Shelter Challenge FAQ

Questions about our new Shelter Challenge? We've tried to anticipate the most common questions here and will be expanding this page as we receive feedback.

Voting and Sharing FAQs

There may be a number of reasons why you can't vote!

First, check the dates on the Rules page of the Shelter Challenge. Is there a contest going on right now? If there is not an active Shelter Challenge going on right now, there will not be a vote button.

If you have confirmed that there is a current contest going on by looking at the Rules page, the next thing to check is: are you voting anonymously? If you or someone sharing your computer or network has already voted today, you may not be able to vote anonymously. (In some cases, it could be someone voting via your network at work or at the library.) The anonymous vote limitations are just one of our many measures to prevent cheating - which people write in about with concerns on a regular basis. To avoid this, create an account of your own. Your personal account will never be blocked from adding one vote per day (from 12:01 AM PT to 11:59 PM PT during an active voting period).

Have you tried all that and still don't see the vote button? Sometimes, your browser can "cache" information for hours, days, or even longer. Try clearing your browser cache and history. Then shut down your browser (give it enough time to shut down all the way), start it up, and try again.

If none of these measures work, then it's time to contact us, at We ask that you take a careful look at the above before doing so, however. We will try but cannot respond to every single email that comes in.


Is your group registered? If your group is missing, and is a 501(c)3 or municipal/county shelter that wishes to participate, please askt hem to register at the Shelter Registration page. If you are responsible for registering your rescue, please follow the instructions on that page and note that it takes up to six business days to verify shelter submitted.
GreaterGood has made a conscious decision to stop supporting outdated browsers. This became a choice between spending the money on supporting every version of a browser, or giving more money to shelters and rescue groups. We'd rather give more money to shelter and rescue groups. We do support the most recent versions of the top browsers, including Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer. If you are using an outdated version of any browser, however, your experience on our website may be affected; please consider updating your browser. If you are experiencing regular error messages, our tech team suggests clearing the cache completely, logging out of all pages, closing the browser, and then relaunching the browser.
No. You can still vote without creating an account. However, having an account will let you do more to support your favorite rescue group in upcoming Challenges, including recruiting others and participating in some of the mini-contests (like the story and recruiting contests). Also note that there are security restrictions on anonymous votes in order to keep the contest fair. If you are having difficulty voting anonymously, you may wish to consider creating an account.
Problems with a web page can be caused by many things — and we can better understand how to fix it if your email includes some basic information such as the type of browser used and whether or not you were logged into the site when the error occurred. Currently, we show more than 250 combinations of browsers, browser versions, and devices used to access and vote on this site. Unless you tell us which one you're using (browser, browser version, and device), we just aren't able to give you a very specific answer. We will use this information to improve the overall experience of this Challenge website for everyone. Obviously if it is a universal issue, it impacts all groups equally and does not impact just your group. We very much appreciate screenshots if you can take one. It helps our team identify problems more quickly. We do log all reports of issues, even if we are not able to respond to every email sent to us.
Shelter and Grant FAQ
The grants awarded from the Shelter Challenge are used for the care of rescued pets. Past winners have used these grants to pay for medical bills, feed their charges, spay or neuter animals, and to improve facilities housing the pets.
Yes! This is one of the most exciting new features of the Challenge. To do so, they just need to be logged in with the user account that their rescue group is registered under. Then edits can be made to the copy and image right on the page!
No. Groups who fail to provide the proper documentation as requested by will be disqualified and the grant will go to the group with the next highest vote total as outlined in the rules.
No. US-based groups who fail to provide the proper Tax ID (501c3 number or Municipal Shelter information, available on your annual 990 form to the IRS) at time of registration as requested by will not have their listing activated. When you provide that information, and when we have verified it, your listing will be activated. We do recognize that groups outside of the United States have different needs. Let us know if you are located outside the United States and need help with your registration. Please note that all emails concerning a shelter's or rescue group's registration must include the organization's name, physical address, and official email contact information. Emails without that information will be addressed after all others are answered.
If we haven't registered you within 10 business days of your email, it is likely that a vital piece of information was missing from your application. Please double-check your 501c3 number with the IRS (check your 990 form!); that's the usual culprit. If everything was filled in correctly, we recommend you send one more registration email (after 10 business days have elapsed) and a follow up to the Shelter Challenge admin email address. We cannot respond to registration emails directly.
If your organization won a regional award (state, International, US Territories, or Canada) in the last contest during the calendar year, you would not show up in the regional standings chart for the current Shelter Challenge because you can't win that category. You should be visible in other charts.
Cash grants normally are mailed within seven business days of the winner announcement. Delivery of other prizes such as pet beds can take up to sixty days after winners are announced. Distribution of all prizes is handled by If it is past this time period, an official representative of the winning group should contact for further assistance.
Still Can't Find the Answer?
You might try the Challenge's Facebook page. We answer questions there too! If you don't have a Facebook account, keep reading.
If you still have questions after reading this FAQ and checking the Facebook fan page, please feel free to contact our representative at If you're sending a message about a technical issue, be sure to include what type of browser that you use and attach a screenshot of the problem if you can. Please note, however, that we may not be able to respond to all emails due to volume. Emails from shelters will receive top priority.

Due to the sheer volume of emails, we are not able to respond to every one. Priority is given to emails coming from rescue groups and shelters who want to register or who are currently participating. If you are an official representative of an organization, please identify yourself and your group in your email for a faster answer.

We also try to respond to new emails asking a question* that is not answered in the FAQ or rules. Emails sent to other addresses may not make it through due to our spam filters. Putting multiple addresses in the "To:" part of your email can add to that problem. All emails concerning a shelter's or rescue group's registration or participation in the Challenge must include at minimum the organization's name and physical address. Emails without that information will be discarded if Shelter Challenge team cannot determine the name of the organization.

We cannot answer any questions about "my group" or "that group" without the proper name and location of the organization - imagine someone you've just met asking you, "What do you think of my baseball team?" You wouldn't be able to give a good answer without knowing the name of the team, the league, and the city. We're in the same boat!

*If you send us your opinion about something, we will log it but we may not answer it given the volume of email received. If you send the same email more than once, only one will receive an answer. Emails containing abusive language or threats directed at other participants or administrators of the Shelter Challenge may be deleted without response. If the same email is sent daily with abusive language, it will be deleted unread.

Shelter Challenge sponsor: