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Bangor Humane Society places third in running for $25K award

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BANGOR - It's been a busy fall for the Bangor Humane Society, which competed in this year's ASPCA Rachel Ray $100K Challenge. As part of the competition, the shelter and its staff were given the challenge of finding forever homes for 300 or more animals than the amount of animals they adopted out from Aug. through Oct. 31, 2011. And during the last month of the competition, the Bangor Humane Society discovered it was one of three shelters in the running for the challenge's $25,000 Community Engagement Award.

"If you hit the 300 adoption minimum, you automatically get $5,000. But if you hit the 300 adoption minimum and you're in the top three in votes, then the ASPCA judges look at what you've done [as an organization during the challenge] and award one of those top three shelters with $25,000," said Stacey Coventry, Bangor Humane Society public relations manager.

Last Friday, the ASPCA called the Bangor Humane Society with the unfortunate news that the shelter didn't win the top prize.

"I think we were the underdog going in and the fact that we placed third for an amazing award is huge," said Coventry. "When we started the challenge we knew it was a big goal. We hit our goal and then landed as a finalist for the engagement award and because of that we couldn't be more proud of our staff, our organization and our community who rallied around us and continues to do so."

Over the three month challenge, 1,209 animals were adopted from the Bangor Humane Society. Coventry said that amount of adoptions is one for the record books.

"Twelve hundred and nine lives is huge for this shelter. It has never been done in the history of the shelter, and while the staff is disappointed we didn't win [the award], they all remember each one of the 1,209 furry faces that are now in warm homes."

Although winning the $25,000 award would've benefitted the shelter in so many ways, Coventry said participating in the event was never about the money.

"We wanted the opportunity to save more lives and we did that. We wanted the opportunity to rally the community around pet adoption and we did that," said Coventry. "It would've been nice [to win the money] but it was never about money for us. It was about the animals and adopters who are now part of the BHS family. So I think everyone has won."

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