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Alabama shelter uses grant to foil thieves

Alabama Kitty CatSupporters of the Humane Society of Elmore County in Alabama donate aluminum cans and other metals to help the shelter raise funds to feed and care for animals. In the past year, thieves started stealing these items from the shelter's storage area.

When Humane Society received a Challenge state grant from The Animal Rescue Site, they used the funding to improve their facilities and install security cameras.

"Within 48 hours of installing the cameras, we actually had film of the thieves. [We] got that out to the media the very next day where it received quite a bit of coverage," said Rea D. Cord, Executive Director. The Challenge grant made it possible for the Humane Society to continue this recycling program to benefit the animals for many years to come.

Participating in The Animal Rescue Site's Shelter+ Challenges also brought greater community awareness. "We get a tremendous response to the Shelter+ Challenge from our website and Facebook as well as the weekly newsletter we write. It is the most fun when our supporters get their friends and family to vote for us - many who don't even live in our area. School classes and office groups make sure that they vote every day and just the fact that they do this for our animals is truly heartwarming for us," said Cord.

Started in 2008, The Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge with Petfinder.com has given $910,000 to rescue groups and shelters in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, Grand Bahamas, Mexico, and Costa Rica. To participate, groups must be active members of the Petfinder.com Network, which allows people to search for adoptable pets on the web.

Participation in the Shelter+ Challenges is free for groups and voters. The Animal Rescue Site's 2012 Shelter+ Challenge starts January 9 and will distribute $300,000 in four rounds of voting. Sixty-seven to seventy grants are awarded each round. More information on the Shelter+ Challenge can be found at The Animal Rescue Site.

Photo:  Kitty Cat was an Elmore County "pet of the week" in December. Looks like this feline is ready to vote in the next Challenge!

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