June 23, 2021
Categories: Uncategorized

The No Place Like Home Challenge is completed and to say we are thrilled with the results would be an understatement.  

Return to Home programs are incredibly important. By focusing on reunions in the field, families are reunited in a matter of minutes or hours and never have to step foot inside a shelter. By making return to home a priority, pets that do make it to the shelter, are only there for a short time. When we focus on keeping pets and people together, everybody wins.  

Overall, there were 10,366 happy reunions facilitated by 237 participating organizations in 44 states! More specifically, 9,867 dogs and 499 cats were returned to their homes. That means the Return to Home rate for the Challenge month of March was 32.58% (46% for dogs and 14.13% for cats)! This is almost a 10-percentage-point increase as compared to the Challenge Participants’ 2020 average annual Return to Home rate of 23.73%.  

Many of you shared that it was easy to involve your communities, staff and volunteers, even if there was initial apprehension about changing Return to Home practices. Investments were made in the future of Return to Home through microchip clinics, identification tags and engraving machines, updating websites and reevaluating rules and laws around impound policies. We are excited to see real change happening and now so many more dogs and cats will be reunited with loved ones, thanks to you.  

We encourage everyone to reach out to the organizations below for guidance on starting or expanding Return to Home programs. We all learn from each other and together, we can keep even more pets and people together. In the meantime, you can view the Huddles from the Challenge for tips.  

“With Fourth of July just around the corner, the timing of this Challenge could not have been better. More pets get lost during this holiday than any other, said Brett Yates, Chief Executive Officer for Michelson Found Animals Foundation. “Participating organizations rose to the challenge and demonstrated through inventive programs, their readiness to help their communities this year and every year in the future, reunite lost pets with their people.” 

We want to thank Michelson Found Animals Foundation for being our partner in funding this Challenge and to our collaborators Adoptimize, the ASPCAThe Association for Animal Welfare AdvancementBest Friends Animal SocietyHeARTS SpeakHumane Society of the United StatesNational Animal Care and Control Association and Petco Love for helping make this a Challenge to remember. 

Without further ado, we present the winners. Additional awards were given by collaborating partners Adoptimize and The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement. 

A total of $150,000 from Maddie’s Fund and Michelson Found Animals Foundation has been awarded to the following organizations:

Best Overall Effort/Robust Programs – $5,000 each
Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, PA
Cabot Animal Support Services, AR
Department of Animal Services El Paso, TX
Lifeline Animal Project, GA
Maui Humane Society, HI  

Prizes Based on 7 Menu Items – $3,000 each 

ID/Microchip:
City of Charlotte, NC
Haywood County Animal Shelter, NC
Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, HI
Tehama County Animal Services, CA
Washoe County Regional Animal Services, NV 

Marketing to the Community:
Animal Rescue League of Iowa, IA
Harris County Shelter, TX
Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, FL
Jacksonville Humane Society, FL
Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, AL 

Culture of Return to Home:
Animal Shelter Action Society, Inc., KY
Bainbridge Decatur County Humane Society, GA           
Peoria County Animal Protection Services, IL
Salt Lake County Animal Services, UT
Santa Barbara County Animal Services, CA 

Works with Community:
Animal Rez-Q, Inc., AZ
Laredo Animal Protective Society, TX
Marin Humane, CA
Oconee County Animal Shelter, GA
Pet Adoption League of Gem County, ID 

Technology:
Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue, NJ      
Contra Costa County Animal Services, CA
Joplin Humane Society, Inc, MO
Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center, VA
Portsmouth Humane Society, VA 

Laws/Regulations:
Conway Area Humane Society, NH 
Madera County Animal Services, CA
Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA, VA
Sand Springs Animal Welfare, OK
Ulster County SPCA, NY 

Return in Field:
Brandywine Valley SPCA, PA     
Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, OH
Oakland Animal Services, CA
Santa Rosa County Animal Services, FL  
St. Tammany Parish Dept. of Animal Services, LA 

Bravo Awards – $2,000 each
Next-Level Microchip Clinic: Animal Shelter of Sullivan County, TN
Partnerships with Local Businesses: Best Friends for Life, TX
Interdepartmental Cross-Training: Cherokee County Animal Shelter, GA
Fastest Return: Harker Heights Pet Adoption Center, TX
Incorporating RTH into Mission: Its Meow or Never for Ferals, FL  

Random Drawings – $1,000 each
Abandoned Animal Rescue (AAR), TX
AZ Center for Animal Rescue and Education, AZ
City of Cleveland Animal Care & Control, OH
Fairfield County Dog Adoption Center & Shelter, OH
Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County, GA
Humane Society of Cowlitz County, S.P.C.A, WA
Kansas City Pet Project, MO
Kershaw County Humane Society, SC
Seattle Animal Shelter, WA
Yavapai Humane Society, AZ