The ASPCA (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) launched the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge on Saturday, where a total of $600,000 in prize grants are up for grabs to help shelters save more homeless cats and dogs.

The 49 contestants will work 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.

“Starting at midnight tonight and continuing through the weekend, shelters in 30 states and territories across this country will kick off their run in the contest with major adoption events,” says Bert Troughton, vice president of Community Outreach at the ASPCA. “If you’re thinking about making a pet a part of your family, there is no better time than right now to head to your nearest contestant and help them be a part of this record-breaking year of saving lives.”

The 49 contestants in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge are:
• Greater Birmingham Humane Society in Birmingham, Ala.
• Mobile County Animal Control in Mobile, Ala.
• Western Arizona Humane Society in Lake Havasu City, Ariz.
HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Ariz.
• Butte Humane Society in Chico, Calif.
• Hesperia Animal Control and Services in Hesperia, Calif.
• Moreno Valley Animal Shelter in Moreno Valley, Calif.
• San Bernardino County Animal Care and Control in San Bernardino, Calif.
• Yolo County Sheriff’s Office – Animal Services in Woodland, Calif.
• Washington Animal Rescue League in Washington, D.C.
• Humane Society of Pinellas in Clearwater, Fla.
• Suncoast Humane Society in Englewood, Fla.
• Jacksonville Humane Society in Jacksonville, Fla.
• Pasco County Animal Services – FOAS, Inc. in Land O’ Lakes, Fla.
• Osceola County Animal Services in St. Cloud, Fla.
• Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga.
• Humane Society for Greater Savannah in Savannah, Ga.
• Canyon County Animal Shelter in Caldwell, Idaho
• South Suburban Humane Society in Chicago Heights, Ill.
• Macon County Animal Control and Care Center in Decatur, Ill.
• Almost Home Humane Society in Lafayette, Ind.
• Animal Rescue League of Iowa, Inc. in Des Moines, Iowa
• Lawrence Humane Society in Lawrence, Kan.
• Animal Rescue League of Boston in Boston, Mass.
• Friends for the Dearborn Animal Shelter in Dearborn, Mich.
• Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Mich.
• Humane Society of Midland County in Midland, Mich.
• Humane Society of South Mississippi in Gulfport, Miss.
• Wayside Waifs in Kansas City, Mo.
• The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas, Nev.
• Eleventh Hour Rescue in Randolph, N.J.
• Animal Service Center of the Mesilla Valley in Las Cruces, N.M.
• Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C.
• Toledo Area Humane Society in Maumee, Ohio
• Western Pennsylvania Humane Society in Pittsburgh, Pa.
• Providence Animal Rescue League in Providence, R.I.
• Anderson County P.A.W.S. in Anderson, S.C.
• Riverside County Department of Animal Services in Jurupa, S.C.
• Unicoi County Animal Shelter in Erwin, Tenn.
• Beaumont Animal Services in Beaumont, Texas
• City of Corpus Christi Animal Care Services in Corpus Christi, Texas
• Citizens for Animal Protection in Houston, Texas
• Houston Humane Society in Houston, Texas
• Texas Humane Heroes in Leander, Texas
• Salt Lake County Animal Services in Salt Lake City, Utah
• Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in Sumerduck, Va.
• Virginia Beach SPCA in Virginia Beach, Va.
• Wisconsin Humane Society in Milwaukee, Wis.
• Cheyenne Animal Shelter in Cheyenne. Wyo.

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 100 percent 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, visit www.aspca.org/100K.

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