The Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley has finished sixth in the nation following this summer’s 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100k Challenge, bringing $15,000 in prize money to the Doña Ana County shelter.
The challenge tested animal shelters nationwide to increase pet adoption rates and reduce euthanasia rates during the months of June, July and August. When the challenge ended, the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley tallied 1,766 lives saved. That number ranked the shelter as the most improved in its division, earning a $10,000 prize.
The shelter won an additional $5,000 for increasing the total number of lives saved by 300 over last year’s numbers.
“You all make a difference,” shelter director Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock said to about two dozen people who had gathered in the shelter offices Monday afternoon to hear the final results of the challenge. “It isn’t always about money. Of course, money is an added bonus, but it’s about the real impact we are making in this community to save lives.”
Vesco-Mock hosted an impromptu reception following the official online posting of the results. She had received a courtesy call from the ASPCA just before noon on Monday, but had to wait with the rest of the nation for the official post on the ASPCA website that ranked the 2013 winners.
Vesco-Mock thanked shelter volunteers and staff that worked to increase off-site pet adoptions over the summer, but said there is still more work to be done in the community to further reduce the euthanasia rate in Doña Ana County.
“This is an unfortunate ongoing problem. We’re not going to solve it by increasing adoptions alone. We must continue to work together to reduce the intake numbers at this shelter.”
For a complete list of winners, please visit www.aspca.org.