building, rarely seeing the light of day. When we rescued her, she was extremely underweight and suffered from infections to her skin and paw. We got to her just in time, transporting her to a temporary facility to begin her recovery.
Now Ninja is healthy and thriving with her adoptive pet parent, Samara Lynn, in Midtown Manhattan.
“I wanted a dog for some time,” Samara says. “I went to the ASPCA a few times and finally when I saw Ninja and her size and temperament, I knew she was perfect. I waited about two weeks to think about it. I finally thought, someone must have adopted her already, but when I went back, she was still available. We picked each other.”
Staff at the Adoption Center warned Samara that Ninja might be a bit skittish with all the traffic and noise of New York City. But over time, she has adjusted.
“We live in Midtown Manhattan and she loves walking and jogging with either me or my boyfriend,” Samara says. “She also really enjoys meeting all the new people and dogs out for walks.”
She is also a fast learner. After just a month, Samara taught Ninja to walk on a leash, heel, sit, stay, give paw and other tricks.
“She is very smart, sensitive, and very aware and is the only dog I have ever had that pays acute attention when another dog is on television,” Samara says.
We’re thrilled that this special and talented dog has a second chance at life in such a loving home.
It’s perfectly normal for puppies and dogs to chew on objects as they explore the world. For young dogs, it’s a way to relieve pain that might be caused by incoming teeth. For older dogs, it’s a way to keep jaws strong and teeth clean.
But sometimes natural chewing can become destructive for dogs seeking to combat boredom or relieve mild anxiety or frustration. Dogs who chew to relieve the stress of separation anxiety usually only chew when left alone or chew most intensely when left alone.
So what can you do if your best friend’s chewing turns destructive? Puppies and adult dogs should have a variety of appropriate and attractive chew toys. However, just providing the right things to chew isn’t enough to prevent inappropriate chewing. Dogs need to learn what is okay to chew and what is not.
What to Do If Your Dog Is a Destructive Chewer
"Dog-proof" your house. Put valuable objects away until you’re confident that your dog’s chewing behavior is restricted to appropriate items. Keep shoes and clothing in a closed closest, dirty laundry in a hamper and books on shelves. Make it easy for your dog to succeed.
Provide your dog with plenty of his own toys and inedible and edible chew bones. Introduce something new or rotate your dog’s chew toys every couple of days so he doesn’t get bored with the same old toys.
Discourage chewing inappropriate items by spraying them with chewing deterrents.
Do your best to supervise your dog during all waking hours until you feel confident that his chewing behavior is under control.
Provide your dog with plenty of physical exercise (playtime with you and with other dogs) and mental stimulation. If you have to leave your dog alone for more than a short period of time, make sure he gets out for a good play session.
As more Sandy victims are able to move out of New York evacuation shelters, the city is consolidating its housing for families displaced by the storm. That means people—and their pets—must relocate.
An evacuation shelter in Queens was closed this weekend, and its remaining residents and their 51 animals needed to head to another shelter in the Bronx. When the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC requested our help moving these animals, we jumped at the chance.
On Saturday, our responders helped move cats, dogs, birds, turtles (named Ike and Tina) and puppies to their new temporary home in the Bronx.
Keeping families together is what the ASPCA’s response to Sandy is all about, and we are thrilled to have been able to help people stay with their pets at a time when some have lost everything else.
One man at the evacuation shelter told us Sandy had destroyed his home and belongings, but that he still felt blessed because he had his two dogs with him.
“Everything else can be replaced, but I can’t replace my dogs,” he said.
Our response to Sandy is ongoing as affected communities remain devastated. For updates on our work, please check the ASPCA blog and follow the ASPCA on Twitter.