Pearl River County SPCA vying for $50,000 donation

Published 7:00 am Thursday, May 3, 2018

Throughout the month of May, Pearl River County SPCA will be participating in the nationwide Michelson Found Animals 2018 Saving Pets Challenge.

SPCA volunteer Sonja Leenders said this challenge is not a typical vote-based challenge. The organization that has raised the most money by the 31st of May will be given a prize.

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“This is based on donations – so it’s going to be a little more challenging,” Leenders said.

The PRC SPCA is one of 142 organizations competing in the program’s tier one competition. Organizations qualify for tier one only if their yearly operation costs exceed $250,000, Leenders said. The grand-prize winner for tier one will receive a donation of $50,000. The top five competing organizations will all receive a substantial donation. Leenders said even if an organization does not place in the top five, they will still be allowed to keep the donations given during the competition.

According to the Saving Pets Challenge’s official website, there will be weekly bonus prizes in addition to the final donations.

For example, during the week of May 1 – May 8, “Every organization that raises $500 online this week will be entered to win $2,000. There will be four winners,” the website states.

According to the website, bonus challenges will occur every week of the competition until the final few days during which the first 150 donations received of $50 or more will be matched by an additional $50. After that, the competition will end and final donation numbers will be tallied up to determine the winners.

The PRC SPCA provides a number of services to the communities around Pearl River County, including, “Eliminating pet overpopulation and animal abuse, operating healthy, safe and secure facilities, increasing live release rates by exploring adoption options in our area and working with national and regional rescue organizations to place pets in safe homes and offering innovative programs to meet community needs,” a release by Leenders states.

According to the release, the SPCA’s goal in participating in the challenge is to provide a low cost spay and neuter program to the public, and to care for sick and injured animals that come into the shelter.

“We are going to raise money to spay/neuter 100 pets ($7,500) and to care for 20 sick/injured pets ($10,000),” the release states.

“We are excited about the opportunity provided to us by the Michelson Foundation and by CrowdRise. Our shelter has made great improvements over the last 15 years in the care we provide to the pets that come in. We have embraced the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ ‘Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters’ and winning this challenge will allow us to implement more of those guidelines,” SPCA President Judy Wheaton said in the release.

Donations can be given anytime between now and May 31 at