Alisa Manzelli, Global Animal

A few months back, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) partnered with Rachael Ray to help save animals with their ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The annual, three-month-long contest encourages animal shelters across the country to compete and come up with new ways to save animals and win grants simultaneously. 

Maggie Killackey, Kathy Anderson, volunteers and staff celebrate Animal Outreach’s success in the $100K Challenge. Photo Credit: Don Leonard

This year’s challenge proved to be enormously successful. In total, this year’s 50 contestants saved 56,232 animals—more than any other year of the Challenge!

The 2012 grand prize winner, the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services, saved more than 4,054 animals during the three months—that’s 1,384 more animals saved than last year! And the 2nd place winner and West Division Leader, Canyon County Animal Shelter, saved 1,347 more lives than in this year’s contest.

Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode in Diamond Springs, California was also a top contender, earning awards in several competition areas including “Most Improved Player,” with one of the highest increases in pet adoptions. During the 92 days of competition, the small no-kill shelter found loving homes for 1,731 cats and dogs—an increase of 206 percent. Animal Outreach won a total of $18,000 in the challenge for their outstanding accomplishments.

The ultimate goal of the $100K Challenge is for shelters to increase the number of animals adopted into forever homes and to improve organization’s public visibility and community involvement.

Want to help save more animals in your community? Encourage your local shelter to apply for the 2013 Challenge!

For next year’s Challenge, the ASPCA has added $100,000 in prizes and more than 50 ways to win between $5,000 and $10,000.

Applications open on January 3, 2013. Get started here!

For a full list of this year’s winners, visit the $100K Challenge blog.