More than 36,000 Pets Saved in First Two Months of 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge

Shelters Competing to Save More Lives, Earn More Than $600,000 in Prize Grants

NEW YORK, Aug. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) today announced that 36,790 pets were adopted or reunited with their owners during the first two months of the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, a three-month competition where 49 animal shelters from across the country are working to increase adoptions in order to win a piece of the more than $600,000 in ASPCA prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.

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During the first two months of the contest, many shelters continued to try new methods of driving traffic to their adoption centers – many held big adoption events, unique promotions and discounts on adoption fees, and more.

"Not only are both the shelters and animals winning, but so are the new families," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. "We've heard from hundreds of new adopters who have submitted entries to this year's photo contest, proudly showing off photos of their newly adopted family pets. Adopter Jessica called Stevie, the dog she rescued, 'the coolest dog around.' Another adopter, Julie, considers her adopted pet to be 'a blessing.' Newly rescued dog Wally is 'the perfect mix of loving and playful' according to his adopter, Lisa. Watching these pets leave the shelter and start their new lives with their new families is what this contest is all about."

The 49 contestants are working to save more animals – during the months of June, July and August 2013 – than they did over the same three-month period in 2012. Last year's competing shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over 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. 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 $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded 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 a portion of 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 more information about the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, please visit www.aspca.org/100K.  

About the ASPCA®
Founded in 1866, the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®) is the first animal welfare organization in North America and serves as the nation's leading voice for animals. More than two million supporters strong, the ASPCA's mission is to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. As a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation, the ASPCA is a national leader in the areas of anti-cruelty, community outreach and animal health services. For more information, please visit www.ASPCA.org, and be sure to follow the ASPCA on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

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.

About Rachael's Rescue™ and Nutrish
In 2008, Rachael Ray partnered with pet nutrition experts from Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to develop a line of super premium food and treats for dogs called Rachael Ray Nutrish®. Rachael Ray Nutrish® is made with simple, natural ingredients and includes three full-feeding varieties featuring real meat as the first ingredient – Real Chicken and Veggies, Real Beef and Brown Rice, and Healthy Weight with Real Turkey. All of Ray's proceeds from each sale of Rachael Ray Nutrish®, Just 6® food and treats for dogs and the Nutrish® Healthy Weight lines are donated to organizations that help animals in need through Rachael's Rescue. So, not only are Nutrish® products great for your dog, they're great for countless other dogs as well.

SOURCE ASPCA



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