NEW YORK-- The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that the Humane Society for Greater Savannah (HSGS) in Savannah, Ga., has won the $25,000 ASPCA Community Engagement Award for doing the best job of getting its community involved in saving animals. The Community Engagement Award is part of the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, a three-month competition where 49 shelters from 33 states and territories across the United States worked to increase the number of animals saved in order to win some of the $300,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
"In addition to saving a remarkable 739 animals in just three months - an increase of 414 animals over the same three months last year - HSGS did a phenomenal job of engaging its staff, volunteers, supporters, the public and the media," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "HSGS opened its shelter for unique events, offered creative promotions, took to various social media channels to reach new audiences and reinvigorated its volunteer base to further extend its network of supporters. At the start of the contest, 2,300 supporters voted for HSGS to get them into the contest. But by October, HSGS had grown their base so much that 12,000 supporters voted them into the finalist round for the Community Engagement Award."
The ASPCA Community Engagement Award is awarded to the contestant that did the best job of getting its community involved in saving more animals during the ASPCA $100K Challenge. The three finalists were determined based on which received the most online votes on the $100K Challenge website. Other finalists included the Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss., and Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas. The winner was chosen from the three finalists by the ASPCA Grants Committee based on the number of people the contestant engaged and the breadth of ways the community helped to save homeless animals.
During the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge, contestants competed to save at least 300 more animals during the months of August, September, and October 2011--either by adoption or being reunited with their owners--than they did over the same three-month period in 2010.
In addition to HSGS' Community Engagement Award win, the ASPCA today is awarding the following prizes in the 2011 ASPCA $100K Challenge:
- $100K Grand Prize and Southwest Regional Prize: Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas, for having the biggest increase in lives saved;
- $25K 2nd Place Prize and $20K Southeast Regional Prize: Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss., for having the second biggest increase in lives saved and the biggest increase in the Southeast region;
- $20K Northeast Regional Prize: Greater Androscoggin Humane Society in Lewiston, Maine, for having the biggest increase in lives saved in the Northeast region;
- $20K Midwest Regional Prize: City of Independence Animal Services in Independence, Mo., for having the biggest increase in lives saved in the Midwest region; and
- $20K West Regional Prize: Ramona Humane Society in San Jacinto, Calif., for having the biggest increase in lives saved in the West region.
This year, ASPCA $100K Challenge contestants saved a total of 8,977 more animals as compared to the same three-month period in 2010. In total, 2011 $100K Challenge contestants saved 52,484 lives in just three months.
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 2012 ASPCA $100K Challenge, please stay tuned to http://challenge.aspcapro.org.