Dog Thrift Shop Quietly Performs Miracles

Based on a story by Maryalice Gill
Staff Writer

Pit Bull Not Acting Like Herself

Melanie O’Brien’s 10-year-old Pit Bull, Bacardi, had stopped acting like herself. There seemed to be something wrong but O’Brien couldn’t figure out what it was. She first called her vet to see if she could get Bacardi examined, but couldn’t afford the $58 vet fee to bring her in before she received her paycheck at the end of the week.

“We didn’t have the $58,” O’Brien said. “They’ve always taken care of Bacardi, but this time, we didn’t have the money. She was so sick and I called everywhere. … Everybody said, ‘Try there, maybe they’ll give you the loan until Friday.’ I just needed the help until the end of the week, until pay day. I didn’t even know what was wrong with her.”

O’Brien kept hitting dead ends, and Bacardi was not getting any better.

A Lucky Break

At that point O’Brien’s landlady suggested she try Lucky Dog Thrift Shop for financial aid.

“I’d been in there, but I didn’t really know what it was all about,” O’Brien said. “I called, and they didn’t even hesitate to help.”

Bacardi’s vet bill ended up being $210, O’Brien’s mother-in-law covering the initial $58 and Lucky Dog Thrift Shop paying the difference.

Lucky Dog Thrift Shop, is a nonprofit shop that benefits animals and the environment by reselling gently used, secondhand items. They donate one hundred percent of the proceeds toward humane education and animal care, including spaying, neutering and hardship pet bill fees. They have been helping pets like Bacardi for almost two years now.

While the shop tries to fund financial aid under $200, the store over the years has financed the treatment of many different issues and problems. “Just about everything,” shop owner Katherine Ranalleti said.

Because of Lucky Dog’s financial help, it allowed the O’Briens to discover that Bacardi was suffering from kidney problems. They put Bacardi to sleep two days later.

“It wasn’t the outcome we wanted,” O’Brien said. “But just knowing what was wrong with her, at least we know she didn’t die because of something we didn’t do.”

Helping Many In Need

The idea for the nonprofit shop originally came from Ranalleti’s own love for her 11-year-old border collie mix, Racey, she said.

Since Lucky Dog Thrift Shop opened its doors two years ago, it has funded the care of approximately 70 animals, Ranalleti said.

Ranalleti, who earned a bachelor’s degree in animal advocacy, hopes to open a humane education center, with a sanctuary, a vegan cafe, an animal specialty shop, a thrift shop and a pet day care center.

A Good Start

Lucky Dog Thrift Shop is a good start. The store is open for all secondhand shoppers looking for vintage, fashionable or antique items ranging from clothes and furniture to electronics and jewelry.

Prices range as low as 20 cents for gently used products, while most clothes are $5, Ranalleti said.

“If they’ve tried to go through all the resources, if they really don’t have the finances right now to help their pet, they can call us,” Ranalleti said. “We have a form they fill out, and we try to see if we can be paid back, or do a payment plan. That’s been working out pretty good.”

O’Brien said she’s already planning on paying Lucky Dog back for their help – and then some.

“Everybody that needs help that can’t get help, go see them,” O’Brien said. “Whatever you can do to help animals out there, if you love animals, the more donations they get, the more people that go in and buy things, helps those animals. I’m thinking of volunteering myself. I just want to say thank you to them.”

For more information on Lucky Dog Thrift Store or Tails to Freedom, visit or call 882-DOGS (3647).
Maryalice Gill can be reached at 594-6490 or


by A Place To Love Dogs

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current day month ye@r *