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From Canada to Virgin Islands, All Sizes Win

Since the Shelter Challenge began in 2008, more than 400 rescue groups and shelters of all sizes have won more than $1.4 million in cash grants to help animals in their community.

Starting this year, winners' reports of how they have used their grants have been posted at  While many report that the grants of $1,000 to $10,000 were used for unusual vet bills or general care, others took their win to enable special projects.

In Saskatchewan, Canada, the Swift Current SPCA Shelter used their very first Shelter Challenge grant, won earlier in 2013, to insulate their kennel doors.

“The new insulated doors replaced the old single-wall steel doors that let in the cold and the wind. Now the kennels are much warmer for the dogs…and it helps keep our heating bills down, enabling our resources to go further,” wrote Graham Parsons.  The group won a $1,000 grant earlier in 2013. Besides insulating the doors, they were able to make other shelter upgrades and improvements.

Meanwhile, in the Virgin Islands, St. John Animal Care Center used $2,000 in 2013 Challenge grants to create a water diversion ditch to handle flash flooding.

“Our budget is very tight, with a demand for every dollar.  These additional funds allowed us to make the necessary repairs to the shelter property before the hurricane season arrived with its monsoon rains,” said Lucy Bank.

While none of their animals were ever in danger, “every single one of our dogs if they could speak, would render licks and kisses of gratitude for being able to stay dry and comfortable in their doghouses instead of sleeping on top of the houses to stay dry,” she added.

The volunteers who would show up to help the sump pump keep the shelter dry by pushing water out with brooms also are glad the ditch is done.

The Shelter Challenge is made possible through funding from The Animal Rescue Site. Distribution of cash grants and other prizes is done with the oversight of The Winter 2013 Shelter Challenge begins Oct. 28 and lasts through Dec. 22. More information on the grants and prizes in this Challenge can be found here.

Photo: Rembrandt at the Swift Current SPCA Shelter, courtesy of shelter staff.

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