Second Chance hopes sign invites business

     CARIBOU, Maine — Halfway Home Pet Rescue has made the final jump to keep the Second Chance Thrift Store on Herschel Street in Caribou open by finally putting up a business sign, hoping to experience lots of new customers.

     The thrift store, which benefits the homeless cats at the rescue, has been open for more than a year with dedicated volunteers staffing the store. According to HHPR President, Norma Milton, she had wanted the rescue to have a steady core group of volunteers to work the store before they ventured into the expense of a large business sign.  

     “Many people told me that it was difficult to find us on Herschel Street, but I held back on the sign just thinking of how much medical work for the cats that money would buy. I just couldn’t bring myself to spend the money on anything else.  So many of the cats come into us so very, very sick or injured,” she explained.  

     Then one day, volunteer Judy Robinson of Caribou announced she was going to have a fundraiser and that every cent would go toward a sign for the store.  Carolyn Hayden of Caribou made a quilt, and Robertson sold raffle tickets at the County Bluegrass Festival, earning just enough money to have the sign made.

     Then she to spoke Omar McBreairty about volunteering to construct a strong back frame for the sign; McBreairty spoke with Sam Collins at S. W. Collins Co., and Collins donated the materials.  McBreairty, caught up in Robertson’s enthusiasm and a cat lover himself, spoke to his son, Brandon McBreairty, about volunteering his labor to hang the sign, and the task was done.  

     Milton explained that the store has been a nice little fundraiser for the rescue. “Because of our volunteer help, every dime we make is a dime we hadn’t had before,” she said.

     Milton added that the store would probably never be profitable enough to make the pet rescue self sufficient, but “without it, we would not be able to take such great care of as many homeless cats that we do take.”

     The Second Chance landlord, Gary St. Peter, also gave the pet rescue a discounted rent to help the rescue continue. “It has been very rewarding working with the cats, but I never thought I would see such an outpouring of community support for our cats as what we have received in the last two years,” Milton said. “People know that the money goes on the cats’ medical bills and that makes all the difference in the world, knowing where their money goes.”

     The pet rescue is in need of Purina Kitten Chow, bleach and Fresh Step non-clumping litter.  The rescue also requests that people save discount coupons for cat food and litter for the shelter to redeem at local stores.  

     The Second Chance store is open Thursday through Monday from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Call Mary at 999-1800 for more information.