Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley Named ‘Most Improved Player’ in Division Five of 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

Shelter saves 1,766 pets in three months; wins $15K in grant funding
October 1, 2013

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, N.M. has been named ‘Most Improved Player’ in Division Five of the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley found homes for 1,766 pets during the three-month competition – an increase of 545 lives saved over the same three months last year – and will be awarded a total of $15,000 in grant funding from the ASPCA and Rachael Ray.

“Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley pulled out all the stops to take the ‘Most Improved Player’ for Division Five,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “They saved 545 more animals over the same period last year, an impressive 45 percent increase.”

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 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 12,050 over the same period in 2012.

In addition to the grand prize winner, the ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho, with the $25,000 Community Engagement Award for doing the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals. The organizations that did the best in their divisions were awarded $25,000 in grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding is awarded to shelters in the contest 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