By: Sarah A. Neikam, CAWA

In recent years, the call to “Adopt, Don’t Shop” has been widely promoted by animal rescue and adoption groups, calling attention to the importance of saving the lives of homeless animals through adoption, and putting an end to the brutal realities of puppy and kitten mills by opting out of purchasing purebred pets from pet stores. While the sentiment is simple and its message clear, we’d like to make clear that not all shopping is detrimental. In fact, some shopping endeavors can directly support the very cause we all care about deeply.

The SPCA Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare’s core mission is to improve the lives of companion animals by rehoming abused, abandoned, and neglected pets, but they also have a unique perspective on shopping that aligns with the best interests of the animals they serve.

Just a short drive from the SPCA’s Adoption Center and Veterinary Care Center is the SPCA Thrift Store. Their slogan? “Where Shopping Saves Lives.” And it isn’t just a catchphrase; the revenue generated from this thrift store is channeled straight back into the care, treatment, and housing of the numerous animals being housed and provided for in the animal shelter.

With the shelter currently operating well beyond its capacity with dogs and cats, the need for assistance and support from the community is critical. Adopting or fostering an animal is, of course, the most direct way to help. But for those who can’t adopt or foster, the SPCA Thrift Store offers an alternative way to make a significant impact.

And coming up soon is your chance to help while enjoying a fantastic evening: The Thrift Store is hosting a ‘purring 20s’ holiday party themed “The Great Catsby” on November 6th from 6:00 until 8:00pm. For fans of glitz, glamour, and the Roaring Twenties, this is an event you won’t want to miss. With tickets priced at just $10 in advance and $20 at the door, attendees will not only have the opportunity to revel in a festive atmosphere complete with music, appetizers and drinks, but also to peruse the store’s newly unveiled holiday items and upscale merchandise with 10% off their entire purchase. Remember, every dollar you spend is a dollar that goes towards saving lives.

At a time when so much help is needed for homeless and abandoned animals, the option to both “Adopt, Don’t Shop” and shop “Where Shopping Saves Lives” coexist beautifully. It’s a testament to the idea that there’s more than one way to make a difference.

Great Catsby tickets can be “purr-chased” at the SPCA Thrift Store, the SPCA Albrecht Center or right here! Help the SPCA Albrecht Center continue its vital mission, and remember: the next time you think of shopping, make it count. 🐾


Sarah Neikam is the SPCA Albrecht Center’s Marketing Director and has been a staff member since 2012, serving first as Volunteer Coordinator, then Digital Media Manager and as Director of Operations & HR from 2018 until 2023 when she returned to her marketing role. Sarah earned her Certified Animal Welfare Administrator credential in January, 2022. She lives in Aiken with her husband Tom, their three adopted cats: Bastian, Luna & Grady, plus three former feral cats: Phoebe, Big Boy & Willow, who are happy to take advantage of the safety and consistent meals the Neikam home provides.