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Monday, March 10, 2008

Help Your Favorite Animal Shelter Win a Million-Dollar Makeover

I visited Buffalo, N.Y., last August for my niece’s first birthday party, and during the outdoor festivities (yes, you can go outside in Buffalo during the summer) I found a baby squirrel who was stranded on the sidewalk and had fallen from a tree. He was chirping, a sign of hunger, but was unable to climb on his own. After I put him back in the tree to wait for his mom to come feed him, it became obvious that there were no adult squirrels in the vicinity.

Squirrel1_3 This little guy, just a few weeks old, was an orphan—his mother possibly killed by an automobile. I took the squirrel to the SPCA Serving Erie County, which in addition to operating the Buffalo area’s shelters for dogs and cats, has one of the largest wildlife rehabilitation centers in New York State, caring for thousands of wild animals each year. The dedicated staff bottle-fed the orphaned squirrel until he was healthy enough to survive on his own, and later released him back to the wild. 

It’s one of the reasons I joined Zootoo, so I could help the SPCA Serving Erie County compete in the extreme shelter makeover contest sponsored by Zootoo and The Humane Society of the United States. Zootoo is an online community for pet lovers, where you can post photos of your pets, comment on animal-related news, offer honest and unbiased reviews of pet products and services, and much more. Simply by signing up and choosing your favorite animal shelter, you can earn points for that shelter every time you rate pet-related items or refer friends to join.

Squirrel2_2The animal shelter with the most points will win a full shelter makeover valued up to one million dollars, while nineteen other shelters will win cash prizes to upgrade their facilities. More than 900 shelters across the country have signed up, and the contest ends on March 31.

The shelter makeover contest is the perfect way to show your appreciation for your local animal shelter. I hope you will join Zootoo today and earn points over the next few weeks for the shelter of your choice. It's a free, easy way to help make a million-dollar difference for a shelter in need.

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