Pet Lovers

Mutt Madness Winners Announced!


The announcement was made on today’s Rachael Ray Show, with Angel’s Gate Hospice awarded $50,000 and runner-up, Last Chance Ranch, receiving $25,000

NEW YORK, NY DECEMBER 24, 2009 – Angel’s Gate Hospice & Rehabilitation Home for Animals, has an extra reason to celebrate this holiday season. The Delhi, NY animal charity was named the winner in Rachael Ray’s “Mutt Madness Awards Program” and received a cash donation of $50,000. Ray made the announcement on today’s Rachael Ray Show.

In August, the daytime television host and best selling author announced she was looking for a few good pets to become the beneficiaries of more than $200,000 in proceeds from the sale of her NutrishÔ pet food.  More than 550 organizations applied and 64 of the most deserving were picked to participate in the first Mutt Madness program.

“Dad’s Pet Care and I are thrilled our first Mutt Madness was such a huge success,” said Ray. “The level of compassion and hard work shown by our finalists, Last Chance Ranch and Angel’s Gate Hospice, was completely deserving of the prize money and personally, touched my heart.”

Public voting for the final round was held November 24-30. With nearly 5,000 votes cast, Angel’s Gate Hospice overcame Last Chance Ranch, Inc. of Quakertown, PA to win the grand prize, with Last Chance Ranch receiving $25,000 for the second place finish.

Winning charity, Angel’s Gate Hospice was founded in 1993 by Susan Marino to provide a warm and loving home for special needs animals to live out their days. Currently, the 100-acre facility is home to nearly 400 animals and has recently noticed the donations, it depends on to continue operations, have dwindled.

“Our donations are down and people are struggling in this economy,” said Marino.  “Mutt Madness was a great opportunity for charities like ours to get some much needed funds and a fun way for people to help without having to dig into their pockets. God bless Rachael Ray for doing this.”

Marino has already put her prize money to work. This month the foundation was laid for “Rachael’s Kitchen”, a new addition to Angel’s Gate where the animals will be fed and cared for by staff and volunteers. It’s scheduled to open in early 2010.

“This competition gave smaller charities that don’t have major corporate funding a chance for donations and a greater public awareness,” added Marino. “I researched every one of my competitors and there are some charities out there that I hope to personally support in the future.”

Mutt Madness runner-up, Last Chance Ranch, has been rescuing, rehabilitating and finding homes for horses, dogs and other animals for more than 20 years. Run entirely by volunteers, the organization has been operating as a non-profit since 1998. The charity applied for the awards program in the hopes of receiving money for a new kennel, to continue their work with dogs.

“I was shocked to find out we had made it to the finals,” said Lori McCutcheon, Founder and President of Last Chance Ranch. “You enter so many contests just hoping for some extra cash to stay open, but I don’t think you ever imagine this happening. It’s wonderful.  No matter which charity came out on top, we all win, because the animals win. And that’s what it’s all about.”

Nearly 550 pet charities across the country applied for the first-ever Mutt Madness Awards Program. In October, a panel of celebrity judges chose 64 applicants to participate in the bracket-like competition. To see the other charities that participated in Mutt Madness visit

Each participating organization received $1,000, with charities receiving an additional $1,000 donation every time they won their pairing and move on to the next round. Through the Mutt Madness Awards Program, Rachael Ray distributed more than $200,000 to pet charities across the country.

About Angel’s Gate Hospice & Rehabilitation Home for Animals

Angel’s Gate is a residential, non-profit, 501 (C) 3 home for special needs animals. Here, animals many of whom are terminally and / or critically ill or physically challenged, come to live out their days in peace, dignity and love. Their focus is on wellness and quality of life. Angel’s Gate provides for the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of each animal, taking a holistic approach in animal care, giving all needed support services including hospice care.

About Last Chance Ranch

Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue, Inc. (LCR) is a public volunteer, non-profit organization rescuing and rehabilitating horses and domestic companion animals. Last Chance Ranch Animal Rescue is dedicated to promoting and educating the public to humane and responsible treatment of horses, ponies, donkeys, mules (equines) and other domestic companion animals. They provide a safe and secure refuge for abused, unwanted or neglected animals. LCR rehabilitates the physical and psychological issues of these rescued animals, and places them into new homes where they receive the love they deserve, while LCRs follow-up program ensures the animals continued well being.

About Rachael RayTM Nutrish

In 2008, Rachael partnered with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, a company formed by Dad’s Pet Care and Hampshire Pet Products, to develop a line of super premium dog food and treats called Rachael RayTM Nutrish.  Rachael’s proceeds from each sale have been donated to support Rachael’s Rescue (, which is dedicated to helping at-risk animals through adoption, medical care and educational programs, along with training and outreach initiatives.

