Auburn Valley Animal Shelter looks to open thrift store on Auburn Way North

Dr. Emily Purvis - Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter
Dr. Emily Purvis
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Auburn Reporter

Despite a decent turnover of dogs and cats at the Auburn Valley Humane Society animal shelter, the facility on A Street Southeast has 140 extra felines about the premises.

Though the cats would probably forego the honor if asked, veterinarian and founding AVHS member Dr. Emily Purvis has already performed more than 20 spay and neuter procedures on dogs and cats at the now fully-functional surgical site.

Keeping just that one bit of business in house has already saved the AVHS a lot of money, Auburn Finance Director Shelley Coleman told members of the Municipal Services Committee on Monday, as she presented her monthly report.

Per contract, the City of Auburn pays AVHS $240,000 every year to run the City-owned shelter and handles building maintenance.

Here are some of the key numbers to date:

• Since the shelter's opening on Jan. 1, 2013, the City's pet licensing program has sold 3,434 licenses, generating $102,515 through August. The City's 2013 budget goal was $96,000 or more, and the 2014 budget goal is $240,000.

• Through August, the total shelter revenue is about $365,000, balanced against expenses of $282,000. Of that total revenue, $85,000 comes from fundraising at a cost of about $45,000, for a $40,000 net gain.

• The shelter's 199 Volunteers have logged more than 15,200 hours.

According to Coleman, the AVHS board of directors recently gave director Phil Morgan approval to sign a letter of intent to lease the empty building at 602 Auburn Way N., east of Scarff Ford Isuzu, and open a thrift store there.

"The idea is to have a thrift store venue and sell space, booths or kiosks, to broaden the AVHS revenue stream," Coleman explained. "They'll get a couple of months where they are able to waive the rent so they can get set up and going. It's an ideal location because of the other thrift stores in the area."

Recently, the AVHS shelter earned unwanted notoriety when a local television station reported that a number of tags went out with incorrect phone numbers on them. The City has since mailed letters with the corrected numbers.

The City is in the process of transferring the pet licensing function from its planning department to its finance department.

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