The staff and volunteers at Foothills Animal Shelter in Golden are in for a busy, yet exciting summer. The shelter has learned it has been accepted into the ASPCA/Rachael Ray $100K Challenge for 2014. The challenge begins in June and runs through August.
The $100K Challenge brings together 50 shelters across the country. These shelters are grouped by size into five categories and they compete against their own adoption records to save lives and receive grants. As each shelter meets their challenges, they can be rewarded with grants totally some $600,000 including a grand prize of $100,000. The challenge has been run for only four years, but in those years adoption rates for participating shelters have greatly improved. In 2013, participating shelters saved over 56,379 lives, an increase of over 12,000 from the previous year.
Rachael Ray, a strong advocate for animals, uses her Nutrish pet food line to raise money for animals in need. Proceeds from the sale of Nutrish provide funding to the ASPCA and the $100K Challenge.
There are five shelter divisions in the challenge ranging from those that handle 1,500-2,500 animals annually to shelters that handle over 11,000 animals. Foothills Animal Shelter has been entered as a Division 4 animal shelter; one that handles between 7,001-11,000 annually. Other shelters in Division 4 are: Anderson County P.A.W.S. in South Carolina, City of Pasadena Animal Control in Texas, First State Animal Center in Delaware, HALO Animal Rescue in Arizona, the Houston Humane Society in Texas, Osceola County Animal Services in Florida, the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago, Illinois, Pinal County Animal Care in Arizona and Ventura County Animal Services in California. That is a wide variety of cities and towns across the country. Each shelter will compete again its own rescue results for the months of June, July and August 2013 and the shelter with the highest percentage of “saves” over last year’s numbers will be selected to move on to the grand prize, a $100,000 grant. Both adoptions and lost animals who are returned to their families are counted as saves. There will also be opportunities for various grants and prizes along the way as each shelter reaches and/or exceeds its goals.
Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region in Colorado Springs is also a part of the challenge, but the Springs' shelter is listed in Division 5, handling over 11,000 animals annually.
Shelters in each division that have the highest percentage of saves will be selected to participate in the $100K Grand Prize. The grand prize winner will be determined by a Facebook voting contest. However, every shelter that exceeds its goals for the challenge will be winners because pets will have found new caring homes. That’s how Foothills’ Executive Director Heather Cameron views the challenge.
“That’s why this is a challenge,” she says and not a contest. The shelters don’t compete against each other, but their own past results. She also says that the shelter will be creating new ways to reach out to the public to help find dogs and cats new homes. To meet the challenge, the shelter is looking at many different projects, from increasing the volunteer staff to streamlining the adoption process. She adds, “The great thing is if we find something that works, we’ll be able to continue that process [after the challenge ends].”
Look for more information and events regarding Foothills Animal Shelter as they participate in the ASPCA/Racheal Ray $100K Challenge right here with the Lakewood Pet Examiner. For updates on challenge results, “like” the Foothills’ Facebook page or follow the shelter on Twitter @FAShelter.
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