Rachael Ray announces Mutt Madness program

NEW YORK, NY AUGUST 6, 2009 – Daytime television host and best selling author Rachael Ray is looking for a few good pets become the beneficiaries of more than $200,000 in proceeds from the sale of her Nutrish® pet food. Starting today she will launch the first ever “Mutt Madness Awards Program” to find the most deserving charitable organizations in America, which have demonstrated exceptional commitment to pet rescue, rehabilitation or adoption. 

Charities, with 501(c)(3) status that employ no-kill practices, can go here and fill out a questionnaire about their organization, the work they do and why they should be considered for a Mutt Madness Award. The submission process will close on September 30, 2009 when Rachael will convene a star-studded panel of animal lovers to narrow the field down to the top 64 candidate organizations. Panel members include; Double Emmy winner and Grammy nominated Chicago native Kathy Griffin, author, model and animal rights advocate Beth Ostrosky Stern, one of New York magazine’s “Best Vets,” Dr. Peter Harris Kross and of course, Rachael herself.

“We are so excited to launch ‘Mutt Madness,’ which we know is going to be an amazing way to build awareness around the great people and organizations out there that do everything they can to protect and care for animals,” said Rachael. “I started Rachael Ray Nutrish with Ainsworth Pet Nutrition to not only provide a great and healthy pet food to consumers, but as a way to raise funds that can be used to help pets in need. Mutt Madness is now our vehicle to spread the wealth around.”

Once the 64 are chosen and announced they will be randomly assigned spots in the Mutt Madness brackets and receive $1000.00. In the first round, charities will be judged head-to-head by visitors to the site with the charities receiving the most votes moving on to the next level. The winners of each pairing will be announced and the Mutt Madness field will be cut from 64 to 32. 

Charities will receive an additional $1000 donation every time they win their pairing and move on to the next round. Four more rounds of match-ups and voting will take place before there are two charities are left standing. The final voting showdown is worth a donation of $25,000 to the second place finisher and $50,000 to the grand award winner, which will be announced in early December.

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 Ray 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.

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