Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Humane Society of the Nature Coast cracks top 20 in Zootoo.com contest

BROOKSVILLE — After months of heroic efforts by a group of animal lovers and their friends, the Humane Society of the Nature Coast is one major step closer to a $1 million makeover.

The local group learned Tuesday that they finished No. 5 among 23,734 pet adoption agencies around the United States in an online contest sponsored by Zootoo.com.

By finishing in the top 20, the group is guaranteed a minimum award of $5,000. Zootoo.com, an Internet site of pet information and products, will visit the home sites of the 20 semifinalists. Zootoo's CEO Richard Thompson is scheduled to check out the shelter at Wiscon and Mobley roads about 12:30 p.m. Saturday.

The competition, which began last fall but took on urgency by the contestants in recent months, was based on points awarded for Zootoo memberships at no charge, hits on the organization's Web site and submissions by pet lovers of photos, videos and paragraph essays of their four-footed friends, noting their interest in the Humane Society of the Nature Coast shelter.

Thompson's travels will help Zootoo whittle down the 20 finalists to 10. His judging will be based on need and community support.

Humane Society executive director Joanne Schoch is planning "a huge pep rally" at its Nature Coast Pet Expo this weekend at Tom Varn Park. The rally, which Thompson will attend, is set for 1 p.m. Saturday.

"People coming to the rally is critical," Schoch said, "to show community support for the shelter."

In thanks for the support already contributed to the Zootoo endeavor, the society is waiving its usual $5 admission donation to the expo, which runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Admission will be free. "We want everybody to come," Schoch said.

Even after Zootoo's visit by Thompson, the contest won't be over. After his selection of the 10 finalists and their posting on the Web site, the public is invited to vote April 13-19 for their favorite pet agency to receive the makeover or an expansion.

While $1 million is earmarked for the top winner, second place will receive $50,000, and third place, $25,000. If Nature Coast is in that group, Schoch promised to do "a happy dance."

Her priorities are improvements to the shelter's cat cottage, which houses up to 60 felines at a time; and adding 20 kennels to the canine wing, which now accommodates only 17 dogs.

The society has been turning down in recent months a waiting line of residents needing to give up their pets due to home foreclosures, job losses and moves to smaller or pet-restricted living spaces.

Whatever the contest outcome, the local society is gaining fame.

Schoch has been invited to speak April 6 at the Animal Care Expo in Las Vegas. Her seminar topic: "Award Winning Programs on a Small Budget."

Beth Gray can be contacted at gray [email protected]

If you go

Pet Expo pep rally

The Humane Society of the Nature Coast will hold a pep rally at 1 p.m. Saturday at this weekend's Nature Coast Pet Expo at Tom Varn Park in Brooksville. The rally aims to support the group's efforts to win a $1 million makeover from Zootoo.com.

Humane Society of the Nature Coast cracks top 20 in Zootoo.com contest 03/17/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 17, 2009 7:23pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Former Jabil executive's fate in hands of murder trial jury

    Criminal

    LARGO — For a second time, Patrick Evans' future is the hands of a jury.

    Patrick Evans talks with Allison Miller, one of his three public defenders, before jury selection this w eek. Evans, a former Jabil executive charged with killing his estranged wife and her friend almost 10 years ago, is back in court for a second trial after his original death sentence conviction was overturned by the Florida Supreme Court. JIM DAMASKE   |   Times
  2. Hillsborough designates $17 million for Irma debris removal and repairs

    News

    TAMPA — The Hillsborough County Commission voted Wednesday to spend $17 million from the county's Catastrophic Disaster Recovery Fund to remove debris left by Hurricane Irma and to fix damaged facilities.

  3. Five jump from burning boat near Gandy Bridge

    Fire

    TAMPA — Five people jumped from a boat that caught fire near the Gandy Bridge Wednesday afternoon, 10News WTSP reported.

  4. Gourmet food fight between top chefs raises $200,000

    News

    ST. PETERSBURG — The chefs came armed with their secret ingredients — pork rinds, truffle butter, pork bellies.

    (From left to right) Chefs Ryan Mitchell, Michael Buttacavoli, Ted Dorsey and Matthew Brennan compete during Tampa Bay Food Fight at The Coliseum in St. Petersburg on Tuesday. The event features chefs from the Tampa Bay area and benefitted Metropolitan Ministries. EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times
  5. HSN star Joy Mangano promotes new book: Inventing Joy

    Retail

    ST. PETERSBURG — After more than 30 years, Joy Mangano knows a thing or two about promoting products. Now she's promoting herself.

    Inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano is releasing her first new book, Inventing Joy on Nov. 7. [TIERRA SMITH | Times]