Denton city officials and volunteers were ecstatic Friday morning upon hearing that the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation was voted sixth in the nation for adopting out 1,532 animals within a three-month period.
The foundation, a nonprofit volunteer group founded in 2006, entered the Denton Animal Shelter into the Rachael Ray Adoption Challenge earlier this year to increase adoptions at the shelter, located at 300 S. Woodrow Lane. The contest, according to city officials, started out with more than 200 entrants across the United States, and after a public vote, that number was reduced to 50 — one of those being the Denton facility.
“The number of animals we adopted was phenomenal on this size municipal shelter,” said Woody Wilson, animal services supervisor. “This includes adoptions and reclaimed animals.”
While it didn’t win the grand prize of $100,000 taken by San Antonio, Denton will receive a $5,000 grant for meeting the challenge’s goal of increasing adoptions by more than 300 in the three-month period — Aug. 1 through Oct. 31 — set by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
“Thanks to two supporters who entered the separate photo contest, we will get the grand prize of $2,000 plus the second prize of $1,000 in our nine-state region,” said Bette Sherman, chairwoman and co-founder of the Denton Animal Shelter Foundation.
During a small ceremony Friday morning, Denton Police Chief Lee Howell recognized animal services employees Gayla Nelson, Luis Paraco, Urbano Rodriguez and Juan Enriquez with plaques for their “above-and-beyond” management skills and hard work to help make the challenge successful.
“These guys helped manage the volunteers and took the brunt of all requests,” said Capt. Scott Fletcher. “I also gave all other employees a letter of recognition for their hard work. This couldn’t have been done without the full support of the city, volunteers and staff.”
MEGAN GRAY can be reached at 940-566-6885. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.