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Wyoming Group Empowered by Shelter Challenge

The Animal Humane Association of Star Valley took home their very first Shelter Challenge grant in May 2013 when they won their state. 

“The contest encouraged people who followed our Facebook page to share our mission with their friends in an upbeat and inspiring way, and kept people checking our site for updates, where they also could find our featured pets and other activities that were being posted,” wrote Sidney Woods. “Winning the grant showed our members that we have power even though we are from an extremely rural area, and that their efforts can pay off to provide for the safety of the animals at the shelter.”

The organization decided to put the $1,000 Challenge grant toward building outdoor dog run covers that were needed to keep active and/or climbing dogs from going over the top and getting lost.

“The kennel tops cost approximately $2,400, and the results of the contest inspired a member to host a spring yard sale, the proceeds from which successfully covered the rest of the cost of this necessary purchase,” Woods said.

Among the dogs that benefitted from the new runs was Topper, a beautiful blue cattle dog who was agile enough to scale the kennel wire fence. “He was named, in fact, for his amazing ability to go over the top,” recounted Woods. “He was walked separately on a leash until the kennel covers arrived, but then he could play with his dog friends again. Now he's on a wide-open Wyoming ranch, with a cattleman who says the blue dog stays happily at his side.”

Since 2008, more than 370 shelters and animal rescue organizations in the United States, Canada, and elsewhere have received more than $1.3 million in Shelter Challenge grants. Funding for Shelter Challenge grants comes from The Animal Rescue Site. The distribution of grants and the collection of reports about how grants are utilized is done by the Petfinder Foundation under the oversight of

To read more stories from past winners, visit Shelter Challenge News.

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