Friday, May 22, 2015

#Ad Purina Cat Chow Announces the Winner of the Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest!

This is a sponsored post, written by me on behalf of Purina.  Purina is not responsible for the content of this blog post.  All opinions are my own.

Back on March 5th I blogged about the Dearborn Animal Shelter being one of the finalists in the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest!

About The Contest:

As part of its “Building Better Lives” program, Purina Cat Chow conducted a contest in early 2015 to honor the “Shelter Volunteer of the Year.”  The contest recognized and thanked the volunteers who tirelessly care for cats as they await their forever homes and work to make their temporary shelter homes gentler, less stressful places.  The winning shelter – as determined by consumer voting and a judging panel – received a $25,000 shelter makeover to improve the cat adoption areas. Purina Cat Chow donated nearly $100,000 among the 50 participating shelters in recognition of their volunteers in cash donations, cat food and cat care supplies.

Purina Cat Chow asked its 50 shelter partners – one in every state, (I am proud to say that a shelter volunteer from a shelter that I feature frequently on both Dakota and Cody's blogs, The Dearborn Animal Shelter, was one of the finalists),  – to nominate a volunteer who spends countless hours providing additional support to lessen the stress on the cats and kittens in the shelters’ care while they await forever homes.  From Feb. 23 to March 15, Purina Cat Chow invited people nationwide to vote for their favorite volunteer story.  Individual votes and a judging panel determined the top shelter volunteer and four runners-up volunteers.  More than 272,000 votes were cast in support of the 50 shelter volunteers.

 Sue Barna, featured  on March 5th on our blog, a dedicated volunteer at The Dearborn Animal Shelter was one of the finalists. I reached out and asked for votes to help her win,  (A HUGE THANK YOU to those of you who voted!!), because to say that The Dearborn Animal Shelter is in dire need of a "make-over" and increased space, is an understatement. I visited them last November, so I know this, all too well.

As you can tell by the wording above, sadly, Sue and the Dearborn Animal Shelter did not win. That being said, it was an honor for the Dearborn Animal Shelter to be one of 50 cat-focused shelters nationwide that was recognized during the contest.

Photo courtesy of the Dearborn Animal Shelter.
  Sue Barna, pictured with one of her own cat family members

did not win the contest, but she is a proud volunteer!
The winner is announced below!

Every participating shelter will receive $1,000 donation, plus Purina Cat Chow Gentle Formula brand food and cat care supplies. The four runners-up shelters each receive an additional $5,000 donation.

Photo Courtesy Of  Purina Cat Chow

 The runners-up volunteers are:
Bob Anderson, Cat Adoption Team (Portland, Ore.)
Lauren Godail, Animal Rescue New Orleans (New Orleans)
Barrett Henderson, Atlanta Humane Society (Atlanta)

Desiree Muench, Hillside S.P.C.A. (Pottsville, Pa.)

Meet the Winner!!
 Liz Taranda
who volunteers at
 the Friends of Clifton (N.J.) Animal Shelter

Liz Taranda, Photo Courtesy of Purina Cat Chow
For more than 10 years, Liz has volunteered thousands of hours toward helping cats at the Clifton Animal Shelter feel comfortable while staying at the shelter and find forever homes. 

The improvements they will receive  include: front office renovations to improve guests’ and adopters’ experiences at the shelter; improvements to cat visitation areas; new windows for better insulation and ventilation; and fresh paint, furniture and epoxy coating on the floors.

 A team of Purina Cat Chow volunteers
 visited the shelter on May 19 to help with the renovation.

Photo Credit Purina Cat Chow

Photo Credit Purina Cat Chow

The final photo is of the newly finished lobby
 at The Clifton Animal Shelter. They did a great job!!

Photo Credit Purina Cat Chow

You can read more about Liz
 and the four-runners-up
 by visiting the Purina Cat Chow website/Building Better Lives.


  1. Congrats to the lucky shelter and the cats who call it home

  2. What a great program! I actually know a bit about the Clifton shelter because my aunt lives in a nearby town in New Jersey. All of the participating shelters sound wonderful!

    1. It IS a great program! That is so cool that you know a little about the shelter. I know A LOT about the one that didn't win lol!!!

  3. Congrats!!! Fabulous!
    ღ husky hugz ღ frum our pack at Love is being owned by a husky!

  4. Congrats To the winner and to all who pawticipated!

  5. ConCATs to the winners! They do so much for animals in need, and we thank them from the bottom of our hearts!

  6. How fabulous. Yes, I remember this contest. Way cool and congratulations to the winners. Both two and four legged winners.

    Have a fabulous day. Scritches to Cody. ♥♥♥

    1. love it, "both two-legged and four-legged winners" We agree! You have a fabulous day too! xoxo

  7. That looks like a great make over. It's hard for a shelter to raise the money for paint and furniture when they struggle to pay for vet bills, cat and dog food, electricity etc. But it raises the spirits of the staff, volunteers, and public which leads to more adoptions and happier animals.

    1. Hi Maggie! It is, we agree. It looks so pretty doesn't it? So fresh and clean!! Love your reasoning and I couldn't agree more! xoxo

  8. Such a nice post to honor them.

    Have a good weekend.

    Hugs, Busy and Knuckles

  9. Congratulations to the winner, and all the nominees. They are ALL champions, of you ask us! :)

  10. Concatulations to the winning shelter ! Purrs

  11. Congrats to the winning shelter! we know the "makeover" did wonders for both the critters and the volunteers and workers of that shelter :)

    the critters in the cottage xo

  12. Paws up to the Dearborn Animal Shelter for being a finalist. And congrats to the winning shelter. It looks fabulous!

  13. All those worthy shelters are deserving of winning...and they are all most honorable citizens who do that volunteering, endless hours and all for a good purr (and some licks and wags as well).

    Concats to the shelter that won. maybe your friend/volunteer should get a second local contest going?

  14. It's fantastic that so many shelters are getting a donation and the winning shelter gets such a nice makeover. Lots of animals will be helped by this campaign & the attention it brings.

  15. Oh Cody, this got mom's and my morning off to a great start. So glad for the winner and what a wonderful prize. xox

  16. A big concats to all the winners and everyone is in this contest!

  17. Concats to the worthy winners. In fact they are all worthy! Xxxxx

  18. ConCats to da winners. They did a pawsum job. And Concats to all of them fur helpin' so many kitties find furever homes.

    Luv ya'

    Dezi and Lexi

  19. Thank you Purina for all that you do to help shelter cats!

  20. Concats to the winners! There are so many deserving shelters and rescues out there. Nice looking makeover.

  21. Congratulations to the winners!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie


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