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In the first voting round of The Animal Rescue Site’s $300,000 2012 Shelter+ Challenge with Petfinder.com, sixty-nine shelters and rescue groups took home $75,000 in grants to help animals. The Shelter+ Challenge grants were determined by votes cast at The Animal Rescue Site during a ten-week period. There are four voting rounds in 2012.
Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc., of North Carolina received the $5,000 Grand Prize. This is the second time that the organization has won a Grand Prize award and its lucky thirteenth prize in the Challenge since 2008.
The popular “Dark Horse” category gave six grants to groups who have never won a Challenge grant before. Greyhound Pets, Inc (WA) took home $2,000 for having the highest vote total for this category. The other five Dark Horse winners each received a $1,000 grant: Adopt A Boxer Rescue (PA), Sweetpups (TX), S.H.A.I.D. Tree Animal Shelter (Nova Scotia), Rabbit Rescue & Rehab - NYC (NY), and P.A.W.S. - Peoples Animal Welfare Society, (IL).
Another fifteen first time winners scored $1,000 grants in the state and weekly categories: Polar Pug Rescue & Friends (AK), PAWS (Pet Animal Welfare Society) (CT), Harrison County Humane Society (IA), Boise Bully Breed Rescue (ID), STAR Saving the Animals of Rowan (KY), ARNO aka Animal Rescue New Orleans (LA), Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society (MA), Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter aka BARCS (MD), Capital Area Humane Society (MI), HELP Humane Society (MO), North Carolina Airedale Rescue (NC), CATS Cradle Shelter, Inc (ND), Angels for Animals Rescue League (OH), Rogue Valley Humane Society (OR), and Carolina Basset Hound Rescue (weekly).
In all, $75,000 in grants was awarded in the first round to animal rescue groups in all fifty states, Canada, Grand Bahamas, and Costa Rica. A complete list of winners was made available on March 21.
Any shelter or rescue group that is an active member of the Petfinder.com Network can participate in the Shelter+ Challenges.
Since 2008, The Animal Rescue Site’s Shelter+ Challenge with Petfinder.com has given a total of $985,000 to 271 animal rescue groups belonging to the Petfinder.com Network. With three more rounds of voting left in 2012, and new rules to eliminate back-to-back winners, there have never been more opportunities for fans of small rescue groups and shelters to win a grant for their favorite group.*
*Weekly winners cannot win more than one weekly prize per round or state or regional prizes in a round where they win weekly prizes. Starting in 2012, regional winners cannot win back-to-back prizes in the same category. They remain eligible for weekly, photo, and Grand Prizes. No group may win more than one Grand Prize per year. Voting for Round 2 of the Shelter+ Challenge begins April 9.