Online voting begins Friday for the ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge's Community Engagement Award, which Clay County Animal Care and Control aims to win.
The shelter is one of 50 nationwide participating in the 2014 Challenge, an adoption competition with a top prize of $100,000.
From June 1 through Aug. 31, competing shelters will work to save more dogs and cats than they did during the same period in 2013.
"The overall goal of the competition is getting more animals adopted or returned to their owners than ever before," according to the Challenge website.
The Clay shelter, which has reduced its past euthanasia rate of about 50 percent to an average of 11 percent this year, has so far placed first in their division in the competition and won third place in a photo contest.
The $25,000 Community Engagement Award will go to the shelter that saves at least 300 more lives during the competition and "does the best job of getting their community directly involved in helping to save those lives," according to the Challenge website.
Three finalists for the award will be selected based on the results of an online vote Aug. 15-30.
The winner will be chosen by the ASPCA Grants Committee based on voting results and review of the finalists' Facebook feed on the Challenge website. The committee will be looking for:
- Numbers of animals' lives the community helped save
- Numbers and diversity of people the shelter engaged during the Challenge
- Breadth of ways the community participated to help save lives
- Level of community enthusiasm for saving homeless animals as evidenced by photos, stories and videos
- Event promotion and results
- Media coverage.
To support Clay's bid, "like" the shelter's Facebook page at facebook.com/ClayCtyAnimals Facebook. And beginning Friday, go to votetosavelives.org and vote for Clay County Animal Care and Control once a day through Aug. 31.
For more information about the Challenge, go to challenge.aspcapro.org. For more information about the Clay shelter, go to bit.ly/W8xIEO.