Feb. 10—Tucked inside the Mountaineer Mall on Green Bag Road is The Animal Friends Thrift Shoppe.
Operated by Animal Friends of North Central West Virginia (AFNCWV), a local no-kill animal shelter, the shop offers bargains on a variety of new, antique, and gently used items donated by the community.
Sales from the volunteer-run shop provide support for the Animal Friends Sanctuary, where unwanted, abandoned and abused animals who have been saved by the rescue await adoption.
“I think we really fill a need for the community, ” said volunteer Susie Mayfield. “We provide a lot of household items, furniture, a little bit of everything, at discounted prices.”
Mayfield said furniture and household items always sell fairly well and while they don’t sell a lot of clothing, they usually have a few items to browse through.
At their jewelry counter, Mayfield said you could find diamonds and rubies, 14k gold rings — all of which they have appraised before sale, assuring the authenticity.
“We have some very generous people who donate, ” she said. “It’s incredible what people donate.”
Mayfield said 2023 was a really good year for the shop and that’s “due to our customers — we have a lot of loyal customers — and our volunteers. We just want to thank them for supporting us, because it is a very good cause.”
Shelter Coordinator Katie Short said people shopping at and donating to the thrift shop is essential for keeping the day-to-day operations of the facility going.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize how much the thrift shop supports us — contributing there is also contributing to us, ” Short said. “Any donations that you make there, whether that’s from a yard sale or cleaning out your basement, that’s going to contribute to the animals in some way. It could be a donation from a pet that’s lost, to a couch that you no longer need — that’s all going to fund the shelter here and help with the day-to-day needs of taking care of these guys.”
Short said the shelter currently had around 15 cats and 20-25 dogs looking for their forever homes.
Last year, Short said AFNCWV did around 360 adoptions and have outgrown their current facility at 252 Brewer Road between Morgantown and Grafton.
They are currently in the initial planning stages for construction of a new shelter building that they are hopeful will allow them to almost double the number of animals they can help. Short said they hope to begin a fundraising campaign for the shelter in the near future.
“Hopefully we can get there pretty quick, but it’s going to be quite the budget to fundraise for a brand-new facility, ” she said. “It’s needed though. We’ve definitely outgrown where we are now.”
The Animal Friends Thrift Shoppe is open 11 a.m. — 5 p.m. on Tuesdays, 11 a.m. — 3 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and 10 a.m. — 3 p.m. Saturdays for customers and donations. The shop is easily accessed using the mall entrance near Teletech.
Pictures and profiles of the animals that are available through AFNCWV, as well as adoption information and applications, can be found by clicking the “Adopt ” tab on their website animalfriendswv.org.
Those interested in adopting an animal can visit the Animal Friends Sanctuary by calling 304-290-4738 to schedule an appointment.