Rock garden is Humane Society’s touchstone |

Rock garden is Humane Society’s touchstone

On a good year, the Humane Society of Truckee-Tahoe brings in under $9,000 in revenue from their rummage sales, according to their 2000 income tax form. In addition to cash contributions, many donations for the non-profit come in the form of used items people don’t need, and the humane society sells those articles in its warehouse.

“We’re always scrambling for the dollar,” said Andy Dresselhaus, a volunteer and board member for the group. “It helps to give all the animals we see better care.”

When Truckee resident Rhonda Lovejoy adopted a couple cats from the Humane Society recently, she talked to cat adoption coordinator, Carol Merjil, about the “situation with having animals here and there and no shelter.”

“I kept saying, ‘I wish I had a lot of money, so I could buy a piece of property for all those animals,'” Lovejoy said.

Fortunately for Lovejoy and the Humane Society, she was able to contribute in some way. As the nursery manager at The Rock Garden, Lovejoy knew her store was remodeling and changing its inventory. They put a lot of their items on clearance for quick sale, but couldn’t sell everything, especially seasonal items.

“Finally, we called a few local organizations to tell them we wanted to donate the items,” Lovejoy said. “The Humane Society was the only one who showed up.”

Dresselhaus said it took her and a few volunteers two weeks to move the items to their warehouse on West River Street.

Dollar by dollar, they added the total value of the inventory – merchandise stands, decorations, 200 strings of Christmas lights, wreaths, garland, paint, stain, yard decor, fixtures, hand tools and plumbing items.

“They took half of our store,” Lovejoy said. “We were shouting, ‘$10, $15, $20…’ counting it all up.”

The grand total: $47,000 in merchandise.

The Humane Society won’t be able to sell many of the items until the holidays, but just the merchandise stands make the warehouse look much more like a retail environment, Dresselhaus said.

Donations like these, she said, get the Humane Society one step closer to operating a shelter with Town of Truckee Animal Control.

“Even though we asked other organizations, I was so tickled that the [Humane Society] got all of that merchandise,” Lovejoy said. “I know they need it, so se la vi.”

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