Rachael Ray Nutrish includes two varieties of natural dog food featuring real meat as the first ingredient – Real Chicken and Veggies and Real Beef and Brown Rice. There are no by-products, fillers, artificial flavors or preservatives.

About Rachael Ray

Rachael Ray is best known as the host of the hit syndicated Emmy Award winning daytime television show “Rachael Ray” produced by CBS Television Distribution in association with Harpo Productions, Scripps Networks and Watch Entertainment. Rachael’s warmth, energy, and boundless curiosity also reaches scores of fans through her popular Food Network shows, bestselling cookbooks published by Clarkson Potter, her own line of Rachael Ray cookware created by Meyer, knives by Furitechnics, signature food ingredients by Colavita and lifestyle magazine Everyday with Rachael Ray. In 2007, Rachael launched the Yum-o! organization, a nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. For more information, visit

About Ainsworth Pet Nutrition

At Ainsworth Pet Nutrition, we love our furry family members as much as you do. That’s why we’re committed to making great-tasting nutritious pet foods and treats. We demand high-quality ingredients from our suppliers and require thorough resting to ensure product safety. We are committed to producing outstanding products every day and take great pride in ensuring our foods are wholesome, and most importantly, safe.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition’s purpose is to focus strictly on developing high-end super premium pet food products that deliver superior nutrition and taste. It is a partnership with DAD’S Pet Care, owned by the Lang family and Hampshire Pet Products who have been making pet food for over 75 years.


Charlie Dougiello

The Door


17 Responses to “Mutt Madness Winners Announced!”

  1. alsways loved you Rachel ever since I 1st caught you on the Travel chanel years, when you used to go around the world & taste everything?!! GOD bless you & your’s, for your GREAT growth +++!! AND especally Isaboo!! For what you do for dog’s & ALL great CREATURES!!! I used to have have 3, but down to 1- w/aGE MESS, & my other 1/2-but/he’s the one w/the problem! Jake was my B-day present in 2004,++ my little PRESENT to me/us after loosing my Dad-’04/Mom-’05 just before my b-day!We went local shelter adopted JAKE! We firmly believe in this due to ALL that I’ve seen delt w/in life. I/we have no children, my DOGS are my kid’s I/we couldn’t have them-SOOO! I buy/use your products-Jake loves it ALL!! I LOVE-keep up the GOOD work/GOOD LUCK for the New Year

  2. Paula Marchionno says:

    How endearing this is….Many of my friends do not have children, and many are also are from a one child family…as we are entering our golden years so they say. We have come to wonder what we want to do with our assets when we have our wills prepared.

    I personally will be meeting with my financial advisor, this week to redo my will and such…and get lifes pieces in order as I approach 60.

    I would love there to be a list of organizations and their priorities so we could (those of us who have animals that are our children) to bequeath our assets to those choices of vital organizations for helpless animals in need …. hoping the estate tax doesn’t take half of it. What do you think? Rachael is America, as Mario Barali would say!

  3. Linda & Roger Fosbenner says:

    We followed your Mutt Maddness contest voting for Last Chance Ranch, located in my husband’s hometown. We have a paint horse farm, not far from Last Chance. Roger barrel races and I am head of pit crew! As things went along Roger began to look at the Last Chance site under horses that need to be adopted. We found the cutest paint-arab-quarterhorse mix named Blaze. Since he is only 4 and complelty green finding a forever home for him had been a little challenging for Last Chance. Today Blaze joined our family!! We are completly taken with his good looks and loving personality. We plan to teach him to barrel race in a few years. It was pointed out by Last Chance, every animal someone adopts actually helps two, as they now have room to rescue another horse. Thank you for running the contest. You would be very happy to see how well Last Chance Ranch cares for the critters! Their staff and volunteers are the best!!
    Roger and Linda Fosbenner, Hereford, Pa.

  4. B D says:

    I am so excited for both rescues as they are both so deserving. This is a wonderful thing you are doing, and I do hope you continue with such a great contest and help for doggies.

    I have the utmost respect for Last Chance Ranch and their kind handling of all sorts of animals.

    Also, I am so very glad to hear that Blaze was adopted even though this contest is named “Mutt Madness”

    Good luck to Blaze, Linda, Roger, and Blaze’s replacement at the ranch..and all the Mutts and animals too.

