NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced the three finalists in the running to win the ASPCA’s $25,000 Community Engagement Award: Animal Rescue League Shelter & Wildlife Center in Pittsburgh, Pa.; Humane Society of Central Washington in Yakima, Wash.; and Bangor Humane Society in Bangor, Maine. All three shelters are also in the running to win the grand prize in the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a national contest designed to inspire animal shelters across the country to save more lives. All of the prizes in this year’s contest will be awarded on November 30, 2012.
“These three shelters went above and beyond in this competition to make a difference in the lives of local homeless animals,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “They not only succeeded in saving at least 300 more animals during the contest period than they did a year ago, but they also rallied their volunteer base, the media and the public in support behind them. That is why they are finalists for this award.”
The Community Engagement Award—a $25,000 grant—will be awarded to the contestant that did the best job of getting its community involved in saving more lives during the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The three finalists were determined based on which received the most online votes on the $100K Challenge website. The winner will be selected from the three finalists by the ASPCA Grants Committee based on the following criteria: the number of people the contestant engaged during the challenge; the breadth of ways the community participated; and the level of community enthusiasm for saving homeless animals as evidenced by photos, stories, links, news coverage and videos posted on the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge website.
The 50 contestants in this year’s $100K Challenge 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. In addition to the Community Engagement Award, 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. A second place prize of $25,000 will be awarded to the shelter with the second greatest increase in lives saved. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $5,000 and $40,000 in additional grants.
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 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. For more information about the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100kchallenge.