Community Needed for ASPCA’s $100K Challenge

Jersey was adopted last week at the EHS.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) is posing a challenge to animal shelters and the Escondido Humane Society has accepted it.

The ASPCA $100K Challenge is a nationwide competition that seeks out help from the community. People are encouraged to visit their local shelter and adopt an animal and this year, the only shelter in San Diego County to take part in this great cause is the Escondido Humane Society (EHS).

“We are the first and only San Diego County shelter to compete in the ASPCA $100K Challenge,” said Katie Woolsey, public relations coordinator for the society, in an email to Patch. “EHS is one of 49 shelters participating nationwide, and the organization that achieves the greatest increase in lives saved will receive a $100,000 grant from the ASPCA.”

Here’s how it works: from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31, the EHS and other participating shelters will compete to find homes for 33 percent more cats and dogs than it did during the same period in 2011.

Woolsey said the driving force behind EHS’s decision to participate was not just the $100,000 grant that could help the shelter care for the 5,000 animals they plan to shelter this year, but the potential to connect with the community like they haven’t before.

“We thought the challenge would be a wonderful motivator for our team and local residents and businesses to get involved and to help us connect the hundreds of adoptable dogs and cats in our shelter with the right families,” Woolsey said.

So how can you help? It’s simple. If you’ve been tossing around the idea of adding to your family and have a huge love for all-things furry, visit the EHS from Aug. 1 to Oct. 31 and take a look at the animals they have up for adoption. Puppy eyes are hard to ignore.

“The biggest way the public can help is by opening their hearts and homes to our animals by adopting,” Woolsey said. “We have set a goal of 1,500 adoptions over the three-month challenge, and we’ll really need our community’s help to reach that goal.”

To help spread the word, EHS is kicking off this challenge on Aug. 1 with a “Furry Friendzy” Adopt-a-Thon at the shelter. The EHS will be open for 12 hours that day, from 8 a.m.-8 p.m. and adoption fees for all dogs and cats will be waived.

“The first 25 adopters will receive goodie bags,” Woolsey said. “There also are activities are planned throughout the day, including Starbucks coffee at 8 a.m., a pet disaster preparedness presentation at 11 a.m., an ‘Ask the Vet’ session at 1:30 p.m., an opportunity drawing, food from 4 to 8 p.m. and live music by Hot Pursuit Music Entertainment at 7 p.m.”

After the Furry Friendzy, adoption fees for all dogs and cats will be $25 through OCt. 31.

Another way to help this local shelter win the $100K Challenge? Use your social media skills. The ASPCA is tracking community engagement through the #100KChallenge hash tag, so use that hash tag when you tweet the picture of your new pooch and “like” EHS on Facebook.

The shelter that does the best job of engaging their community will receive a $25,000 grant.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to make an even bigger impact for homeless animals in our community,” Woolsey said. “We hope our San Diego community will join us as we embark on this exciting journey.”

-Patch is a media sponsor of this event