  5. Lisa says:

    I am also from upstate New York, and spent much of my childhood at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains. I was wondering what town/city you are from up there??
    I looked in your bio, and only saw Albany/Schenectady mentioned.
    Thank you,
    Pittsburgh, PA

  6. frank fieger says:

    I love you Rachael, your a great cook.

  7. Nelly says:

    I have a great story to share. I have an 11yr shitzu named “precious” she is obviously aging, lost vision from one of her eyes and her skin has become extremely sensitive, she’s constantly scratching her body almost non-stop. Being concerned, I took her to the vet last summer, he put her on antibiotics, and also told me to put her on a healthy food diet, so I’m off to my local market searching for something healthy & practical, I couldn’t believe when I saw your Nutrish dog product I was thrilled, and because I’m such a huge fan of your 30mnt meal I obviously purchased the product. The happy ending to this story is that I’ve never seen my dog enjoy her food so much, she stands by her plate 2hrs before feeding, once she’s done she continues to chew up in the air with such a loud sound as to salavate every taste & flavor. In addition, I have 2 other dogs,so she goes around licking their plates thinking she’s going to find more food. It’s so hilarious and funny to watch. I’m glad that you put out this produt and how wonderful that the proceeds “help animals in need”…thank you:)

  8. maria says:

    Hey Rach – God bless you for focusing on the animals in need. Being a celebrity you could bring so much to what ever charity your choose- I have admired you since your start and am so glad that you have helped raise awareness for the neglected, abused, suffering animals in our world. I know there are many many charities for people – and I contribute to them. BUT there aren’t that many for the animals that we domesticate, make part of families, and that need our help. They need a voice and thank you for being there! Maria

  9. Jackie says:

    This was a great thing Rachael!!! Will there be another contest and if so when will it start and when can the groups start signing up? This is a great way to make the public aware of what is happening to helpless, innocent pets!

  10. Carol Longman says:

    Dear Rachel,
    Did you know that you can vote for Purrs and Paws Cat and Kitten Rescue in Lake George every day on the
    Animal Rescue Site? I know that when you come here for the Alumni show part of the proceeds go to George’s,
    but you could suggest to the hoards of fans who attend
    the show that they visit that site every day, click to
    feed shelter animals and vote for Purrs and Paws.
    Coming from you would make a more lasting impression.
    Thank you on behalf of all God’s creatures who can’t
    speak for themselves!

  11. Carmen says:

    02/09/2010 try Estoven for hot flashes, I’ve been using it for years NO hot flashes!

  12. Patricia Petisce says:

    Rachel, You Are without a doubt, A blessing and a God Sent in this world. You have a heart as big as Texas, never mind NY. what you do for people, Animals and even Cities, Like the City you made a dream come true for ThanksGiving. remodeled the kitchen,DinningRoom and Made that towns Thanksgiving come True. Provided with your sponor,s help, all the food and cooked it for all those people was just so touching, I cried the whole show. God Bless you for all that you do for the people in this world and the Animals.May he Bless you Ten Fold! Love you Rachel and your Show.

  13. Susan says:

    Dear Rachel, Ashamed to say I missed everything on the TV regarding Mutt Madness, things get hetic…but did catch a commerical last week about the new dog food and got here! Thank you for thinking of our fur friends. Will try to be more aware of any upcoming contests. We are a small non profit,covering a large rural area, operating on donations and volunteers.
    Susan in Wyoming

  14. Christa in Idaho says:


    I think you are amazing and am so happy to see that there is a celebrity that is showing kindness towards animals rather than running dog fighting rings. My animals are my children and when I found your dog food I was so overjoyed at the thought of an all natural dog food whose proceeds went to such a wonderful cause. I wish there were more people like you in the world. I have told so many people about you and your product and they are all in love with it. Thank you and please keep giving to the animals and drawing attention to such a wonderful cause!

  15. eric says:

    my friend trains service dogs for autistic children. can you help her out with a plug or something? she is a really good person. her name is priss. her web is autismservicedogsofamerica thanks…i love you show!!!!


  16. Thank you for making Nutrish! My mini-schanauzer Jasper has been very picky about his dry food. I have tried many different ones. He got very sick from his liver last week so he would not eat. The first few days in the hospital I didn’t think he would make it. But he did thanks to all the meds and his good doctor!!!! I have him home now!!!! But try getting him to eat the special dry food for his liver did not work. Thats when I decided to try yours and he likes it!!!!! Iam so glad. Thank You again for making this dog food!!!!

  17. Rachel:
    You’re so terrific to help needy animals. I so admire people in the public eye who use their fame and fortune to help shelter animals. We have such a huge problem in this country and your devotion to the cause makes such a difference.

    Deborah Blumenthal

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