NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho has won the $25,000 Community Engagement Award in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a three-month competition where 49 animal shelters from across the country worked to increase adoptions in order to win a piece of the $600,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
“Canyon County Animal Shelter has now won a major prize in this contest two years in a row,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “They are a shining example of all that can be achieved through creativity, hard work and pure passion for the cause. Not only did they increase lives saved by more than 320 animals over the same three months last year, but they did an amazing job of rallying their volunteer base, the media and the public in support behind them.”
The Community Engagement Award—a $25,000 grant—is awarded each year to the contestant that does the best job of getting its community involved in saving more lives during the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. Finalists were determined based on which received the most votes in a two week online voting portion of the contest. The winner was 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.
Forty-nine shelter contestants worked to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. This year’s competing shelters saved 56,379 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 12,050 over the same period in 2012.
In addition to the Community Engagement Award, the ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded grant prizes to 12 shelters, including:
- $100K Grand Prize and Best in Division Five: The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, Nev.
- $25K Best in Division Four: Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, Texas
- $25K Best in Division Three: HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Ariz.
- $25K Best in Division Two: Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas
- $25K Best in Division One: Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C.
In total, $600,000 in grant funding is awarded to shelters in the competition 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 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.