Humane Society of Central Missouri runs into conflict with shelter makeover contest sponsor

From ANIMAL PEOPLE, January/February 2010:
COLUMBIA, Missouri–Yet another animal shelter has run into
difficulty after winning a makeover contest hosted by the social
networking web site
“Richard Thompson, the chief executive officer of, refused to sign off on the plans sent to him” in early
December 2009 by the Humane Society of Central Missouri, reported
Daniel Cailler of the Columbia Daily Tribune. “Instead, he sent to
the board revised version that had some members shaking their heads.”
Thompson’s version “has less room for cats and cuts down on
the existing dog population,” Humane Society of Central Missouri
interim executive director Alan Allert told Cailler.

Agreed board member Jim Loveless, “This is a far inferior plan.”
The Humane Society of Central Missouri won the
“million-dollar makeover” prize as result of an online campaign led
by Columbia Catholic School eighth graders Libby Burks and Amanda
Huhman. In September 2009 their mothers Liz Burks and Angie Human
wrote to the humane society board and told news media that they could
not support their daughters’ continued volunteer work for the shelter
“under the current management.”
Patty Forister, the executive direction since 2005,
resigned in November 2009 for “personal and professional reasons.”
In April 2009 Thompson and Stray Rescue of St. Louis reached
a legal settlement of misunderstandings that developed after Stray
Rescue won a makeover prize in June 2008. “They refused
to provide any details of the settlement,” reported Susan Weich of
the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Stray Rescue founder Randy Grim “had
claimed,” Weisch wrote, “that he was misled by ZooToo to believe
Stray Rescue had won a $1 million cash prize. But according to
ZooToo’s contest rules, the makeover could comprise in-kind services
and donations.”
Thompson, formerly chief executive of the cat food maker
Meow Mix, earlier told Cheryl Wittenauer of Associated Press that
Stray Rescue hoped to do more than could be done with the $1 million
makeover budget.
Earlier, the Rocky Ridge Refuge of Gassville, Arkansas,
reported similar issues after winning a makeover prize.
Forever Wild Tiger Sanctuary founders Joel and Chemaine
Almquist, of Phelan, California, ran into a different problem
after winning extensive site improvements from the ABC television
program “Extreme Make-over–Home Edition.” The job was done as
promised and was featured on the March 29, 2009 program broadcast,
but the newly renovated sanctuary and a new learning center at the
site could not be opened to the public until July 2009, two weeks
after San Bernardino County agreed in June to waive a requirement
that the access road be paved, at estimated cost of $1 million.

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