GRAFTON—A new shop that has a goal of bettering the community for some of the four-legged friends that inhabit it, will be taking up residence in downtown Grafton this spring.
Local resident Cindy Woods recently announced that Repurpose for Paws would be opening its doors during the last week of March or first week of April. The purpose of the new shop; to help with the ever growing feline population.
According to Woods, while residing in Hawaii, she encountered a neighbor who had what she thought to be around 20 cats roaming the property, which drove her to look into options for having them spayed or neutered.
“I found a group called Abandoned and Feral Cat Friends. I got permission from the owners of the cats to allow the group to come in and trap them and spay and neuter all of them,” Woods shared. “As it turned out, there were over 50 cats there.”
Wanting to pay it forward, she spent the next several years volunteering for Cat Friends, managing the day to day operations.
From there, Woods was approached by a friend who asked her to co-found another group called Aloha Kitty Trap Neuter Return (TNR).
“We helped a lot of people that were homeless or people that didn't have transportation to get their pets fixed,” Woods commented. “I had no idea how widespread this issue was until I was in the midst of it.”
When she made the move back to Taylor County she took note of the amount of outdoor or stray cats that roam the communities and decided to formulate a plan that would allow her to use her seven plus years of experience with TNR to help her hometown.
“I heard that P.U.R.R. had closed and wanted to use the knowledge I have to help not only improve the quality of lives for the residents of Grafton, but to improve the lives of the cats, as well. I feel that the best way to control the population is through TNR,” voiced Woods.
Acknowledging that one of the most difficult aspects of setting up a TNR program is funding, Woods decided to open a store to help with that aspect.
Repurpose for Paws, won’t be just any business, it will be a non-profit establishment, using generated revenue to support those in Taylor County who would like to trap, neuter and return felines.
She explained that part of the shop’s inventory will come from community donations of household items and clothing. She also noted that some of the donated items will be repurposed into something of more value, and that funds received from sales will go toward equipment used in catching stray cats and to pay for the actual surgeries.
“I want this to be a nice shop that you can come in and find some deals in, as well. The bottom line is that donated goods will generate more revenue for the mission of this store, which is to raise funds for spaying and neutering community cats,” expressed Woods.
While the store has not yet received its official non-profit status, she said that she will be applying, but whether it is approved or not, Repurpose for Paws will open with the same mission.
“If the non-profit status is approved, it will be effective from the date of the application. This means if you donate something and the application is approved it will be tax deductible. I will keep a record of donations and can issue donation receipts upon approval,” Woods elaborated. “However, keep in mind that it is not guaranteed. If the application is denied, it will not be deductible. But again, this is for the greater good of our community and whether or not it is approved as a non-profit, it is still happening.”
And while donations will be an essential part of the shop’s success, Woods is also in need of volunteers in order to accomplish her goal.
Repurpose for Paws is in need of individuals that would be willing to help clean up and process used items that have been purchased or others have donated. She is also looking for anyone that is "crafty" and would like to donate time repurposing items.
Those wishing to make a donation or volunteer to help with the cause can reach Woods via email at [email protected].