There’s No Place Like Home for Pets Missing Their Families!

The No Place Like Home Challenge, our first ever Return to Home (traditionally known as "Return to Owner”) challenge, was all about reuniting pets with their families! The challenge was funded by Maddie’s Fund® and Michelson Found Animals Foundation, in collaboration with Adoptimize, the ASPCA, The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, Best Friends Animal Society, HeARTS Speak, the Humane Society of the United States, National Animal Care and Control Association and Petco Foundation.

The No Place Like Home Challenge ran during March 2021 and was open to organizations who wanted to start or expand their Return to Home program for dogs and cats using our common return to home practices as guidelines. Return to Home programs considered were those that actively reunited the animal with their owner in the field or before adoption, transfer or other outcomes.

Results

A total of 237 organizations participated in the No Place Like Home Challenge and collectively completed 10,366 reunions (9,867 dogs and 499 cats)!

Please help us congratulate our winners! Maddie’s Fund and Michelson Found Animals Foundation awarded prizes for the best overall programs, use of common return to home practices, and Bravo Awards, plus 10 random winners, as follows.

Best Overall Effort/Robust Programs: $5,000 Grant

  • Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, PA
  • Cabot Animal Support Services, AR
  • Department of Animal Services El Paso, TX
  • Lifeline Animal Project, GA
  • Maui Humane Society, HI

Most Effective Use of Return to Home Menu Items: $3,000 Grant

All Animals in the Community Have Identification

  • City of Charlotte, NC
  • Haywood County Animal Shelter, NC
  • Oahu Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, HI
  • Tehama County Animal Services, CA
  • Washoe County Regional Animal Services, NV

Return to Home Policies and Lost/Found Techniques are Marketed to the Community

  • Animal Rescue League of Iowa, IA
  • Harris County Shelter, TX
  • Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, FL
  • Jacksonville Humane Society, FL
  • Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, AL

Organization Embraces a Culture of Return to Home

  • Animal Shelter Action Society, Inc., KY
  • Bainbridge Decatur County Humane Society, GA
  • Peoria County Animal Protection Services, IL
  • Salt Lake County Animal Services, UT
  • Santa Barbara County Animal Services, CA

Organization Works with Community to Help Facilitate Return to Homes

  • Animal Rez-Q, Inc., AZ
  • Laredo Animal Protective Society, TX
  • Marin Humane, CA
  • Oconee County Animal Shelter, GA
  • Pet Adoption League of Gem County, ID

Technology is Used to Help Reunite Pets and Owners

  • Castle of Dreams Animal Rescue, NJ
  • Contra Costa County Animal Services, CA
  • Joplin Humane Society, Inc, MO
  • Montgomery County Animal Care and Adoption Center, VA
  • Portsmouth Humane Society, VA

Regulations and Laws Encourage Return to Home

  • Conway Area Humane Society, NH
  • Madera County Animal Services, CA
  • Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA, VA
  • Sand Springs Animal Welfare, OK
  • Ulster County SPCA, NY

Animals are Returned in the Field Rather than at the Shelter

  • Brandywine Valley SPCA, PA
  • Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, OH
  • Oakland Animal Services, CA
  • Santa Rosa County Animal Services, FL
  • St. Tammany Parish Dept. of Animal Services, LA

Bravo Awards: $2,000 Grant

  • Next-Level Microchip Clinic: Animal Shelter of Sullivan County, TN
  • Partnerships with Local Businesses: Best Friends for Life, TX
  • Interdepartmental Cross-Training: Cherokee County Animal Shelter, GA
  • Fastest Return: Harker Heights Pet Adoption Center, TX
  • Incorporating RTH into Mission: Its Meow or Never for Ferals, FL

Random Drawings: $1,000 Grant

  • Abandoned Animal Rescue (AAR), TX
  • AZ Center for Animal Rescue and Education, AZ
  • City of Cleveland Animal Care & Control, OH
  • Fairfield County Dog Adoption Center & Shelter, OH
  • Humane Society of Cowlitz County, S.P.C.A, WA
  • Humane Society of Valdosta/Lowndes County, GA
  • Kansas City Pet Project, MO
  • Kershaw County Humane Society, SC
  • Seattle Animal Shelter, WA
  • Yavapai Humane Society, AZ

