By Jessica Isaacs
Do you love to shop? Do you want to help give local animals a better life? If you said yes to each of those, you’re in luck! You can do both this weekend at the Watauga Humane Society’s 34th Annual Rummage Sale.
The sale offers local shoppers a convenient experience and a massive variety of products including clothes, shoes, jewelry, house wares, electronics, furniture, antiques, books, toys, pet supplies and more.
Due to ongoing renovations at its usual rummage sale location, the National Guard Armory, the humane society will host this year’s three-day event at two locations in the Boone Mall. Antiques and books will be sold from the former Gigi’s Uniforms storefront inside the mall next to JC Penney. All other items can be found in the former Family Dollar store located next to TJ Maxx.
The sale is open to the public in both locations from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday.
This year, members of the humane society will get a first look at what’s up for grabs during a members only sneak peek sale from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday. WHS Administrative Support Director Gilda Gordon said the preview sale gives the agency a chance to increase its membership and show appreciation to existing members.
“We’re not able to do a lot of things for our members, so this is one nice little perk that we thought we could offer them that would not cost us anything,” Gordon said. “We thought we would let them be the first ones in to shop the really good stuff.”
If you’re already a member, all you need is your membership card to access this exclusive preview sale and browse the full selection before the crowd gets to it. If you’re not a member but would like to become one, you can sign up when you arrive to the sale on Thursday or sign up online under the “donate” tab on the WHS website.
For more information on WHS membership, call Gordon at 828-264-8495 during the adoption center’s operating hours.
MAKING A DIFFERENCE
The rummage sale offers lots of great shopping in one convenient spot, but its primary goal is to support the agency’s operating budget so that it can feed and care for animals as it works to find them forever homes.
“The proceeds go straight into our annual budget to buy food and medical care,” Gordon said. “Some of these older animals come to us and need attention, so with those funds we’re able to care of them.”
Through a partnership with the Humane Alliance in Asheville, the agency also works to provide low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners in the area. Therefore, by shopping at the rummage sale or donating to the humane society, you’re also helping the agency work to end pet overpopulation in the community.
“We spay and neuter animals that come to us before they’re adopted back out to the public so we don’t continue that stream of puppies and kittens — that’s got to stop somewhere,” Gordon said. “We work with another organization called SNIPS that raises money to help support our public spay and neuter program.”
The WHS provided low-cost spays and neuters for 990 shelter animals and 1,000 pets from the public last year alone, and Gordon noted they’re seeing a slight decrease in the number of kittens being turned over to the shelter this year. That means they’re making progress, but spay and neuter services offered to the public cost the agency approximately $45 per pet — that’s why fundraising remains a crucial part of the process.
Gordon believes that folks in the community see how hard the agency works to care for local animals, and said she hopes that will bring the public out in good numbers to shop the rummage sale this weekend.
“People who know about us understand the work we do and how important it is to our community. We promote spay and neuter, we try to find homes for them and we have a great track record,” Gordon said. “We strive to be a no-kill shelter and we do work in conjunction with the county. People support the work that we do — and who doesn’t love puppies and kittens?”
OTHER WAYS TO HELP
Do you plan to shop the rummage sale but don’t want to stop there in supporting the humane society? There are number of ways that you can make a difference at the shelter.
Even if you’re not able donate money, Gordon said anyone can donate their time to the shelter.
“You can go online to our website and see the volunteer areas where they might be interested in helping. We couldn’t run this adoption center without our volunteers,” Gordon said. “Last year we had 234 volunteers and they worked 6,873 hours — that’s the equivalent of having three-and-a-half full-time employees.”
Read more about WHS online and try out some of these simple things that you can do to help.
- Make a monetary contribution online
- Volunteer to walk dogs
- Volunteer to bathe pets
- Volunteer to work at the dog park
- Volunteer to work at an adoption event
- Volunteer to work in the office or at the shelter’s on-site boutique
- Volunteer to clean the shelter
- Donate pet food, toys or supplies to the shelter
- Donate to the Pet Food Pantry, which helps get pet food to pet owners in-need
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