Animal Services competes in $100K Challenge

Staff Report

Winnebago County Animals Services in Rockford is one of 108 animal shelters vying for slots in the 2012 ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced 108 shelters spanning the nation have been selected to compete in the “Qualifying Heat” of the competition. The contenders now must get their supporters to vote online from April 5-16, and the top 50 shelters will then go on to compete for more than $500,000 in prize grants, including a grand prize of $100,000.

Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA, said: “When we first introduced the Qualifying Heat vote into the $100K Challenge last year, we were amazed by how much energy and passion it injected into the contest. More than 500,000 votes were cast by the public in just 12 days, which showed local shelters that their supporters really care about the animals in their community and wanted to help them save more lives. We’ve now come to regard the vote as a crucial step in the contest, helping the contestants attract and lock in the foundation of support they’ll need to carry them through the challenging contest period ahead.”

Fans and supporters can vote for their favorite shelter daily in the Qualifying Heat vote, from 11 a.m., Thursday, April 5 until 11 p.m., 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 will earn the other 25 slots. To vote, visit

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, visit

From the March 28-April 3, 2012, issue

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