Mundelein resale shop saves cats and dogs from kill shelters
Mundelein, 3/23/01 --Pioneer Press Columnist, Millie Maughton.
Updated: July 29, 2012 6:05AM
When I walked in, I was greeted by Maury who, after being given a little attention, proceeded to follow me around the store. If I stopped, he found nothing wrong with laying across my feet for some more TLC. And I stopped quite often because I was finding all sorts of interesting things to investigate.
Maury is a rescued cat who lives with Mickey and Marlee at Whiskers and Wags, an upscale resale shop and adoption center run by Cindy Geers. They are located at Route 176 and Midlothian in the former Hallmark store location of the Long Meadow Commons Shopping Center in Mundelein.
The idea is simple, but brilliant. Basically, the store sells donated items at reasonable prices -– the “upscale” refers to the quality of items, not their prices -- and the money goes to help rescue cats and dogs, place them with foster families until they can be adopted.
Animals are rescued from kill shelters or some they find on the streets after an owner has abandoned them. Maury mentioned above was found with every kind of worm possible (roundworms, tapeworms and more). Mickey was plucked from a feral colony he had joined and was in pretty bad shape from learning to live on the streets. Marlee is the third rescued cat and is now much better off as I found him curled up next to a display soaking in the sun streaming through the window.
Geers and the REACH (Rescuing Each Animal for Caring Homes) Rescue Inc. group are contacted, and they will claim as many animals as they can place with their foster families. The cats and dogs are vetted, spayed, neutered, microchipped and nursed back to health. They then stay with licensed foster families for a few weeks up to a couple of months to learn to live in a home environment until they can be adopted.
Trainers are some of the many volunteers on board to deal with problems the animal may have with temperament or adapting to other animals. REACH Rescue also works with a state investigator to look into complaints and situations where animals are not being treated properly. Besides Geers, Patty Bianco, Sue Mennie, Susan Lucus and Suzanne Solin make up the board of directors, and between them have more than 50 years experience working with rescued animals.
The resale shop comes in to provide money to help the animals with veterinary costs and foster care. Whiskers and Wags takes donated items (which can be written off as a tax-deductible donation) such as furniture, collectibles, housewares, antiques and more. The store has the feel of an expensive boutique because everything is cleaned up, touched up, steam cleaned and polished if necessary before being put on the selling floor.
The items are then arranged in vignettes, or small displays, throughout the store so you may see a kitchen table with chairs, linens, fine china and a vase, and everything is has a price tag. But be careful not to go home and think about it for too long, because the merchandise turns over quickly and someone else is bound come in and snap up the item you had in mind.
Word of mouth has helped the store to find customers with some loyal folks coming in at least once a week. On weekends, though, be ready to share the space with animal lovers ready to adopt their new family pet. It’s a great combination of purposeful recycling to help rescue animals. What’s not to love?
For more information, go to www.reachrescue.org, petfinder.com/reachrescue, or “like” them on Facebook.
Contact Mundelein Musings at: email@example.com