Save The Date: Registration for Open Arms Challenge Opens Monday

Get ready! How does opening doors to new adopters and volunteers AND a chance at $200K in grant prizes sound? The Association, along with 14 other organizations, is thrilled to announced that registration for the Open Arms Challenge begins Monday, August 23. The Challenge, funded by Maddie’s Fund and Michelson Found Animals Foundation, encourages shelters and rescues to pilot new approaches that increase inclusivity through customer service, marketing and communications, organizational culture and partnership with other organizations.

Here’s a high-level look at what you need to know.

What: The Open Arms Challenge

Made Possible By: Maddie’s Fund & Michelson Found Animals Foundation

For Whom: Animal shelters and rescue organizations

Why: The goal of this Challenge is to provide a welcoming environment for all your community members and increase inclusivity through new programs, processes and approaches.

Registration: August 23 through August 30

Prep & Training: October 1 through November 21

Challenge Dates: November 22 through January 3, 2022

How:  Creating a more welcome environment and opening doors to new adopters and volunteers will look different for every organization. It can be as simple as providing literature in multiple languages or returning voicemails in a timely manner, all the way to running an adoptions campaign that promotes diversity via images and messaging, or completely overhauling your adoptions application. There will be lots of resources and inspo during the training period.

Ready to get started? Set a reminder to register on Monday, August 23, and visit the Open Arms Challenge for complete eligibility requirements, important dates, and resources.

Learn More

Open Arms Challenge
Results of Last Year’s Challenge: 1 Month, 10,366 Pets, 275 Orgs


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


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