An animal shelter in operation for more than two decades in Pahrump has upgraded its retail operations with the hopes of increasing care for current, and potentially additional, furry friends in need.
West Star Ranch, a no-kill animal rescue that houses dozens of dogs and cats, along with several peacocks, has upgraded its retail space to a more modern facility at its 780 E. Manse Road location, just west of Pahrump Valley Boulevard—nearly doubling the size of the previous space.
“This is what supports our animals,” said Kimberley Simon, a director of the West Star Ranch, about the thrift store.
During the upgrade, Simon said their outdoor yard sale stayed in operation—creating funds imperative to West Star’s ability to care for their many animals. Simon estimates there to be roughly 25 to 30 dogs and 50 to 75 cats at the facility on average.
The new facility was purchased from Symphony Animal Foundation, which closed its doors in the first half of 2017. Simon said it also took time to work its way through Nye County’s approval processes before getting a certificate of occupancy in December.
West Star is set to host its grand opening celebration from noon to 3 p.m Feb. 3. Eventgoers should expect a ribbon cutting, a barbecue and other festivities.
A closer look
The owner of the facility, Terry Dougherty, has headed West Star for roughly a decade. He took over the operation in 2008 after his mother, who started the organization in 1995, passed away.
The new facility now houses household itemssuch as sheets, towels, rugs and other related items. Other things offered at the thrift store include kitchen items, collectibles, tools, clothing and much more.
Simon said that the facility coming to the property is also thanks to the work of many volunteers, locally and from Las Vegas.
“Volunteers really made it happen; they really did,” said Dougherty.
Donations also play a large part, as well as other sources of funding.
One donator, who prefers anonymity and goes by the alias “Desert Cat Mom”, gave a donation that got the ball rolling on the new thrift store facility.
Desert Cat Mom said she has been in the Pahrump Valley for 10 years and used to donate to larger organizations, but has turned her attention to local charities in recent years.
“My focus is local,” she said. “It didn’t always used to be. I was like a lot of people. I gave to these big national companies, and then I started to think charity is an exercise of the heart, the old phrase years ago: ‘think globally, act locally.’ I thought yes, I’m going to try and find some local outfits here.”
Desert Cat Mom said she started out giving to All Fur Love Animal Society in Las Vegas until she found West Star Ranch.
“I thought, wow, this is really homegrown local,” she said.
Thrift store business
West Star also depends on its thrift store operations and hopes the expansion will help increase funding for its animals onsite and coming in the future.
West Star is a no-kill rescue that has kept some of its current furry friends around for years. Some of the animals at the facility might not have a chance at being rehomed, according to Simon.
Heidi Wells, ranch manager at West Star, said there’s some dogs that might need a little more care — with some coming from abusive situations and others with medical conditions, she explained.
One dog at West Star had to have a replacement surgery, and had continuous problems following the procedure.
“You have to be careful with a dog like that,” said Wells. “You don’t want to let it go to just anybody.”
Last year, the right person came along, according to Wells.
Pet owners who give up their animals, leave them at the rescue for various reasons, but some occurrences are typical.
“A lot of time we get our dogs because people are moving, and they’re going somewhere dogs aren’t allowed,” Simon said.
Many times, individuals in the U.S. armed services get deployed and are forced to surrender their pet to West Star.
The owner of the dog must surrender the dog. They can’t have a dog come in off the street, Wells said.
For those animals that do make it in, they are spay and neutered.
For those interested in adopting a cat or dog, the fee is $100.
With the new shop, Simon is hoping to increase West Star’s assistance to more animals in the community.
The increased presence is not meant to compete with other local thrift stores that also pursue similar goals.
“We certainly don’t feel like we’re competing,” Simon said. “We’re just offering what we have to give, and hopefully an experience as well.”
The thrift store is open Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
For more information, contact the thrift store at 775-727-6505 or visit the website at weststarranch.org
Contact reporter Jeffrey Meehan at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @pvtimes