Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mutt Madness Contest!

BRAT is thrilled to have been accepted into Rachael Ray’s Mutt Madness Contest! This is an elimination bracket contest similar to March Madness (college basketball) in which BRAT is paired each week against other rescue groups. By virtue of being selected for the contest, BRAT has already won $1000. However, we now have the opportunity to win an additional $1000 each week for the next 4 weeks, and if we can stay in the contest all the way to the end, the Grand Prize is $50,000 and second place is $25,000!

How it works:
Starting on Tuesday, October 13th, each week BRAT will be paired against one other dog rescue group, and you will have the opportunity to vote for us to win the round against that group. If we win the round, we get $1000, and we move to the next round where we will be paired against another dog rescue group. The object is to win against our competitor each week so we don't get eliminated from the contest. If we can stay in until the very last round, we can win the Grand Prize and get $50,000 to help rescue basenjis! Here's what it looks like:

How to Vote:

1. Login - If you haven't already, register with or login if you have an account.

2. Select Rescues - Each week (beginning on Tuesdays) you can vote for BRAT and your other favorite candidates to stay in the Mutt Madness contest. Note: You can't just vote for BRAT by itself; you have to vote for one rescue group from EACH of the brackets to have your vote count. Click on the brackets to learn more about each rescue organization by reading their profile pages. Then vote for your favorite selections by checking the box next to their name on the Voting page. Advice: Read about all the groups first, then vote, because a glitch in the system may cause your incomplete voting selections to erase if you leave the page to read about other groups.

3. Submit Vote - When you've selected one candidate from each bracket, click "Submit" on the bottom of the page to have your vote counted. If you try submitting your vote and it won’t go through, check to be sure that you’ve voted in all the brackets. Once you have voted you will get a message saying that your vote has been counted.

4. Vote once each week! It takes about 10 minutes the first time to read about all the rescue groups and pick your favorites, but then after that it should only take one minute each week to select your favorites and click Submit.

5. Tell your friends! This is a lot of money on the line -- think of how many basenjis we could save with $1000 each week, or the $50,000 Grand Prize. We've shown we have the power to win on the Petfinder contest, now let's do it here! If you want to get people to vote for BRAT, I would recommend cutting and pasting into your emails or Facebook our Why Vote for Us story about the 28 basenjis BRAT rescued last year from horrible conditions in SD puppy mill. If you haven't read it, it's an amazing story, and it shows how much good we can do with the money we would win in this contest.

Let’s all work together to see how many brackets we can win and how many basenjis we can save!


  1. BRAT is the fourth bracket from the bottom on the left hand side of the brackets.

    Some other things I have learned:

    Be careful to vote for every bracket. If you forgot one, you won’t get a warning---the page will just stay frozen.

    It seems to like Internet Explorer better than Firefox but I am not positive about that.

    Thanks for voting for BRAT!

  2. We have been advised by the Rachel Ray Mutt Madness folks that due to many problems with the first week of the contest, they are extending the first week through Oct 25th.

    There were many problems with registration and logging on. They have changed the system so that once you register; you will automatically be logged on. This does mean that everyone will need to re-register (by choosing a user name and password) one time (regardless of whether you voted in the first round). After one more registration, you’ll be all set.

    There were also problems with some people not being able to see the Submit button and Voting Booth pages, which they have now fixed.

    They also realize it is problematic that when you are in the middle of voting and try to read about an organization, you may loose your voting page. They are trying to fix this, however it can be avoided by going through and noting your choices on paper and then placing your vote.

    We know that there has been some confusion and some delays in the voting process for this contest. It is a first time offering for the Rachel Ray Organization and they are learning as it progresses. In the end they will have given out many thousands in winnings, including the $1000 bracket wins and the $25,000 2nd prize and $50,000 grand prize.

    BRAT has had an extremely busy year, taking in far more rescued dogs than in other years. Additionally, we’ve had some really hard luck rescues with extraordinary veterinary bills, including 3 dogs with broken legs that needed extensive orthopedic surgery as well as a rash of heartworm positive dogs that required the expensive heartworm treatments.

    Each bracket that BRAT wins brings us another $1000. We thank all of you that have made an effort to vote and encourage anyone that had problems to please try again as you now have another week to vote in the first bracket selections. As the weeks pass and the brackets narrow, the voting process will be much easier and far quicker. Individuals with unique email addresses and names may vote once weekly in this contest.

    You can read more about BRAT at:

    Thank you to everyone who is helping us in this project!

    Mike Swan
    President, BRAT, Inc.

  3. First round against Golden retrievers?!? GET THOSE BRAT VOTES IN!!! They will be tough competition!