PORT TOWNSEND — Pet Helpers, a nonprofit organization supporting low-income people and their companion animals, is having a fundraising yard sale later this month, so the organizers are accepting donations.
Pet supplies, pet furniture and cat- and dog-themed gifts will all be part of the sale, said Laurie Riley of Port Townsend, who founded Pet Helpers last June.
The sale, set for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 28 at 540 Tyler St. near the Port Townsend Community Center, is already stocking up on donated dog beds, toys, leashes, crates, dog houses and animal-themed collectibles, Riley noted.
Donations of other goods to improve quality of life for felines, canines and their humans are welcome; contributors can contact Pet Helpers at [email protected] pethelpersporttownsend.org or by texting 360-840-5264.
People have been generous, donating a range of pet supplies and furnishings — even a quilt, said Lois Davis, a Pet Helpers volunteer. On a recent afternoon outside the Port Townsend Community Center, her dog, Lady Bird, modeled one of the scarves that will be available at the yard sale.
So far this year, cats and dogs belonging to local residents have undergone essential surgeries, including spaying and neutering, and received immunizations thanks to Pet Helpers.
Their owners, who are homeless, disabled, on fixed incomes or working minimum-wage jobs, could not have afforded the procedures, Riley has said.
“If you have a pet, you know how its presence in your life provides a depth of love and caring that cannot be replaced,” she said. “Your pet gives you unconditional love. But imagine if you lost everything except your beloved pet. And that is exactly what has happened to too many people in our community.”
“Sometimes a person with limited resources must choose between buying groceries or getting veterinary care for a sick pet,” Riley added.
She said she’s seen many choose the veterinary care.
At the same time, if a dog or cat needs surgery, it can cost as much as a year’s income for a minimum-wage earner, she noted, and even routine vaccinations at local low-cost clinics are more than many people can afford.
“No one should have to make such heartbreaking choices,” she said, adding that, when necessary, Pet Helpers volunteers provide transportation to and from veterinary appointments.
“Their philosophy,” Riley said, “is that all pets deserve to be healthy.”
The May 28 yard sale is only one of Pet Helpers’ efforts to gather support and raise awareness. The organization has a pet food collection bin it moves around Port Townsend and a newsletter listing its activities.
Pet Helpers also invites residents to the Rhododendron Festival Pet Parade on May 19; participants can use the [email protected] email address to find out more. The organization’s website also has information at www.PetHelpersPortTownsend.org.