Kansas City Pet Project (Mo.) Wins $25,000 Community Engagement Award in 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

Shelter saved 1,989 animals in three months; rallied community behind them
October 7, 2014

NEW YORK—The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Mo. has won the $25,000 Community Engagement Award in the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. They found homes for 1,989 pets during the three-month competition; an increase of 491 lives saved over the same period last year, and was awarded a total of $30,000 in grant funding from the ASPCA and Rachael Ray today in one of several celebration events throughout the nation.

“Kansas City Pet Project excelled at all areas of true community engagement: increasing volunteers, forming business partnerships, expanding their reach in traditional and social media, and making meaningful connections that really fueled their life-saving efforts,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of strategic initiatives for the ASPCA. “They succeeded in partnering with their community to send nearly 2,000 animals home this summer – that’s community engagement!”

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.

In addition to the Community Engagement Prize, the ASPCA and Rachael Ray today awarded a $100,000 grand prize to Central California SPCA of Fresno, Calif., the shelter contestant that achieved the greatest increase in lives saved during this three-month period. The organizations that did the best in their divisions were awarded $25,000 in grants. In total, $550,000 in grant funding is awarded to competing shelters in the competition for increases in animal lives saved, as well as a photo contest and general participation.

A total of 68,805 dogs and cats were adopted during the three-month 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, an increase of 16,789 over the same period last year. Over the five years of the $100K Challenge – held annually since 2010 – contestants saved a total of 282,679 lives.

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 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.