GSHS changing thrift store name

Friday, October 6, 2017

Good Shepherd Humane Society’s doggie thrift stores will now be known as the Humane Society Gift Stores.

Thrift store manager Janet Chupp reported Wednesday, Sept. 27, that the name change is important to communicate what the stores are there for.

“At least twice a week, people come into the doggie thrift stores and they say, ‘Where’s the doggie items?’ or ‘Where’s the dogs?’” Chupp said. “We need to kind of modify the way we’re going to answer the phones and the way we’re going to be on Facebook.”

She added, “We want people to know we’re here for the humane society, so we’re going to call ourselves the Humane Society Gift Stores so they know we have gifts and items and not dogs.”

Chupp continued to describe how the stores are doing, saying theft has become a major problem at the Berryville store.

“Every time I look on the monitors, I find somebody else taking stuff,” Chupp said. “It’s like a swap meet over there, and there’s this huge sign that says ‘No donations when we’re not open’ but every time we look, it’s like somebody’s pulling up there and checking out what somebody has donated and they’ll grab it and drive off with it.”

The stores try to be environmentally conscious, Chupp said, but that’s not easy when people dump items after closing time.

“People are trying to get out of paying their dump fees, so that’s what we end up with,” Chupp said.

She thanked Equity Bank and its employees for donating 40 volunteer hours to the stores, pointing out the generosity of Elizabeth Kelley, president of the Eureka Springs branch.

“She’s spent more time in the store than any of her employees, and she does it in the Berryville store for me, because that’s where I need it the most,” Chupp said. “I just want to say if you run into Elizabeth, tell her, ‘Thank you, thank you, thank you.’”

Shelter manager Sandra Mittler presented the shelter report for August, saying the shelter took in nine dogs, five cats and five kittens in that time. The shelter adopted out eight dogs, two kittens and eight cats, Mittler said, with one kitten, one cat and four dogs being returned to the shelter. She described one of the shelter’s biggest problems at the moment, saying the shelter has too many cats that don’t get along with other cats.

“We have 11 intake cages. When cats come in that don’t get along with other cats, they’re not eligible to get into our communal rooms,” Mittler said. “They must wait for our alley, which is a bigger kind of condo. Basically, we have five cats that are waiting to go in a condo cage. What it means is I have half my intake cages available.”

When asked about the shelter’s waiting list, Mittler said it has been improving.

“They’re both getting much shorter, but we always work on the waiting list,” Mittler said.

People always ask how long the waiting list is, Mittler said, when they put an animal on it.

“I always have the same answer, which is, ‘I can’t tell you,’” Mittler said. “It depends on how fast our adoptions go. It also depends on when I’m calling people on the list.”

She added, “There’s so many animals. It’s actually complex. We try to be fair on the order of the waiting list, but there are always emergencies and extenuating circumstances.”

One way to get animals adopted faster, Mittler said, is by training them. She said animal trainer Melissa Hatfield recently visited the shelter to work with the staff, saying Hatfield’s lesson was invaluable.

“She was able in a matter of less than 10 minutes to correct some bad leash behavior we have with a couple of our dogs. The dogs definitely want to learn and want to please you,” Mittler said. “They want to know the best way to do that.”

Hatfield will be back, Mittler said, to address other issues like barking, jumping up on cages and other bad manners.

Treasurer Mark Minton presented the financial report, saying Good Shepherd came in $6,163 better than budgeted in August. Items exceeding the budget include $3,340 in miscellaneous donations, $3,280 in ad book sales and $892 in other fundraising events. Minton said payroll was $1,025 under budget, with advertising sales $585 under budget.

Some expenses did increase in August, Minton said, like vet services, vet supplies, contractor fees and utilities. With LED lights being recently installed at the shelter, Minton said, he didn’t understand exactly why utility costs increased.

“Sometimes utilities go more than 30 days. I’d have to look at the cycle,” Minton said. “That was a little surprising.”

The board’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 25, at the meet and greet room at the shelter.

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