Animal Outreach Director Maggie Killackey weighs a kitten transferred from Sac City Animal Services because it was too small to be accepted into their own program. Most municipal shelters euthanize kittens under 2 pounds. Courtesy photo

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Animal Outreach competes for ASPCA/Rachael Ray grant

DIAMOND SPRINGS — An El Dorado County animal shelter has qualified to compete for $100,000 and other monetary grants from the ASPCA/Rachael Ray Foundation $100K Challenge, thanks to more than 14,000 votes from supporters over a 12-day period.

Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode ranked 15th out of 104 shelters nationwide, competing with some of the largest shelters in the country in terms of vote-getting.

“I am just blown away at the amount of support we received from the Sacramento-area community,” said Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode Director Maggie Killackey. “To be up there with some of the biggest shelters in the country is kind of humbling.”

Killackey says the hard work is now just beginning.

Each of the 50 groups remaining in the competition now must adopt out at least 300 more pets from August through the end of October than they did for the same period last year. That means Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode will have to find adoptive parents for at least 865 pets in the three-month period.

“We’d like to strive to save 1,000 dogs and cats. Studies show there are more homes seeking to adopt a new pet than there are pets in the shelters. This campaign will help us promote adopting from shelters whether it be Animal Outreach or any of our adoption partners, like El Dorado County Animal Services or City of Sacramento Animal Care, that are overburdened and are faced with killing for space limitations,” said Community Outreach and Operations Manager Kathy Anderson.

Two local El Dorado County businesses, Togs for Dogs in El Dorado Hills and Pampering Pickle in Placerville, have committed to offering pet adoptions at their locations to help Animal Outreach win this challenge.

Ultimately, the group that places the largest number of pets will win the $100,000 prize. However, prizes will be awarded for other things. For example, the shelters that save the most additional lives in each of the five designated divisions in the U.S. will win $20,000, the shelter that does the most to engage community support will win $35,000, and the shelters that achieve the biggest increase in lives saved in each Division will win $10,000.

“Obviously, $100,000 would be nice, but any of those prizes would be huge for us,” said Killackey. “We are a non-profit that must rely on donations to continue our efforts.”

“Facebook engagement is how we are judged for the Community Outreach award,” said Anderson.  “We post our successes and our needs daily and need the community to share and participate.” Their FB name is and website is

Last year Animal Outreach of the Mother Lode provided homes for more than 2,500 animals and performed more than 10,000 low-cost spays, neuters or vaccinations.

Special to Village Life


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