The Humane Society of Carroll County asked for support and people in Carroll provided it, casting more than 6,000 votes — and donating more than $6,000 — for Killian the Jack Russell puppy, the humane society's competitor in the week long Puppy Playoffs. But despite the groundswell in support, Killian finished a close second when the contest ended on Super Bowl Sunday.
"Man it was a heartbreaker. We were hustling until the very end and we just came in shy," said Charles Brown, executive director of the Humane Society. "The winner was $6,318, and we were $6,034. The next closest was $2,000."
The Puppy Playoff was a week-long social media fundraising contest between 30 different animal shelters across the national, facilitated by D.C.-based fundraising company GoodWorld. Each shelter picked a cute animal to represent them in the contest, and people voted by making a donation through GoodWorld's social media technology, with each dollar raised counting as a one vote and a $500 grand prize going to the overall winner.
"The overall puppy bowl made $19,976 and more than half of that was generated by the top two competitors," Brown said. "We were very excited to see everybody rooting for little Killian and raising so much money."
Although Killian wasn't able to clinch first place, Brown said that the $6,034 raised for the Humane Society was nothing to sneeze at — it's a sum that will go a long way when it comes to funding spay and neuter operations — especially given where Killian Started: He had only $15 in donations and was languishing near the bottom of the leaderboard last Wednesday, the middle of the competition.
"We had a couple of big donations — we had $2,000 donation in one sum, we had a couple of $500 donations — but we had a whole lot of $20s and a whole lot of $5s as well," he said. "Every little bit counts. Those $5 [donations] really add up quick."
The Humane Society staff got really into the contest, monitoring and posting to social media all weekend, right up until midnight Monday morning, according to Brown.
"It does make it kind of a fun, almost like a team-building exercise — the first thing everybody was talking about this morning was strategies for next year," he said. "We will definitely be participating again."