February 20, 2009

Sharon Fletcher, Director of Marketing & Communications

Top Prize Winners:

Michigan Humane Society, Detroit, MI-$20,000
Animal Friends, Pittsburg, PA-$20,000
Oregon Humane Society, Portland, OR-$20,000
Seattle Humane Society, Bellevue, WA-$15,000
Humane Society of Independence County, Batesville, AR-$15,000
Animal Welfare Association, Voorhees, NJ-$15,000
Tony La Russa's Animal Rescue Foundation, Walnut Creek, CA-$15,000
Capital Area Humane Society, Lansing, MI-$10,000
Willamette Humane Society, Salem, OR-$10,000
Senior Pets for Senior Folks, Sarasota County, FL-$10,000
Placer SPCA, Roseville, CA-$10,000
SPCA of Wake County, Raleigh, NC-$10,000

105 additional organizations will receive prize money ranging from $500 to $5,000 each.

A total of 186 traditional shelters, adoption guarantee organizations and animal control agencies entered the 2008 Maddie's Fund and Petfinder.com Marketing Competition, each describing their methods for adopting elderly, blind, deaf, plain and shy pets as well as dogs and cats with medical and behavioral problems.

Entries were judged on the marketing idea, implementation of the concept, number of animals placed, documentation of results, and size of the organization. Award winners will be notified by mail within the next several weeks. Top entries and summaries will be posted on the Maddie's Fund and Petfinder.com websites.

A little more about the top three:

Michigan Humane Society: Dubbed "The Race for the Right House," the Michigan Humane Society's campaign to get special needs pets into loving homes capitalized on the 2008 presidential election in a humorous and compelling way. There may not always be a hotly contested national election to inspire an adoption campaign, but a marketing plan tied to a current event that's already captured the attention of potential adopters is a good idea in any year.

Animal Friends: Piggybacking on the popularity and success of the "Red Hat Society" for women over 50, Animal Friends of Pittsburgh launched its "Red Collar Society" campaign, aimed at showing that there's a lot of life and love in senior pets. More than 500 adoptions later, it seems they were right.

Oregon Humane Society: When it comes to solving pet homelessness, there are those who ask, "What's in it for me?" Fortunately, the Oregon Humane Society in Portland had the answer. Pointing out that "we have more than enough pets to go around," it pledged to "End Petlessness" and bring the health and emotional benefits of pet ownership to petless people.

About Maddie's Fund

Maddie's Fund® is a family foundation established in 1994 by Dave and Cheryl Duffield and is the fulfillment of a promise to their inspirational dog, Maddie. She provided them much joy from 1987 – 1997 and continues to inspire them today.

The Foundation has awarded over $275.7 million in grants toward increased community lifesaving, pioneering shelter medicine education and establishing foster care as a standard across the U.S.

Maddie's Fund proudly offers the industry a national voice, important funding opportunities for bold ideas, learning resources and access to collaborate and share innovative solutions. The Foundation invests its resources in a commitment to keeping pets and people together, creating a safety net of care for animals in need and operating within a culture of inclusiveness and humility. #ThanksToMaddie.