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The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter that saves the most lives during the three-month period.The ASPCA and Rachael Ray will award a $100,000 grand prize to the shelter that saves the most lives during the three-month period.

The ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge is Back!

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Celebrity cooking diva Rachael Ray is helping animals once again.

Although the Food Network star’s recipes aren’t all that animal-friendly, Ray is a huge advocate for shelter pets. Not only does she have her own line of pet food that benefits homeless cats and dogs, but she also regularly works with the ASPCA to improve placement rates, via the Rachael Ray $100K Challenge.

Each year, Ray teams up with the ASPCA for a three-month adoption challenge. Participating shelters work to increase the number of lives saved, and the winner at the end of the three month period lands the $100K grand prize. And that’s not all.

Additionally, Look to the Stars says that, “The contestant that does the best job of engaging its community members in helping to save more animals will win $25,000. Those organizations that do the best in their divisions will be eligible for between $10,000 and $25,000 in additional grants. In total, $600,000 in grant funding will be awarded for increases in animal lives saved, as well as a photo contest and general participation.”

This year, 49 shelters are competing to save more lives during June, July and August than were saved over the same period last year. In 2012, the shelter contestants saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs, which was increase of 14,376 over 2011.

The stakes are high, but the ASPCA is confident that the shelters will rise to the challenge and save even more pets this summer. But they can’t do it without help — in the form of pet adopters.

“Starting at midnight tonight and continuing through the weekend, shelters in 30 states and territories across this country will kick off their run in the contest with major adoption events,” said Bert Troughton, vice president of Community Outreach at the ASPCA. “If you’re thinking about making a pet a part of your family, there is no better time than right now to head to your nearest contestant and help them be a part of this record-breaking year of saving lives.

For more info on the challenge, including details on the pet photo contest, head over to the ASPCA or follow the #100KChallenge hashtag on Twitter. There’s never been a better time to add a furry friend to your family!

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