Halfway through the competition, the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley is currently ranked tenth in the nation in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100,000 Challenge, saving the lives of 540 dogs and cats in the month of June.
The nationwide competition inspires animal shelters to increase pet adoptions and reunite lost pets with their families. June’s shelter statistics are up 156 animals from last year’s numbers, which places the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley ahead of larger cities like Washington, D.C. and Salt Lake City.
“These are great numbers, but we’re only halfway through the challenge,” said shelter director Dr. Beth Vesco-Mock. “The hard work is just beginning. We have to do whatever we can to adopt more animals out of the shelter, and return more animals to their families through educational initiatives and microchipping.”
During the challenge, shelters across the country are scored based on the overall increase in lives saved by counting the total number of live exits between June 1 and August 31, 2013 compared to the same months in 2012.
The current statistics reflect animals that were returned to their owners, animals that were adopted out of the shelter and animals that were transferred to other agencies for a better chance at adoption.
The top prize in the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray Challenge is a $100,000 cash prize, with other cash prizes for second and third place. If the shelter is successful in the challenge, Mock says the prize money will be used for “something big.”
“The more money we can get for our shelter, the bigger the project we can fund that will ultimately help in our overall goal: to reduce the euthanasia rate to zero.”
The shelter is also halfway toward breaking a personal record of 300 lives saved over and above last year’s numbers in June, which will award the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley $5,000.
Off-site adoption events are a large part of the shelter’s success rate. This weekend there are several events planned, including dog and cat adoptions at the Las Cruces Farmer’s and Crafts Market downtown from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and at PetCo on East Lohman from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information on adoption, microchipping or affordable spay/neuter procedures, contact the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley at (575) 382-0018.