NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio is at the top of the leaderboard in the North Central Division of the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, as 441 pets were adopted or reunited with their owners during the first 30 days of the three-month competition, an increase of 271 lives saved over the same month last year. Through October, 50 animal shelters from across the country will work to increase adoptions in order to win a piece of the more than $500,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.
During the first month of the contest, many shelters tried out new methods of driving traffic to their adoption centers – many held big adoption events, unique promotions and discounts on adoption fees, and more.
"Toledo Area Humane Society started off strong in the month of August, holding a mega adoption event where they found homes for nearly 100 animals in just two days," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "They’ve also taken to social media to promote the work they're doing, posting videos of their adoptables and plenty of photos of happy adopters. Finding homes for 441 pets in just one month's time is remarkable. And in a real show of 'can-do' spirit, they have two different adoption counters posted in their shelter; one for the contest and another for their total lives saved since the first of the year."
In addition to Toledo Area Humane Society, contestants in the North Central Division for the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are:
- Winnebago County Animal Services in Rockford, Ill.
- City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control in Bloomington, Ind.
- Heartland SPCA in Merriam, Kan.
- Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter in Dearborn, Mich.
- Kent County Animal Shelter in Grand Rapids, Mich.
- Ashtabula County Animal Protective League in Ashtabula, Ohio
- Humane Society of Greater Dayton in Dayton, Ohio
- SICSA in Kettering, Ohio
- Medina County SPCA in Medina, Ohio
- Bay Area Humane Society in Green Bay, Wis.
The contestants will work to save at least 300 more cats and dogs during the months of August, September and October 2012 than they did during the same period in 2011. 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, and the contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. 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 100 percent 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.
To find a contestant near you, please visit http://challenge.aspcapro.org/contestants. To see a complete list of events as they are scheduled, please stay tuned to http://challenge.aspcapro.org/events throughout the contest. The ASPCA also has joined the contestants and all of their supporters in tweeting with the unique hashtag #100KChallenge. The ASPCA encourages animal lovers to use #100KChallenge on Facebook and Twitter to help spread the word about adopting animals from shelters in the contest.
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.