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Barking for the big one

Makeovers are popular television fare for people and houses, often with life-changing results. So why not such a life-altering makeover for an animal shelter? That's the question staff at the Olympic Peninsula Humane Society asked after learning about a contest sponsored by Zootoo, a social "pet-networking" and news site for pet lovers.

A $1 million makeover will go to the most deserving shelter nationwide as determined by pet lovers across America.

Zootoo.com launched its second shelter makeover contest on Sept. 18. By March 13, 2009, shelters that have accumulated the most points by registering and being involved in the Web site will be pared down to 20 semifinalists.

Zootoo.com officials will visit each shelter and will select 10 finalists. The nine runners-up will share $195,000. The grand prize will be awarded May 1, 2009. The Web site notes that 75 percent of the semifinalists last year were in small towns.

Scott Chandler, executive director of OPHS, believes the county's small and outdated shelter deserves the grand prize and is reaching out to residents.

"We'd like to ask for the communities' assistance in helping us win the Zootoo Shelter Makeover Contest," Chandler began.

"Winning a $1 million shelter makeover would allow us to build a new shelter facility that would let us better help pets and serve our community. If just a few people every day signed up on Zootoo and selected us as their shelter, there's be a real chance that we could win the shelter makeover."

To show your support and concern for Clallam County's homeless pets and earn contest points for the Port Angeles shelter, go online to www.zootoo.com/makeover. Register for free under "How to Participate" and follow the instructions.

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