New Thrift Shop Benefits Animals - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

New Thrift Shop Benefits Animals

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There are already several thrift stores in Bismarck-Mandan, and most of them are dedicated to a specific cause, such as the Abused Adult Resource Center, and the Dakota Boys Ranch. But a new one is opening with a focus on animals. Specifically, it's to promote and help cover the cost of spaying and neutering cats and dogs.

Lee Rittel believes in the cause so much, he's staking his retirement money on it. He's opening a store called The Cause for Claws near the corner of 12th Street South and University. He's seen numerous people at the store buying large quantities of pet food or kitty litter. And their stories are quite similar.

"Usually it's somebody on a fixed income. They use their pets as companions but they are overwhelmed with cats having cats having cats," says Rittel.

He cites figures that say three percent of pet owners contribute to 80 percent of the overpopulation problem because they don't have the money to spay or neuter their pets. And that's why he's so passionate about the cause, in addition to the 36 cats roaming around his yard that he's had fixed.

"If we focus on the lower income, the people that can't afford it, and it shows statistically that once this is done, when you're really proactive, aggressive at attacking the spay/neuter problem, it drops drastically," says Rittel.

He's still trying to get enough active and retired vets to join in. But first, he and his batch of volunteers and family members have to get this store off the ground to raise money.

The store has had a soft opening, meaning it's been opened a day here and a day there. And it may take a couple of weeks before it's open full time. But it will be open tomorrow afternoon.

Rittel hopes to raise enough money to buy a mobile spay and neuter unit that can be driven to other communities as well for low cost procedures.

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