Siskiyou Humane Society takes Paws & Shop from thrift store to resale shop

Skye Kinkade
Mount Shasta Herald
Paws & Shop manager Deena Barnes assists a customer with a sale on the first day open since the COVID-19 pandemic closed the store.

Vintage and antique enthusiasts can once again peruse the Siskiyou Humane Society’s Paws & Shop, located on Mount Shasta’s West Lake Street. The shop has been closed since March, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 

Volunteers took that time to renovate the shop and make some improvements to their point of sale system, which will assist them in making the most of the business.

A reopening ceremony on Wednesday included store volunteers, the store’s new manager Deena Barnes, and Siskiyou Humane Society employees, board members and some animal friends, too.

Toby, a friendly and handsome dog who was adopted from the Humane Society’s shelter, greeted newcomers as they entered the store. Patrons were then greeted by staff and some adoptable cats.

Volunteers and Siskyou Humane Society staff get together for a photo at Paws & Shop in Mount Shasta on Oct. 7, 2020.

“We’ve been excited to re-open since Covid closed us. Both stores are what keep us (the Humane Society) open,” said executive director Kim Latos. The Siskiyou Humane Society is not affiliated with and receives no funding from The Humane Society of the U.S. 

After the shop closed during the pandemic, the humane society lost a portion of its income. “We are really behind this year since the shelter has stayed open,” Latos said.

“I have so much gratitude for this community,” said Molly Breitmun, Thrift Store Liaison and Siskiyou Humane Society Board Member. “We’ve had so many people donate goods and services.”

Initially, after closing, Breitmun said that the store’s landlord offered a one-month grace period due to the pandemic. Since then, people have been donating their goods and time to assist them in reopening.

While closed, the store’s point of sale system was revamped, which will help them track inventory and provide guidelines for purchase and product intake.

In addition, “We have wonderful elderly volunteers and getting them back together safely was important,” said Breitmun.

During the closure, Humane Society staff, shop staff and numerous volunteers assisted in the renovations and received hours of training from volunteers and Angel Keen of the College of the Siskiyous Eagles Nest Thrift Shop in Weed. 

“Angel has been an angel,” said Breitmun. 

Alissa Ferari holds a kitten that's available for adoption a the Paws & Shop in Mount Shasta. Proceeds from the newly renovated store benefit animals at the Siskiyou Humane Society.

According to Breitmun, Keen not only helped the new manager learn a new point of sale system, but also had Eagles Nest volunteers present in the shop during renovations to go over sanitizing procedures, processing and intake procedures. She also also taught them various other ins and outs of a well-run resale shop. 

Humane Socieity board member and COS employee Melinda Garland has known Keen for almost 20 years and reached out for her guidance.

“Angel suggested that her staff be present to help see the processes involved,” said Dawnie Slabaugh, Director of Public Relations and the Foundation at COS. Slabaugh and Keen have a long history together with the thrift store and COS. “Businesses like these rely on volunteers. In this case it deals with animals, in Eagle’s Nests’ case, students,” said Slabaugh.

“The key now is sticking with what they’ve learned and keeping policies in place. It’s hard to say no to donations, but space is a limitation,” said Slabaugh. “You really need to consider what you can accommodate and sell. You want those hidden treasures, keeping something for everyone.”

Slabaugh and the staff of Paws & Shop felt that Keen’s presence and hands on approach to learning were instrumental in their reopening. 

“We benefit because of the extra staff and now we don’t call it a ‘thrift store:’ it’s a resale-shop,” said Slabaugh.

Store manager Barnes said she is “ever so grateful for the opportunity” to be in her new position. Barnes, much like all the volunteers of the shop, want to help the animals as well as the community. 

Animals that are available for adoption were on hand to greet customers at the Paws & Shop in Mount Shasta as they reopened their doors on Oct. 7, 2020.

“Since Covid, we’ve changed our processes,” said Barnes. “Everything has been cleaned, you can’t come in without a mask, and there are sanitizer stations.” The store also limits shoppers to 18 at a time to ensure physical distancing. 

“It’s love for the community and the animals,” said Barnes. “I am thankful for the volunteers and the time they’ve spent helping. Angel Keen and COS are invaluable ... they’ve made a huge impact.”

Paws & Shop is located at 110 W. Lake Street, Mount Shasta, and can be reached at (530) 926-8878 during business hours. Paws & Shop is now open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Their website is here.

Donations can be accepted as of Saturday, Oct. 10 on Thursdays and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.