Animal rescue groups settle over shelter makeover
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
By CHERYL WITTENAUER, Associated Press Writer
ST. LOUIS — An animal rescue group that won a $1 million makeover it claimed was never delivered has settled with the popular pet Web site that offered the prize, and is using the undisclosed sum to build a new shelter, the groups said Wednesday.
Stray Rescue of St. Louis founder Randy Grim said the money from zootoo.com provides "an awesome start" toward a new shelter for the street dogs it rescues, rehabilitates and adopts out.
Last year, zootoo.com offered a $1 million makeover to an animal shelter in a national contest.
Stray Rescue won, but Grim instead of getting money, it was pressured by zootoo founder Richard Thompson to beg subcontractors, suppliers and labor unions to donate their goods and services for the makeover.
Thompson had said contest rules pledged "up to $1 million in value" _ including cash and donated goods and services _ and that the site has provided $400,000 so far. Stray Rescue said most of that was in donated goods and services.
Both Grim and Thompson said they were happy the matter was resolved.
Thompson, the former chief executive of Secaucus, N.J.-based Meow Mix, acknowledged that "zootoo is not perfect, but we're making a great effort to bring recognition to shelters," he said.
Grim said the community's support is still needed to build a shelter for an estimated $3 million.
"I want to go back to what I do best, back to rescuing," he said. "I'm looking forward to that."
On the Net:
Stray Rescue of St. Louis: http://www.strayrescue.org/
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