Qualifying Heat Vote Underway in 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

<em>108 Animal Shelters Vie for 50 Coveted Spots in Contest</em>
April 5, 2012

NEW YORK—The Qualifying Heat voting period of the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is now underway, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) announced today. A total of 108 shelters spanning the nation must now get their supporters to vote for them online from April 5-16, with 50 shelters going on to compete for more than $500,000 in prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.

Fans and supporters can vote for their favorite shelter daily in the Qualifying Heat vote, from 12 noon ET today, Thursday, April 5 until 12 midnight ET on Monday, April 16. The top five vote-getting shelters in each division will automatically earn spots making up 25 of the 50 contestants; the remaining shelters with the most votes nationally will earn the other 25 slots. To vote, please visit www.votetosavelives.org.

Once the 50 competing shelters are selected, they will set about 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 last year. 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.

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.

About Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray is best known as the host of the hit syndicated Emmy Award winning daytime television show "Rachael Ray" produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Rachael's warmth, energy, and boundless curiosity also reach millions of fans through her popular Food Network shows, her lifestyle magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray, her bestselling cookbooks, her digital home base www.rachaelray.com, her signature line of cookware manufactured by Meyer, her meal transport products by RR Accessories and her pantry products by Colavita. In 2007, Rachael launched the Yum-o! organization, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking and in 2008 she partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to create a line of pet food with all of her proceeds being donated to organizations that help animals in need. For more information, visit www.rachaelray.com.