BONNERS FERRY — When you come home from a hard day’s work, open that front door, and are immediately greeted with soft eyes and a wagging tail — or a cat winding happily around your legs — the weight of the day seems to lift. When that wagging tail or purring sound comes from a rescued pet, you know that you have made both of your lives better.
This is what Second Chance Animal Adoption (SCAA) hopes to do with every pet that comes through their kennel — find them a forever home.
“That is my favorite part,” said shelter staff Carla Clark. “We always stand at the door and watch them walk out the gate, and we try not to cry, but that is definitely my favorite part — being able to see them go home.”
More than a decade ago, Cheryl Britton adopted a dog from SCAA.
“He is our baby,” she said. “Dogs become part of the family.”
Inspired by the love for her dog, as well as all animals, Britton and her friends started an annual bake sale, now in its second year, to raise money for SCAA. The annual Valentine’s Day Charity Bake Sale took place on Saturday, Feb. 9, at Super 1 Foods. They had high hopes to beat last year’s total, and with dedication and help from individuals and businesses, they were able to, pulling in $1,706 this year. They presented a check for that amount to SCAA last Saturday, Feb. 23.
“The funds go to renovating the cat room, getting food when we need it, helping with vet bills, helping with anything else that needs to happen around the shelter, and sometimes the thrift store,” said Clark. “It is always great to have people who are so generous and willing to help out and raise money for us.”
The SCAA has been renovating their cat room, a place for cats to spend their time in style and comfort while awaiting their forever home. The room is just off the thrift store, with a viewing window so people can enjoy watching the cats lounge and play.
The plans for the room will have individual kennels to keep the cats safe at night, but a large open play area for them during the day that will be bright and colorful and have toys for the cats to amuse themselves.
The dog kennel, located outside, has room for approximately 10 dogs. It gives the dogs a safe place to await their new home, with raised beds to keep them off the floor at night. Like the cats, they are welcome to come out of the kennels and play and socialize during the day.
Clark loves her job working with the animals. She worked in the thrift store for about four years, but always wanted to work with the animals, getting her wish last June. Clark brought newcomer, Tuck — a small, friendly dog — into the thrift store to help them accept the check from Britton. Tuck is just one example of the many animals that will benefit from the hard work that Britton and her friends have put out this year, organizing and baking for the fundraiser.
Britton and her friends could not have achieved their high goal alone. According to Britton, “multiple community bakers and anonymous contributors” also helped with the sale. Businesses also helped out, including Three Mile Store and Cafe, Ash Street Market, Coldwell Banker North Woods Realty, Carter Country Farm and Feed, Goat Mountain Pizza, Shopko, Subway, and Super 1 Foods, which also hosted the location of the sale.
Much credit goes to the generous community who donated funds in exchange for the home baked goods, entered in raffles, or played the guessing games. The bake sale and raffle pulled in $1,355 and donations alone were $266. People also donated bags of dog and cat food, and Super 1 Foods donated three boxes of pet food.
The community pulled together to help unwanted pets find their forever homes, proving that dogs and cats can truly be members of the family.
“I love animals and I can’t go by a person with a dog on a leash without having to stop and say hi,” said Britton. “I think the bake sale was great. I’m glad we topped what we did last year and we are going to try it again next year.”
For people interested in helping with SCAA between now and the next bake sale, there are many ways to contribute, either through monetary donations, donations of food, or time.
“We always need volunteers — the shelter and the thrift store. Walking the dogs, cleaning up after them, playing with them, just socializing them,” said Clark.
Tuck was a perfect example of that, as he walked around the thrift store on a leash, meeting and greeting people.
“When he came in, he was really scared,” explained Clark. “We need people to be here, pet them, make sure that they know it is OK to be here.”
The bake sale was a community effort, inspired by a small group of friends who love their pets.