From August 1 through August 5, a total of 97 dogs and cats were adopted at the Denton animal shelter. This is a record number of adoptions in any five day period. Adoption increases were sparked by events sponsored by Denton Animal Shelter Foundation, Inc. (DASF) in partnership with the city shelter for the ASPCA $100,000 Rachael Ray Challenge. DASF initiated entry into the competition with the support of Animal Services and city staff.
In addition to practically emptying the Denton shelter, cats and dogs are being transferred to Denton from All American Dogs in Pilot Point, Wise County Shelter and Collin County shelter. “This outreach to help other local shelters is part of the national competition to win from $5,000 to $125,000 for the Denton shelter,” stated Dr. Joyce Swegle, DASF Board Program Chairman and Challenge Project Leader.
In April, DASF survived the first level of the challenge by becoming one of 50 national competitors through on-line voting. The second phase of the challenge is the Adopt-A-Thon. Denton must increase adoptions by 300 pets from August 1 through October 31 over the same period last year, a 46% increase. Over 1,182 pets must be adopted. Denton has a chance to win $25,000 in the “fast-start August” element of the challenge. ASPCA judges will review all results, events, activities, and social media posts during August.
Swegle reports that as of August 5, a total of 2,607 adoptions were reported nationwide for the ASPCA Challenge. “ That’s an average of 52 adoptions per competitor,” said Swegle; “so Denton is way above the average.” A good start to the three-month competition.
“This is an amazing example of team effort,” said DASF Chairman and Co-Founder Bette Sherman; “the public/private partnership of the foundation, the city shelter staff, the donors and the volunteers has made a huge difference in our community.” Sherman continued, “it is a remarkable achievement that Denton’s small outdated shelter is in a temporary position to help other shelters, save more pets and have record levels of adoptions.” The total cost to DASF for the weekend event was about $10,000.
Thanks to the generosity of DASF donors and board members who are covering fees for veterinary services, special adoption rates will continue periodically throughout the competition. Additionally, the shelter will be open every Sunday in August from noon to 5:00 pm. “Look for Two-Tone Tuesdays and Black Fridays when special rates will be offered,” said Swegle.