2008-11-26 / Front Page

SPCA celebrates new thrift shop opening

Shop is major source of funds for animal shelter
BY DANIEL HOWLEY Staff Writer

The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA) reopened its new thrift store on Wall Street in Eatontown on Nov. 14. The Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA) reopened its new thrift store on Wall Street in Eatontown on Nov. 14. EATONTOWN — It was worth the wait, and officials at the Monmouth County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MCSPCA) are elated that the doors opened recently to its newly constructed thrift store.

The grand re-opening of the thrift store was celebrated Nov. 14 at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Wall Street facility, and it was a true celebration, according to MCSPCA Executive Director Ursula Goetz, who explained that the thrift store is one of the main sources of funding for the animal shelter.

"I am absolutely elated that finally the thrift store is ready to open to the public so that the SPCA can start bringing in revenue to support the day-to-day care of the animals at the center," Goetz said.

Originally located inside the shelter's main building, Goetz explained that the thrift store had to be relocated as a result of a major renovation project that is taking place at the SPCA facility.

"We realized that when we started the improvements [to the shelter facility] that we should move the thrift store to another location," Goetz said.

Completed in September, construction of the twostory, 5,000-square-foot thrift store cost approximately $350,000 and took some 10 months to complete.

The Cat and Dog Thrift Store, dedicated to the late Maureen O'Brien, who was a supporter of the SPCA, is located on the first floor of the new building, while an apartment is located on the second floor.

"Maureen loved to come to the thrift store, and she included the SPCA in her will," Goetz said. "And I know that she [would] be smiling on us … because that's an ongoing gift through her as the store will be generating funds for the animals, and with that we are fulfilling her wishes."

According to Goetz, the apartment will house the SPCA's caretaker, who will act as a 24-hour-a-day surveillance for the facility and the animals.

With the increase in space, the SPCA is expecting that the thrift store will generate twice as many funds for the shelter.

"In the past it was a much smaller space and used to generate about $85,000 a year, and we hope that we will be able to double that," Goetz said.

Those who attended the grand-re-opening ceremony included Eatontown Mayor Gerald Tarantolo, Monmouth County Freeholder Barbara McMorrow, SPCA donors and friends and family of O'Brien.

The thrift store is open six days a week and will be closed on Sundays until construction on the rest of the shelter facility is completed.

Eventually, Goetz said, the thrift store will be open seven days a week and will be manned by two full-time employees and a group of volunteers who will help sort and price any items that are donated to the store.

Until the store is fully up and running, Goetz asks that anyone wishing to donate items to the thrift store to call first to make an appointment.

The SPCA accepts items ranging from slightly worn clothes to jewelry and books for the thrift store. Clothing items that the store cannot sell are deposited in bins located outside the building. The unwanted clothing is then transported to a recycling facility, which reimburses the SPCA.

With the thrift store completed, the SPCA will now turn its full attention to the completion of the shelter renovation project.

Scheduled to be completed in April, the animal shelter renovation project will allow the SPCA to more effectively care for the 70 dogs and 400 cats it currently houses.

Improvements to the facility will include the addition of a new $1 million HVAC system to prevent sicknesses from spreading throughout the animal population and new pens that will include sound-suppressing technology to lower the stress levels of the animals.

The facility will also feature glass gazebos to replace the chain-link cages for dogs. Also included in the renovations plan is an area at the facility where cats infected with feline immunodeficiency virus (FIT) will be treated.

Cats infected with FIT must be separated from the general population due to the risk of further spreading the virus, which is transmitted through bites and scratches.

Renovations to the shelter are expected to cost approximately $5 million, and Goetz said the SPCA has raised $3 million for the project to date.

Those wishing to make donations to the SPCA or the thrift store may call 732-542-0040.

Contact Daniel Howley at dhowley@gmnews.com

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