#NPLHC Update: 1 month, 10,366 pets, 275 orgs

“The community is eager to help find missing dogs by sharing social media posts and actually going out and looking for the dogs on their own.”

 “It was surprising to see how little effort was needed to increase our Return to Home rate, and how excited our staff was to participate in the Challenge.”

“Two weeks post-Challenge, we are finding that many people are still coming in to purchase collars and ID tags.”

Those are just a few of the unexpected aha! moments experienced by participants in the No Place Like Home Challenge. This past March 1 – March 31, qualifying municipal shelters, 501(c)(3) shelters, and rescues rose to the occasion and aimed to return as many pets to their homes as possible. 

The final results of the Challenge, co-funded by Michelson Found Animals Foundation and Maddie’s Fund in collaboration with 10 national animal welfare orgs (yup, The Association is one of ‘em), are nothing short of remarkable: 275 animal organizations across 44 states helped 10,366 pets find their way home.

Grant prizes totaling $150,000 were given for the best overall programs, most successful use of common Return to Home practices, and exceptional initiatives; through a random drawing, ten orgs were also awarded $1K grants.

Join us in shouting out the winners and their communities:

Best Overall Effort/Robust Programs ($5K each)

  • 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
Meet Baby, one of the doggos returned to home during the Challenge by Animal Care & Control Team of Philadelphia. Congrats to ACCT Philly on their $5K grant for Best Overall Effort/Robust Program.

Most Effective Use of Common Return to Home Resources ($3K each)


  • 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

Marketing 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

Embracing 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

Working with Community 

  • 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


  • 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


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

Return in Field

  • 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 ($2K each)

  • 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

Here’s the complete list of winners, including the organizations who won the random drawings and prizes from Adoptomize and The Association.

The Association is the only international society of leaders actively leading and managing community animal shelters/animal control agencies.

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