Prizes from Adoptimize

25% increase in Cat RTH with Adoptimize: $50 Grant from Adoptimize

  • Blue Mountain Humane Society, WA
  • Marin Humane Society, CA
  • Yavapai Humane, AZ

Largest improvement with Return To Home with Adoptimize: $500 Grant from Adoptimize

  • Foothills Humane, NC

If your organization is listed here as a winner and you have not heard from Adoptimize, please email jessica.schleder@adoptimize.co.

Prizes from The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement

The following organizations won a free registration for their Spring 2021 Conference:

  • Ames Animal Shelter, IA
  • Animal Allies Humane Society, MN
  • Animal Care of Davis County, UT
  • Animal Rescue League of Berks County, PA
  • Animal Shelter Action Society, Inc., KY
  • Animal Shelter of Sullivan County Inc, TN
  • Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, VA
  • Beebe Animal Services, AR
  • Brandywine Valley SPCA, PA
  • Center for Animal Rescue & Enrichment of St. Louis, MO
  • City of Charlotte, NC
  • Dallas Police Department, OR
  • Desoto Parish Animal Shelter, LA
  • Everett Animal Shelter, WA
  • Fairfield County Dog Adoption Center & Shelter, OH
  • Foothills Humane Society, NC
  • Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, OH
  • Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit, MI
  • Front Street Animal Shelter, CA
  • Galveston County Animal Resource Center, TX
  • Greenville County Animal Care, SC
  • Guilford County Animal Services, NC
  • Harris County Animal Shelter, TX
  • Hawaiian Humane Society, HI
  • Haywood County Animal Shelter, NC
  • Humane Society of Charles County, MD
  • Humane Society of Pagosa Springs, CO
  • Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, FL
  • Kauai Humane Society, HI
  • Kent County Animal Shelter, MI
  • Lee County Humane Society, AL
  • Los Angeles Animal Services, CA
  • Memphis Animal Services, TN
  • Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department, FL
  • Murray County Animal Shelter, GA
  • Noah's Ark SPCA, TX
  • Pearl River County SPCA, MS
  • Pets Under Police Security, MN
  • Pinellas County Animal Services, FL
  • Riverside County Department of Animal Services, CA
  • Sand Springs Animal Welfare, OK
  • Seattle Animal Shelter, WA
  • Siskiyou Humane Society, CA
  • Solano County Sheriff’s Office Animal Care, CA
  • South Bend Animal Resource Center, IN
  • Tallahassee Animal Services, FL
  • Tri-Lakes Humane Society, NY
  • Washoe County Regional Animal Services, NV
  • Williamson County Regional Shelter, TX
  • Wilson County Animal Control, TN

The following organizations won a free one-year membership for The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement:

  • Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia, PA
  • Blue Mountain Humane Society, WA
  • Brandywine Valley SPCA, PA
  • Cabot Animal Support Services, AR
  • Cherokee County Animal Shelter, GA
  • City of Charlotte, NC
  • Department of Animal Services El Paso, TX
  • Franklin County Dog Shelter and Adoption Center, OH
  • Jacksonville Animal Care & Protective Services, FL
  • Lifeline Animal Project, GA
  • Maui Humane Society, HI
  • Peoria County Animal Protection Services, IL
  • Rockingham/Harrisonburg SPCA, VA
  • Salt Lake County Animal Services, UT
  • Sand Springs Animal Welfare, OK
  • Santa Barbara County Animal Services, CA
  • St. Tammany Parish Dept. of Animal Services, LA
  • Tehama County Animal Services, CA
  • Tuscaloosa Metro Animal Shelter, AL
  • Ulster County SPCA, NY

If your organization is listed here as a winner and you have not heard from The Association for Animal Welfare Advancement, please email kcunningham@theaawa.org.

If you missed the No Place Like Home Challenge but still want to start or expand your Return to Home Program, check out these resources.