Thrifting with a Purpose

Home Again, the thrift shop at Dakin Humane Society, offers shoppers the best of both worlds; quality pet products in gently-used or new condition, and reasonable prices that allow pet parents to pick up everything from essentials to indulgences.

What makes it even more special is the dedicated team of a dozen volunteers who put in countless hours working the shop on Saturdays, helping customers find the ideal items for their pets.  Within that team is a smaller core group that also works during the weekdays sorting through donated merchandise making sure it’s in good condition, then pricing and displaying it in the little shop in the atrium to prepare for that weekend’s customers.  

Karen Patino began volunteering when the MSPCA occupied Dakin’s current building.  “There was a little table in the lobby that had dog toys, biscuits, and other things, and it was called Barkin’ Bargains,” Karen recalled.  “I took it over and it graduated to two tables.  It was Pam Peebles’ idea to start the thrift store.  She, (fellow thrift volunteer) Ann Hurlburt and I set up shop in what had been a former office space.”

The shop had just been launched when the MSPCA vacated the building, and it was shut down for several months in 2009 while Dakin moved in.  By November of that year, the thrift shop was finally open for business, and Karen encouraged her mother Pearl, an antiques expert, to join the volunteer team running the shop.  “I told Karen I’d be interested in coming to help, even though it’s a lot of work,” Pearl noted.  “I wanted to do something useful.  As much as I did it for Dakin, I did it for myself.”

In the years that followed, the thrift volunteer team expanded and welcomed more people onboard.  While the shop formerly sold items for people as well as pets, it was streamlined earlier this year to focus on pet-only items.  The change was brought about to reinforce Dakin’s mission to support the pet/human bond, in this case by offering pet essentials, as well as treats and toys, at affordable prices.  

While the volunteer team runs the shop on Saturdays from 12:30-3 pm, adopters and clients at the Pet Health Center are also able to purchase thrift items while they are in the building on weekdays.  In addition, the thrift team manages a thriving eBay store on Dakin’s behalf.

The Home Again Thrift Shop is one of our most successful programs, and that is largely due to the level of devotion and hard work put forth by its volunteer team who put in many hours taking care of the shop and the entire thrift operation.  They donate their time, and since the merchandise is also donated, proceeds from all sales go directly towards helping Dakin animals and services.  We thank them for their dedication.

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