Animal Friends Rescue Project wants to compete in the 2012 ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge – a nationwide competition to win more than $500,000 in grants – but it can’t get there without the community’s help.
The organization is asking supporters to go to www.votetosavelives.org or www.animalfriendsrescue.org and vote every day through Monday, April 16.
AFRP, which rescues many cats from the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, has a permanent, daily cat-adoption site at the Santa Cruz PetSmart on River Street. Adoption events are also held every Saturday at the Aptos Farmers Market.
In 2011, 325 cats were rescued from the shelter, and about 66 animals were rescued in the first four months of this year, according to Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter figures.
Of the 108 shelters vying for the top vote-getter spot, AFRP is the only organization in the immediate area.
The top 50 vote-getters will compete for the 2012 ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge, which will take place in the fall.
The challenge is a “great opportunity for AFRP to get the word out about adopting homeless animals,” Kelly Lehrian, AFRP’s executive director, wrote in a news release. “Working together with the shelters, businesses and the community, we will work hard to help even more animals, and we’ll have a shot at the $100,000 grant.”
Those funds will allow the organization to fund more spay and neuter surgeries, thereby reducing the number of animals entering the shelters, she wrote.
AFRP has found new homes for more than 16,500 cats, dogs and rabbits since 1998, and transported more than 7,000 dogs to other rescues through its Lifelink transport program, according to the release.
For information, call 333-0722 or go to the project’s website.