Animal shelters compete to boost adoptions


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If you’re looking for a new four-legged friend to add to your family, why not head over to a local shelter? The truth is about 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

In honor of all those shelter animals, the ASPCA has teamed up with Rachael Ray for the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs. The contest challenges animal shelters across the United States to think up innovative ways to adopt out more cats and dogs. Fifty competing shelters across the country will work to save at least 300 more cats and dogs during the months of August, September and October than they did during the same period last year. (Check out how the contests performed last year.)

“All my life, I’ve been an advocate for animals and a supporter of animal welfare groups,” said Rachael Ray in a press release. “My love for animals and for my pit bull, Isaboo, inspired me to create a pet food called Nutrish to raise money for animals in need. I donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of Nutrish to organizations like the ASPCA so they can implement programs like the $100K Challenge and support shelters around the country.”

The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter contestant with the greatest success. A second-place prize of $25,000 will be awarded to the shelter with the second-greatest increase in lives saved. The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $5,000 and $40,000 in additional grants.

There are a number of events to check out, including adoption events, promotions and discounts on adoption fees. And tweeters: Look out for #100KChallenge. The ASPCA will join the contestants and all of their supporters in tweeting with that hashtag and urges all tweeters to use it as well to help spread the word about adopting animals from shelters in the contest.