The announcement was made on today’s Rachael Ray Show, with Angel’s Gate Hospice awarded $50,000 and runner-up, Last Chance Ranch, receiving $25,000
NEW YORK, NY DECEMBER 24, 2009 - Angel’s Gate Hospice & Rehabilitation Home for Animals, has an extra reason to celebrate this holiday season. The Delhi, NY animal charity was named the winner in Rachael Ray’s “Mutt Madness Awards Program” and received a cash donation of $50,000. Ray made the announcement on today’s Rachael Ray Show.
In August, the daytime television host and best selling author announced she was looking for a few good pets to become the beneficiaries of more than $200,000 in proceeds from the sale of her NutrishÔ pet food. More than 550 organizations applied and 64 of the most deserving were picked to participate in the first Mutt Madness program.
“Dad’s Pet Care and I are thrilled our first Mutt Madness was such a huge success,” said Ray. “The level of compassion and hard work shown by our finalists, Last Chance Ranch and Angel’s Gate Hospice, was completely deserving of the prize money and personally, touched my heart.”
Public voting for the final round was held November 24-30. With nearly 5,000 votes cast, Angel’s Gate Hospice overcame Last Chance Ranch, Inc. of Quakertown, PA to win the grand prize, with Last Chance Ranch receiving $25,000 for the second place finish.
Winning charity, Angel’s Gate Hospice was founded in 1993 by Susan Marino to provide a warm and loving home for special needs animals to live out their days. Currently, the 100-acre facility is home to nearly 400 animals and has recently noticed the donations, it depends on to continue operations, have dwindled.
“Our donations are down and people are struggling in this economy,” said Marino. “Mutt Madness was a great opportunity for charities like ours to get some much needed funds and a fun way for people to help without having to dig into their pockets. God bless Rachael Ray for doing this.”
Marino has already put her prize money to work. This month the foundation was laid for “Rachael’s Kitchen”, a new addition to Angel’s Gate where the animals will be fed and cared for by staff and volunteers. It’s scheduled to open in early 2010.
“This competition gave smaller charities that don’t have major corporate funding a chance for donations and a greater public awareness,” added Marino. “I researched every one of my competitors and there are some charities out there that I hope to personally support in the future.”
Mutt Madness runner-up, Last Chance Ranch, has been rescuing, rehabilitating and finding homes for horses, dogs and other animals for more than 20 years. Run entirely by volunteers, the organization has been operating as a non-profit since 1998. The charity applied for the awards program in the hopes of receiving money for a new kennel, to continue their work with dogs.
“I was shocked to find out we had made it to the finals,” said Lori McCutcheon, Founder and President of Last Chance Ranch. “You enter so many contests just hoping for some extra cash to stay open, but I don’t think you ever imagine this happening. It’s wonderful. No matter which charity came out on top, we all win, because the animals win. And that’s what it’s all about.”
Nearly 550 pet charities across the country applied for the first-ever Mutt Madness Awards Program. In October, a panel of celebrity judges chose 64 applicants to participate in the bracket-like competition. To see the other charities that participated in Mutt Madness visit www.rachaelray.com/muttmadness.
Each participating organization received $1,000, with charities receiving an additional $1,000 donation every time they won their pairing and move on to the next round. Through the Mutt Madness Awards Program, Rachael Ray distributed more than $200,000 to pet charities across the country.
About Angel’s Gate Hospice & Rehabilitation Home for Animals
Angel's Gate is a residential, non-profit, 501 (C) 3 home for special needs animals. Here, animals many of whom are terminally and / or critically ill or physically challenged, come to live out their days in peace, dignity and love. Their focus is on wellness and quality of life. Angel’s Gate provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each animal, taking a holistic approach in animal care, giving all needed support services including hospice care.
About Last Chance Ranch
Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, Inc. (LCR) is a public volunteer, non-profit organization rescuing and rehabilitating horses and domestic companion animals. Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue is dedicated to promoting and educating the public to humane and responsible treatment of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules (equines) and other domestic companion animals. They provide a safe and secure refuge for abused, unwanted or neglected animals. LCR rehabilitates the physical and psychological issues of these rescued animals, and places them into new homes where they receive the love they deserve, while LCRs follow-up program ensures the animals continued well being.
About Rachael Ray™ Nutrish
In 2008, Rachael partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a company formed by Dad’s Pet Care and Hampshire Pet Products, to develop a line of super premium dog food and treats called Rachael Ray™ Nutrish. Rachael’s proceeds from each sale have been donated to support Rachael’s Rescue (www.rachaelsrescue.org), which is dedicated to helping at-risk animals through adoption, medical care and educational programs, along with training and outreach initiatives.
Rachael Ray Nutrish includes two varieties of natural dog food featuring real meat as the first ingredient – Real Chicken and Veggies and Real Beef and Brown Rice. There are no by-products, fillers, artificial flavors or preservatives.
About Rachael Ray
Rachael Ray is best known as the host of the hit syndicated Emmy Award winning daytime television show “Rachael Ray” produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Rachael’s warmth, energy, and boundless curiosity also reaches scores of fans through her popular Food Network shows, bestselling cookbooks published by Clarkson Potter, her own line of Rachael Ray cookware created by Meyer, knives by Furitechnics, signature food ingredients by Colavita and lifestyle magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray. In 2007, Rachael launched the Yum-o! organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. For more information, visit www.rachaelray.com.
About Ainsworth Pet Nutrition
At Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, we love our furry family members as much as you do. That’s why we’re committed to making great-tasting nutritious pet foods and treats. We demand high-quality ingredients from our suppliers and require thorough resting to ensure product safety. We are committed to producing outstanding products every day and take great pride in ensuring our foods are wholesome, and most importantly, safe.
Ainsworth Pet Nutrition’s purpose is to focus strictly on developing high-end super premium pet food products that deliver superior nutrition and taste. It is a partnership with DAD’S Pet Care, owned by the Lang family and Hampshire Pet Products who have been making pet food for over 75 years.