Your votes have been tallied, and the winners of the latest Shelter Challenge have been named.
Throughout November and December, users were able to vote for their favorite rescues in the holiday-themed Tails & Tinsel Shelter Challenge. Your votes meant a lot to the participating organizations, as they competed for a combined $80,000 in cash and essential supplies. Overall, 22 rescues got a piece of the pie!
The top prize went to Stray Rescue of St. Louis, which will be receiving $10,000 in cash and $5,000 in supplies. Coming in at number two was Speranza Animal Rescue in Pennsylvania, which was awarded $6,000 in cash and $4,000 worth of supplies. Ten runners up will also each receive a combined $4,500 in cash and essentials, while another 10 honorable mentions are each getting $1,000 in cash.
The funding will help address one of the bigger financial stressors for rescues: urgent medical care. Stray Rescue of St. Louis is no different, saying that their cash prize will be going toward the Stracks Fund for medical emergencies.
The rescue explains, “We seek out and take in the animals who no other organization will help or would simply euthanize because they are too expensive to heal. We rescue the abandoned, beaten, bred, fought, injured, terrified, defeated and betrayed. The minute they enter our doors, we look in their eyes and promise them ALL the second chance they deserve for health, home, commitment and love, no matter the time or cost.”
They add that they’re not afraid to take on substantial medical cases, and the funding will help them save deserving lives.
Among those deserving lives are animals like Stu. Stu is a St. Bernard that had been severely neglected. The breed is obviously known for its size, but when Stu was found in a crate in an abandoned building, he was 80 pounds underweight. Near death from lack of food, he was saved by Stray Rescue of St. Louis. He’s now expected to make a full recovery, and you’ve played an important role in stories like this!
Your support has also helped save felines. Stray Rescue provided emergency medical care to a severely injured cat named Conner. He had a labial button surgery and had his eye sewn shut to help with a broken jaw and an eye injury. Now, his jaw is completely healed, and he’s been able to keep his eye. After his ordeal, the shelter is now tackling another one of its important tasks: finding a home for this boy with a new lease on life.
Another pet who has needed a new lease on life found the care and safety he needed at Stray Rescue. The emaciated Nico wandered straight over to shelter staff when they arrived to help him. You can see more of his inspiring story, that you’ve helped along, as well as other Stray Rescue pets, on the shelter’s YouTube channel.
One of the rescue’s biggest success stories, though, comes from a former resident pup, Champ. He’s a cheerleader for animals like those mentioned above.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis says, “A friend of ours, Mike Duenke, adopted a dog from us a few years ago who was on the brink of death. He made an incredible recovery and now has his own Facebook page, ‘CHAMP’. Together with his followers (who we refer to as The CHAMPions), they rally around our animals who need our help by raising funds and bringing awareness to our stories. In addition to that, they love voting challenges! Champ posts a daily reminder on his page (sometimes several times a day) to ensure no one forgets to vote! We are so thankful and grateful for them.”
Users like you, who click to give, do daily trivia, shop for a cause, and make contributions, also help us provide the funding for these contests, for which organizations like Stray Rescue for St. Louis are grateful.
They say, “Thank you for hosting these contests so shelters like ours can compete to win these life-saving funds. Emergency medical care is not cheap. We save thousands of underdogs every year, and the animals we save do not come to us healthy. Thank you for making a difference in so many lives!”
Be sure to visit the Shelter Challenge website to take part in future contests!