Tulsa animal shelter wins $2,000 in ASPCA challenge
BY SARA PLUMMER World Staff Writer
Saturday, December 01, 2012
12/01/12 at 6:10 AM
Tulsa Animal Welfare might not have won the big prize from the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge, but it didn't go home empty-handed, either.
"I felt it was a great step for us," said Jean Letcher, manager of the city's animal shelter. "For our profile, for participation, it's been great."
The shelter finished 40th out of 50 from shelters across the country in the running but will still receive $2,000 for compiling the data and completing the contest. The 50 shelters, divided into regional divisions, worked to save as many animals as possible in a three-month period.
The goal was to save 300 more dogs and cats in August, September and October than were saved during the same three-month period last year.
Tulsa Animal Welfare, the only organization representing Oklahoma, was in the South Central Division with eight other shelters in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
Over the three months this year, 910 animals were either adopted out, returned to their owners or taken by a rescue group and then adopted out, Letcher said.
It was an overall decrease from last year during that same time period, but the number of dogs returned to their owners increased.
The $2,000 will be used to put software in the shelter's trucks so that animal control officers can look up tags remotely and contact the owners directly.
"It will keep those animals from even getting into the shelter," Letcher said.
She said winning prize money is good but that the exposure brought by the challenge and the initiatives it has started are just as beneficial.
The shelter put up pictures of all the animals adopted out during the contest time period and focused on social media, working to garner more "likes" on Facebook and to start up a lost and found page.
Letcher said the shelter also will work with new pet owners to have their animal spayed or neutered while at the shelter before taking them home. Adoptive parents also can have their new pets microchipped at the shelter for $15.
"I wish we had staff to devote full time" to adoptions, she said. "Care is the primary focus for staff here."
Original Print Headline: Animal shelter wins $2,000 in contest
Sara Plummer 918-581-8465
Monica Jones holds a cat she is adopting from the Tulsa animal shelter. The shelter will receive $2,000 for participating in the ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. STEPHEN PINGRY/Tulsa World