The Yolo County Animal Services Shelter finished fifth out of 10 shelters in its division, and 19th out of 50 competitors nationwide, following this summer’s 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge.
The challenge tested animal shelters across the country to boost pet adoptions and reduce euthanasia rates during June, July and August. Although the Yolo County Animal Shelter did not win a monetary prize, the staff and volunteers rose to the occasion, saving the lives of 784 dogs and cats — an increase of 267 lives saved over last year.
“Shelter staff and volunteers worked hard to increase off-site pet adoptions over the summer, but there is still more work to be done in the county to further reduce the euthanasia rate in Yolo County,” said Vicky Fletcher, chief animal services officer.
“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.”
All told, the 50 Rachael Ray Challenge contestants saved 56,379 animals’ lives over the course of the three-month contest — a combined increase of 12,050 lives saved compared to the same period during 2012.
National winners of the challenge were:
* The Animal Foundation of Las Vegas, Nev., which will take home the $100,000 grand prize in grant funding from the ASPCA. The organization accomplished an increase of 1,055 animals’ lives saved over the same period during 2012.
The following division leaders will each receive $25,000 in ASPCA grant funding:
* Canyon County Animal Shelter of Caldwell, Idaho, with an increase of 320 lives saved over the prior year (Community Engagement Award).
* Washington Animal Rescue of Washington D.C., with an increase of 326 lives saved over the prior year.
* Texas Humane Heroes of Leander, Texas, with an increase of 389 lives saved over the prior year.
* HALO Animal Rescue of Phoenix, Ariz., with an increase of 824 lives saved over the prior year.
* Citizens for Animal Protection of Houston, Texas, with an increase of 625 lives saved over the prior year.
For more information about the Yolo County Animal Services Shelter, visit www.yolocountysheriff.com and click on Animal Services Section, or visit the shelter’s Facebook page.