There are few places where shoppers can buy diamond rings, antique books, and bus seats all while accompanied by their favorite four-legged friend. Wagging Tails Thrifts and Gifts is one of them.
“This is one of my favorite places to go,” said Stewart Ash of Germantown. “They’ve got great stuff and the people are just so nice.”
Ash was in the market for some used vinyl records on Thursday, March 14 as Wagging Tails celebrated their reopening at 1310 East Gude Drive in Rockville with door prizes, food and drinks.
The store first opened in the same shopping center seven years ago and its new location is a few doors down from its old location. The store closed for five days in January while it moved to the new location, said Irene Tercy, who manages the store. It first opened its doors for business in late January, though Thursday's event was the official reopening ceremony.
The store is owned and operated by the Montgomery County Humane Society and all proceeds go to various Humane Society programs said Tercy. The space used to hold batting cages, said Allan Cohen, a member of the board of directors for the Humane Society, and is roughly twice the size of the previous location.
"We had gotten such support from the community that we outgrew our old space," said Tercy.
The store sells everything from used clothing to Christmas ornaments to furniture and art and relies on donations from the public, Tercy said, and is run by a mix of paid employees and volunteers.
Some of the higher end merchandise such as china and collectible items are sold online at EBay and Craigslist.com, said Cohen.
“If it’s a higher end thing, people may not see it in the store,” said Cohen. Cohen said that practice is part of a larger trend among organizations that receive charitable donations that attempt to maximize their potential profits by using the internet.
“We sold a Beanie Baby [online] last week for $160,” said Cohen.
"You're definitely starting to see... a lot more of that," said Tercy.
Pets are welcome in the store with their owners, said Tercy as long as they are leashed. Tercy said people have even brought in birds on their shoulders and one time a man brought in a snake around his neck.
"As long as it won't fly away you can bring it in," said Tercy.
Sharon Sparks, a member of the board of directors for the Montgomery County Humane Society brought her long-coat Chihuahua Rosalita to the event.
“She’s a little scared tonight,” said Sparks of Rosalita, who shivered in Sparks’ arms.
Pam Klein of Olney had been to Wagging Tails only once before Thursday night’s event, and said that she was impressed by the wide selection.
“It’s a cool place,” said Klein. “It’s nice.”
Door prizes were given away hourly and at the checkout counter customers spun a wheel that reduced the total price of their purchase by as much as 50 percent depending on where the wheel stopped.
The discount wheel was a one-time special, said Tercy, but there are silent auctions every two weeks at the store. There are also monthly gift baskets raffled off as people drop off their contact information during the course of the month.
Starting on Thursday, March 29 the store will be open until 8 p.m. every Thursday, said Tercy.