Nearly 250 dogs and cats were adopted from the Burbank Animal Shelter in June, putting the shelter on track to qualify for a piece of more than half a million dollars in grants being distributed as part of a national competition.

The shelter needs to find homes for 824 cats and dogs by Aug. 31 to be eligible for the “ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge,” which is offering more than $600,000 in grants — including a grand prize of $100,000 — in an effort to increase pet adoptions.

The competition reportedly counts the number of cats or dogs returned to their owners toward the shelter’s overall adoption numbers.

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Burbank’s is one of 50 shelters competing for a piece of the pot.

“We already increased our adoptions from last year; that alone is a big boost for us,” said Karen Wilcox, community outreach coordinator. In June of last year, 175 cats and dogs were adopted or returned to their owners.

The shelter has roughly 200 cats and dogs available for adoption, and another 89 cats in foster care, Wilcox said.

Throughout the summer, the shelter will continue to hold promotions to boost adoptions.

For example, through Sunday, families can adopt a cat or dog and “name their price,” paying whatever fee they want for the adoption, Wilcox said. Through Aug. 31, Burbank Water and Power is donating a CFL light bulb with every adoption.

Through July 11, new pet owners can submit a photo with their cat or dog to organizers of the competition, and the winning photo will come with a $5,000 check for the adopting shelter.

Wilcox added that “liking” the shelter’s Facebook page could help it win the $25,000. community engagement grant.

“It’s really nice to see how everybody’s coming together for this. It’s boosting our morale here at the shelter,” said Brenda Castaneda, the shelter’s superintendent. “I really think we have a good shot.”


For more information about the competition, visit www.BurbankAnimalShelter.org.

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