Cobb County Animal Control is in contention for grant money from a pool of $300,000—with the top prize being $100,000—but it must first make it to the second round of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ Save More Lives $100K Challenge.
“The main objective is so save animal lives,” said Don Bruce, facility operations manager for the Cobb County animal shelter. “And a byproduct of that would be winning $100,000.”
The top 50 vote-getters will move on in the contest.
“We’ve got to get into the qualifying heat,” Bruce said. “Once we do that, we start going to the phase of, ‘How are we going to save animals?’”
The ASPCA will look at how many animals were adopted from August to October in 2010 at each of the 50 shelters and compare those numbers to the same period in 2011.
Bruce said that total is “anything that leaves the shelter alive,” including owner reclaims, adoptions through rescue groups and having animals adopted at events.
Shelters with gains of at least 300 adoptions from 2010 to 2011 will qualify for the prize money.
The shelter that has the biggest increase will receive $100,000. Second place will receive $25,000. Grants of $20,000 each will be awarded to the winners of five regions.
Other various prizes will be awarded, and the winners will be announced on Nov. 30. For the contest’s complete rules, click here.
Bruce said a big chunk of the shelter’s $2.6 million budget goes toward salaries. All the prize money, he added, would go directly toward the animals.
“We could actually build a wing for cats. We could build a separate room for puppies,” he said. “There’s just so much we can do that we don’t have the money for.”
Even if Cobb doesn’t win any money, Bruce said the contest is a good opportunity for the public to be aware of the shelter and get involved. “It’s just a win-win for us.”
He said the shelter only euthanizes for space, aggressiveness and illness. Some animals, he added, have been at the shelter six to eight months, with the facility euthanizing 98 animals in 2010 for space.
The next step for the shelter outside the contest, Bruce said, is to set up its volunteer program. He added that volunteers could help cut back on the number of aggressive dogs because more people would be working with them.
If you wish to adopt an animal, call 770-499-4136 or visit the shelter at 1060 Al Bishop Dr. in Marietta. The shelter is open Tuesday through Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. On Sunday, it is open from 2 to 5 p.m.