Cocke Co. animal shelter opens thrift store benefiting pets

Published: Jun. 6, 2020 at 11:23 AM EDT
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Thrift stores present the opportunity to find new and vintage knick knacks for your home. A new thrift store in Gatlinburg will help abused and abandoned pets find a new home.

Friends Animal Shelter in Cocke County opened 'Wags to Wiggles' thrift store in Gatlinburg, just over the Cosby line on Highway 321.

All proceeds from the store go towards the shelter and animals. The shelter said they are overloaded with pets because many owners can't afford animals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"We really need all the help we can get to take care of all the dogs and cats," Gwen Costner, the manager at Wags to Wiggles, said. "Animals have such a will to live if they're shown a little bit of kindness."

The store opened March 15 but then closed because of the pandemic. It is now back open for guests. It will be staffed by volunteers, and the building was donated leaving few expenses for the shelter.

Last year, the shelter took in 1,671 animals. The shelter said the county only has one animal control officer and awareness is scarce. The shelter is working on education with visits to elementary classes.

Cocke County contributes $100,000 to the shelter each year, but the rest is left to the shelter to fund.

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