Archived Opinion

Some are stealing from animal shelter

To the Editor:

First, I’d like to thank all the folks who support PAWS, Swain County’s privately run no-kill animal shelter. We so appreciate all the donations we receive, be they actual cash, donations of time at the shelter — PAWS to Shop Thrift Store — helping out at our various events throughout the year or the many items donated to the Thrift Store. It takes all of these things to keep PAWS doors open, which brings me to the point of this letter.

PAWS Thrift Store is many things to this community: It provides a large part of the funding necessary to keep the shelter operating; it offers gently used goods for resale to folks so that they can stretch their dollar a bit further; it brings in tax revenue to the county from the sale of those items; and it offers a place for folks to donate those gently used items for reuse to someone else, getting the most of out of reduce, reuse and recycle.

The Thrift Store asks that folks wanting to donate items please bring them by the store during business hours which are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. We realize that this might be an inconvenience to some but our reason is so that we can make the most of those donated items.

What I’m going to say next may come as a surprise to some. When folks do drop off items after hours they don’t always make it in the door for us to resale. There’s a person or persons that has been helping themselves to these items left on our porch. That’s right, someone is stealing these generous donations that are meant as a gift to help PAWS.

We’ve struggled with ideas of how to come up with a donation box that would work but haven’t found a good solution yet. So, we are asking everyone to please make the extra effort and find a way that works for all. Perhaps there is a friend or neighbor who gets to town during our business hours who would be willing to help you get those donations to us. PAWS desperately needs every donation to count, and we are sure you feel the same way.

If you would like to find out more ways you can help PAWS, visit our website at or call us at 828.333.4267. Help us celebrate 20 years of being the small shelter that focuses on quality of life by helping the stray, abandoned, abused and neglected cats and dogs in Swain County. Thanks again for helping in whatever way you can.

Ramelle Smith

PAWS Board member

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