Kathy and Richard McCarty, volunteers at Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, hosted a garage sale at their home at Sandhill and Flamingo roads in 2011 to raise money for the nonprofit. The popular sale became a twice-a-year tradition that has since moved to a small warehouse at 6360 Annie Oakley Drive.
Volunteers received an abundance of donations, enough to operate monthly, and recently they moved to opening from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Friday and Saturday.
Sale funds help provide spay and neutering services and other programs for feral dogs and cats throughout Las Vegas and Henderson.
“Besides helping dogs and cats, I believe that the garage sale has helped the community in terms of spending less money on animal control and providing a place to donate and buy low-cost goods,” said Harold Vosko, president of Heaven Can Wait.
Items that can be found at the garage sale include records at $2 each, porcelain and vintage items, Christmas and Halloween decor, mugs, lamps and even a random snowboard in the back corner of the building. The garage sale also offers a large selection of books and furniture.
Parking is plentiful, but there are no restrooms on site.
Volunteer Ann Shanklin said there is not as much business in the summer as in the cooler months of the year because of the lack of climate control in the warehouse, but rain or shine, volunteers still show up every weekend.
Heaven Can Wait focuses a large amount of its efforts on its spay and neuter clinics, which provide sterilization to high-risk animals, such as pit bull mixes and feral cats that live in colonies throughout the valley. Before releasing the feral cats back into colonies, the monthly clinic sterilizes, gives medical attention, vaccinates and clips the ear of each cat to keep track of which cats have been spayed or neutered.
According to Vosko, in 2010 roughly 32,500 dogs and cats were euthanized by local shelters. Last year, the number of dogs and cats euthanized decreased to 22,000, and this year Vosko expects that number to decline again.
“Our main goal is the make Las Vegas and Henderson a safe community for dogs and cats,” Vosko said.
Among other programs that Heaven Can Wait sponsors are Pups on Parole, which focuses on the rehabilitation of abused dogs and female prison inmates at the Southern Nevada Correctional Center through training and socialization, and Tales to Tails, which helps children improve their literacy through exposure to therapy dogs.
Vosko said the garage sale raises between $6,000 and $10,000 a year.
“I am very proud to help earn money to fund activities at the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society,” said volunteer Diane Albillar. “I’m really committed to the animal welfare movement, and it’s been very fulfilling. I figure if there’s such a thing as karma, it will come back to help my animals.”
Shanklin said there is a need for more volunteers. About 30 people volunteer at the garage sale.
“I continue to be astonished at the generosity of people,” Shanklin said. “Every day someone comes in to drop off a huge donation and to say thank you for helping their dog or cat.”
Large and specialty items for sale, such as televisions, sofas and vintage items can also be found online at tellvegas.com/profile/userprofile/hcws.
For more information about the warehouse garage sale or the Heaven Can Wait Animal Society, visit hcws.org.
Contact reporter Sandy Lopez at email@example.com or 702-383-4686.