Thrift store helps place hundreds of cats in new homes

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NORTHMOOR, Mo. -- You've heard the expression, "too much of a good thing."  At one storefront in Platte County, manager have transformed their store into a cat adoption center and the cages are crowded.

At one point, the shop was home to more than 100 cats.

You can purchase a little of anything at the thrift store.  Used clothing.  Items for the home or even a cat.

Al Richey has operated the 'Animals in Need Thrift Store' for the past 28 years.  Four years ago, he remodeled one side of his shop into a temporary home for homeless cats awaiting adoption.

Richey typically keeps an average of 35 cats in need of a home.  Animals that don't find new owners get to stick around, like the dozen or so that greet customers.

"They've never seen anything like it," Richey told FOX 4 News.  "If they're animal lovers at all. They pretty quickly become involved, and they come up and ask question."

All of the money made by the non-profit thrift store is spent on the animals.

Deborah Tucker volunteered to start the cat adoption center four years ago.  Since then, she estimate the store has helped place as  many as 600 cats in new homes.  All of them at a reduced cost when combined with the money donated from the thrift shop.

"The cats we rescue, most of them have been abandoned. A lot of them are older.  They've already been fixed or declawed," she explained.

"it takes a lot of dedication and love," said Gail Nordness, one of the store's customers. "It's not like they make a lot of money from this. They're finding homes for cats, many of whom used to have a home."

Cleanliness is such a priority for the staff at the adoption center that in four years of helping animals find new homes, Richey says they've never failed an inspection from the local health department.  He says he has 35 volunteers between the ages of 13 and 90 helping these cats find someone to love.

"All of these animals need love. All of these animals will enrich your life," Richey said.

One cat fan says that's a love that only animal lovers can understand.

Animals in need thrift store is directly affiliated with the Kitty Cat Connection, which also helps potential owners in the Northland find pets.

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