(BLOOMINGTON) - Thanks to more than 8,000 local animal lovers who took the time to vote, the City of Bloomington Animal Shelter won a spot in the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge and will now compete for a chance at more than $500,000 in grant funding, including a grand prize of $100,000.
The City of Bloomington Animal Shelter is the only shelter in Indiana that qualified to compete in the next phase of the Challenge.
The 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is a nationwide competition for animal shelters (and their communities) aimed at getting more animals adopted or returned to their owners than ever before.
From August 1 to October 31, 2012, the Shelter will compete against 49 other shelters to find homes for more cats and dogs than during the same period in 2011. The goal is to save 750 more animals, doubling the number of lives saved to 1,500.
To kick off the Challenge, the Shelter will be open from noon to 7 p.m. Wednesday, August 1, 2012, through Saturday, August 4, 2012, and from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, August 5, 2012.
During this time all dog adoption fees will be reduced to $40 and the adoption fee for all cats will be waived.
All adopters will be entered into drawings to win tickets donated by the Indianapolis Indians, WonderLab and Holiday World and gift certificates donated by Century Suites and Bloomington Pet Pals.
The Shelter will be closed on Tuesday, July 31 in preparation for the kickoff events.
"This Challenge has already been a positive experience for our team," said Laurie Ringquist, Director of Animal Care and Control. "The community really supported us during the voting phase and we are looking forward to the next phase. Being able to connect hundreds of beautiful, fun, loving cats and dogs in our shelter with the right families is an incredible opportunity. Not only will we be saving lives, but we will have a chance to win the $100,000 grand prize which would allow us to make vast improvements to the oldest parts of our building."
In addition to adopting, the community can help the Shelter win the Challenge by volunteering and by donating to sponsor adoption fees so that the Shelter can continue to offer fee waived cat adoptions.
"Throughout the three months of the Challenge the Shelter will be holding numerous special events and adoption promotions," said Ringquist. "We will need help in many different capacities, from helping to transport puppies to handling dogs at offsite events to helping visitors with adoptions."
For more information, visit the Shelter website at www.bloomington.in.gov/animalshelter. The community can also follow the Shelter's progress in the Challenge on its facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/COBAnimalShelter.
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