Adopt a pet and help Humane Society win $100K
By Elizabeth Marie Himchak
If considering the addition of an adopted animal, selecting one at Escondido Humane Society in the next three months could help it win $100,000 in a nationwide contest.
The humane society is the only San Diego group to become one of 50 finalists in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. It finished the qualifying heat this spring in 42nd place out of 103 entrants when it received more than 7,000 online votes, enough to advance to the final round. The winner will be the group that saves the most animals from August to October.
In addition to the $100,000 grand prize, shelters that meet ASPCA-set goals become eligible to win the second-place prize of $25,000 for saving the second-most animal lives. The contestant who does the best job in getting community members involved with saving lives will also win $25,000 and groups that led their divisions will be eligible for $5,000 to $40,000 in grants.
EHS spokeswoman Katie Woolsey said for the shelter receiving a monetary prize comes second to knowing animals’ lives were saved.
Based upon activities in the same three-month period last year, Woolsey said the Escondido group needs to save at least 1,358 dogs and cats — 300 more than last year — to be considered for any prize. The tally will not just be based on adoptions at the shelter, its satellite locations and mobile events, but also those adoptions via other agencies and rescues that transferred the animal from EHS, and lost pets EHS helped reunite with their owners.
To kick off the contest’s final round, Escondido Humane Society will hold its first 12-hour “Furry Friendzy” Adopt-a-Thon. The shelter at 3450 E. Valley Parkway in Escondido will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 1. To encourage adoptions of dogs, cats and bunnies (though the latter cannot be counted in the adoption total), all adoption fees will be waived that day.
Even those not ready to adopt are encouraged to attend in support of the shelter. In addition to meeting dogs, cats and bunnies in need of loving, forever homes, the first 25 adopters will receive a goodie bag, all adopters will receive a free photo with their new family member. There will also be free Starbucks coffee provided starting at 8 a.m. and a pet owner disaster preparedness seminar starting at 11 a.m.
In the afternoon there will be an “ask a vet” session at 1:30 p.m., food and refreshments from 4-8 p.m., musical entertainment by Hot Pursuit music at 7 p.m., and activities for children throughout the day.
Those planning on attending are asked to RSVP with Woolsey by calling 760-888-2242.
During the three months, the humane society will also be lowering its adoption fees to $25, regardless of age or type of animal. Woolsey said this will include the animal, its microchipping, spay or neuter and vet check. The regular fee is $110 for puppies and kittens up to 6 months, $85 for dogs and cats 6 months to 7 years, $55 for senior pets (more than 7 years) and $45 for bunnies of all ages. The humane society’s adoption center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
As part of the contest’s requirement that finalists increase community involvement, locals are being asked to help promote Escondido Humane Society via their social media networks or volunteer. Options for the latter include writing bios and taking photos of shelter animals that will be posted online, handling dogs at off-site adoption events, being a greeter in the facility’s lobby during adoption promotions and events, assisting at these events and being an ambassador for the shelter throughout the community.
For volunteer opportunity details, contact Mary Ellen Kuhn at 760-888-2270 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Woolsey said Escondido Humane Society typically has around 5,000 animals in its care each year, though all not available for adoption. In late July, the shelter was caring for more than 650 animals. It is an independent organization, not affiliated with other shelters and not funded by the government, though it does provide animal control services for some North County communities including Poway.
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