Everett Animal Shelter gunning to win $100,000 adoptions contest
EVERETT — The Everett Animal Shelter wants to break adoption records this summer as it competes in the national $100K Challenge sponsored by the ASPCA and Rachael Ray.
This summer, the Everett Animal Shelter aims to adopt out a total of 1,616 cats and dogs – 450 more animals than were adopted last year during these three months. The three-month contest starts June 1 and the grand prize is given to the shelter that has the largest increase in adoptions over its records from summer 2013.
If it won the $100,000, the shelter would use the money to establish a free spay and neuter program for low- and no-income families in the shelter’s jurisdiction, which includes areas beyond Everett proper. The shelter also wants to provide free vaccinations to low and no-income pet owners.
“Spaying and neutering will hopefully lower our animal intake,” Dee Cordell, operations coordinator for the shelter, said. “It’s not unusual for us to get four or five litters a day in the summer, so hopefully it cuts down on animals that end up homeless.”
The shelter would also use the contest money to build its marketing efforts to encourage people to adopt a new four-legged friend.
“We really just want the community to come and support the challenge and adopt and just know that the money can really help us a lot,” Cordell said. “Just being able to get people here and know that we’re here for the community, I think the challenge will really help us do that.”
To get more adoptions done, the shelter will be staying open late on Fridays, extending its hours to 8 p.m.
The shelter also will be holding a series of special events. One weekend this summer, for example, will be “Rapunzel” weekend, where people adopting long-haired dogs and cats will get an adoption discount. Another weekend will be “Sleeping Beauty,” where people in pajamas will receive a prize.
The shelter’s overall contest theme is “Furry Tails Need Fairy Tale Endings.”
During the shelter’s Challenge Kick Off party on June 1, it will be offering free microchipping for cats and dogs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m, Cordell said.
Volunteers plan to attend several city events this summer, walking around with an adoptable dog wearing an “Adopt Me” vest in tow. At some larger events, they may even set up booths so that adoptions can be processed on-site.
The Everett Animal Shelter has approximately 6,000 animals come through each year.
In the $100K Challenge, there are five divisions containing 10 participants each, comprising a total of 50 shelters competing for the grand prize.
Other awards include a $25,000 best in division grant, a $10,000 most improved grant and a $25,000 community engagement grant for the shelter that has done the best in getting the community involved, measured by the increase in the number of Facebook followers, use of hashtags and the success of outreach programs.
All participating shelters that adopt out at least 300 more dogs and cats than last year will receive a $5,000 grant, and all shelters that complete the challenge will receive a $1,000 grant to be used to attend the Society for Animal Welfare Administrators 2014 Annual Conference in Dallas in November.