MEDINA — The Medina County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals was awarded a $15,000 check Friday after being named the most improved participant in the North Central Division of the national Rachael Ray $100K Challenge.
The award was celebrated Friday afternoon at the county SPCA office, 245 S. Medina St. The goal of the contest was to encourage animal shelters nationwide to increase adoptions over a three-month period.
Stephanie Moore, executive director of the county SPCA, said the award will help further the nonprofit organization’s mission.
“This means a lot to the animals in our county,” Moore said. “It’s pretty amazing and will go a long way toward our new shelter.”
The SPCA wants to build a facility on property it leases for free from the county next to the Medina County Animal Shelter, 6334 Deerview Lane, Lafayette Township.
Overall, 453 dogs and cats were adopted in Medina County during the competition’s campaign Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, Moore said. The number surpassed the county SPCA’s goal of 437 adoptions.
“We had the highest percent increase in our district,” Moore said.
That achievement accounted for $10,000 of the award, she said. The group got $5,000 more “for meeting our requirement in the challenge of finding homes for 300 more animals than last year.”
Moore said this year was the first time the Medina County chapter entered the competition.
“We finished in the top six of the community challenge,” she said. “Just to be in the top six was phenomenal.”
A total of 56,232 pets found homes during the 2012 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, which involved 50 shelters from across the nation.
The goal of the competition was to increase the number of animals saved — either by adoption, alternative placements or being reunited with their owners — in order to win a portion of the more than $500,000 in prize grants from the ASPCA and Rachael Ray, the celebrity cook and television personality.
“When we started this contest in 2010, we wanted to help shelters save more lives,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for the ASPCA. “In the first year of the $100K Challenge, contestants saved 7,362 more lives.
“And this year, contestants nearly doubled that — saving 14,376 more.”
The $100,000 grand prize was won by San Antonio Animal Care Services in Texas.
Contact reporter Steve Grazier at (330) 721-4012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.