In 2015, The Purple Cat Resale, Thrift and Consignment Store opened at 2128 W. 34th Street, and with it, the future of Houston’s homeless pets changed for the better. The shop has been raising substantial sums for pet rescue since.
At the end of July, The Purple Cat and its volunteers donated a full month’s sales to the Animal Justice League, or AJL, for pet spay and neuter surgeries in the immediate community. The sum of $6,300 will go a long way to help.
It was nothing short of a full-blown community effort. Locals donated goods for resale, then locals bought items, and the money raised goes to vetting and re-homing the homeless pets loose in our community. The Animal Justice League works exclusively with pets from the area. Everyone wins, particularly the hundreds of unwanted who would suffer, starve and die without it.
There are many fine animal rescue groups in Houston, but the nonprofit Purple Cat stands a cut above. It’s dedicated owner/operator Julia Long has organized a group that is completely volunteer.
When most nonprofits report that “100 percent of the proceeds” go to their causes, they generally mean after basic costs are met. Long sought and found an anonymous sponsor who is underwriting the rent and utilities of the shop until the end of the year. Translation: 100 percent of the proceeds really do go directly to animals.
Long, who works full time at the shop but has never drawn a salary, operates The Purple Cat with about seven volunteers. It’s not easy as this active women is also deeply involved in rescuing. fostering and re-homing animals in her free time. (Free time?)
“I founded the nonprofit agency under which we operate in 2001. Since then, we’ve become a grassroots group dedicated to helping the folks working in the trenches of pet rescue,” stated Long. “Many rescues are maintained by a handful of caring people. The animals are kept in private homes and rescuers often face big vet bills. We want to help with the expenses of the work, and this is how we can do it. It has always been our mission.”
The Animal Justice League is no less admirable. It too is an exclusively volunteer nonprofit operating with about 150 locals who are fostering homeless pets removed from our streets. AJL’s mission is to educate through outreach, and reduce the number of unwanted.
“We will use all the money raised by The Purple Cat for spay and neuter surgeries, vaccinations and medications for our fosters,” stated AJL’s Vice President, Amanda van Adrichen. “We are really, really grateful for the help and generosity.”
For this month, Long has chosen Emancipet as the recipient of The Purple Cat’s sales. Emancipet is a nonprofit agency dedicated to making high-quality spay, neuter and veterinary care affordable for pet owners. In 2016, the agency cared for more than 100,000 animals.
How can you help these wonderful groups? “We always need fosters,” stated AJL’s van Adrichen. “Everyone is welcome. Just go to animaljusticeleague.org for more information.”
“And we can always use donations at The Purple Cat, or stop in and shop,” added Long. “But when it gets right down to it, I say, ‘Help stop the problem of pet over population at its roots. Spay and neuter your damned pets’!” she concluded.
We have never known anyone more committed to putting herself out of business, than Julia Long.