ZooToo makeover underway in Columbia

The makeover of the shelter has already started

After more than a year of waiting, Central Missouri Humane Society administrators officially started renovations after winning a million dollar contest on the internet.

The makeover contest sponsored by the website will provide more space and a cleaner, brighter atmosphere for adoptable pets.

It all started about a year ago, when shelter volunteers Libby Burks and Amanda Huhman kicked-started a Columbia campaign to get people to cast the winning votes in TMs million dollar makeover contest.

It TMs so exciting," Burks said. "All of our hard work and getting the community together has finally paid off. We TMre just really excited for the makeover to happen.

We TMve got everything in order," Huhman said. "We TMve got walls coming down inside as we speak right now. We are really excited that the animals are going to have a better life when they come to the shelter.

After what some people call miscommunication between ZooToo owner Richard Thompson and shelter administrators, a ribbon-cutting ceremony kicked-off the remodeling project. Workers are installing separate air systems for dogs and cats. The shelter will be cleaner, brighter with state-of-the-art sound control measures.

We TMre really happy, from a ZooToo standpoint, to be able get this thing kicked-off," Thompson said. "I think the project is a great one.

The price tag of the project is unknown, even though the contest called for a million dollar makeover.

We are going to get a complete makeover," Central Missouri Humane Society Director Alan Allert said. "We are happy with it. Richard Thompson is happy with it. We won TMt know the dollar amount until it is finished.

Now that the renovation is underway, adoptable pets have a temporary home at the old Mid-City Lumber Company building on Paris Road.

The donated temporary housing has plenty of space to separate the dogs and cats. On the average, the shelter takes in about 7,500 animals every year at the permanent shelter.

We are certainly going to have much better space for the animals," Boone County Health Director Stephanie Browning said. "It TMs going to be a great environment for people that are coming out and looking for animals to adopt.

The renovations should be finished in about five weeks.

Nearly 2,000 shelters across the country entered last year TMs makeover contest.