The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) announced that 36,790 pets were adopted or reunited with their owners during the first two months of the 2013 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The three-month competition involves 49 animal shelters across the US that are working to increase adoptions and win some of the more than US$600,000 in ASPCA prize grants being awarded.

During the first two months of the contest, many shelters continued to try new methods of driving traffic to their adoption centers, such as by holding big adoption events, unique promotions and discounts on adoption fees.

"Not only are both the shelters and animals winning, but so are the new families," said Bert Troughton, vice president of community outreach for ASPCA. "We've heard from hundreds of new adopters who have submitted entries to this year's photo contest, proudly showing off photos of their newly adopted family pets...Watching these pets leave the shelter and start their new lives with their new families is what this contest is all about."

The 49 contestants are working to save more animals during the months of June, July and August than they did over the same period in 2012. The 2012 competition's shelters saved more than 56,000 cats and dogs during the contest, an increase of 14,376 over the same period in 2011.