Ahead of the fifth annual Clear the Shelters animal adoption initiative, NBC and Telemundo stations teamed with Michelson Found Animals for a month-long fundraising campaign.
The Fund the Shelters Challenge raised almost $1.6 million for animal welfare groups across the country. The money will help offset the cost of offering reduced or waived fees during Clear the Shelters, as well as support their life-saving day-to-day operations.
"We're humbled and inspired by the amazing passion and hard work shown by the organizations involved in Fund The Shelters, along with all the generous, caring people who donated," said Dr. Gary Michelson, founder of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. "We, along with our partners, NBC and Telemundo stations, are committed to helping pets find forever homes and are thrilled to be able to support the incredible work of the wide range of organizations involved in this challenge, all working toward a shared goal."
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"Thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals and the incredible support of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, animal shelters and rescues are receiving the resources they need to continue their lifesaving programs to rescue and care for pets who are looking for their forever homes. We are thrilled with our first ever Fund The Shelters Challenge and consider it a great success,” added Valari Staab, President, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.
It was a ruff race, but The Stray Cat Alliance of Los Angeles, California, clawed past Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue in Dallas, Georgia, to take first place with more than $266,000 raised.
"We are so excited to have won the challenge," said Christi Metropole, Founder and Executive Director of Stray Cat Alliance. "This will allow us to save the lives of more than 1,000 kittens, which will have a huge impact in our community this kitten season. Thank you to all the donors and everyone on social media who made this possible."
The grand prize winners, which all received cash prize donations are: