Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

Lifestyles

December 9, 2013

A Time 4 Paws celebrates opening of new thrift store

CROSSVILLE — A Time 4 Paws animal welfare organization celebrated the opening of its new retail thrift store at 1201 West Ave. recently, marking a huge milestone for this dedicated group of volunteers.

"Donations are pouring in," said Karen McMeekin, president and founder. "I believe our hard work and dedication to saving and improving the lives of dogs and cats over the past years has proved to the donors how much we care. In return for all the life-saving work and programs we have created, the community is showing support with the daily donations."

The thrift store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday hours will vary.

"The assortment of products is amazing and it is displayed so beautifully. I'll be back," said one pleased shopper.

The new store aims to help A Time 4 Paws programs and help bring the organization closer to its long-term goal of providing a sanctuary to homeless pets awaiting a new family, recovering from an injury or willed to A Time 4 Paws through the Compassionate Care program.

A Time 4 Paws also operates an adoption center at 463 Old Jamestown Hwy., where there are about 30 animals. The center is one part of the effort to change the Cumberland County community from a kill to a no kill area.

This month marks the seventh anniversary for A Time 4 Paws, which follows the no kill philosophy and strives to bring about a day when there are no more unwanted pets and a no kill municipal shelter in Cumberland County. Statistics shows the hard work is paying off.

"The kill rate is lower and the live release rate has improved, but it's a long way from no kill," McMeekin said. She encouraged local residents to help one another to save more lives.

"When you notice a dog without fresh water in his bowl, offer to help keep the bowl full. Or, if someone sees a stray cat, offer to trap it and get it fixed and released. Give a hand and offer help instead of the alternative of calling the animal control officer or the shelter," she said.

A Time 4 Paws is interested in expanding the community SAFE program by asking corporate sponsors to lend a hand, helping to provide more food, fencing and dog houses to those in need. A priority is helping dog owners get their dogs off chains.

Through the hard work of volunteers, A Time 4 Paws is changing things one paw at a time. Stop by today for a volunteer application, or remember the organization in year-end giving. The organization is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and donations are tax deductible.

"As always, report abuse, think of pets as family and teach that pet ownership is a lifelong responsibility," said McMeekin. "Pets are family and the family needs to make the decision to commit to a new family member."

To learn more about A Time 4 Paws, visit at4p.org, or call the thrift store at 787-0610, the adoption center at 456-6906 or the pet hotel at 2149 E. First St. at 707-9889.

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