Shopping for a good (animal) cause

Over the past few years, I have occasionally traveled for work. My favorite after-work entertainment? Saving ! I tagged a classic black wool coat in Fort Collins, little black dresses in Denver, and women’s Minelli oxfords (with original price tags!) in Albuquerque. Savings are good for the environment, good for the wallet – and good for the organization running the store!

Las Cruces has many thrift stores (also called resale stores) that support great causes, and two support local nonprofits for animals – Second Chance Thrift Store operated by Action Programs for Animals (APA) and Safe Haven Thrift Store operated by Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary (SHAS). I myself regularly haunt the aisles of these shops and invariably come away with beautiful furniture, clothing or household items.

I spoke with Second Chance Thrift Store manager Cassandra Lockwood about what savvy savers should be looking for. I wasn’t surprised by her response that shoppers would find “high-end clothing, handbags, books, DVDs, CDs and vinyl records, jewelry, and great home furnishings and decor. home”. (Furniture can be delivered for $20.)

I was surprised, however, when Cassandra mentioned that APA takes serious artwork and jewelry donations, and twice a year she works with Mesilla Valley Estate Sales ( to run auctions for these items. Stay tuned for the next auction, which will take place during Thanksgiving week and will feature paintings, local artisan pottery, 18k gold jewelry, silver jewelry, a hand-woven rug made in Poland , Coach handbags, Stiffel lamps, Waterford and Baccarat glass and tableware, Pier 1 urns, sports equipment, a $1,000 lawn mower and a brand new saddle!

Second Chance Thrift Store is located at 2475 N. Main St.

Cassandra also manages APA’s eBay site (who knew?)! She noted that new items are placed on eBay every week, mostly designer clothes and shoes. Cassandra would like to have more volunteers for the store, and she is always looking for salable donations. The key word is “sellable” – clean, current and of good quality – to maintain their “commitment to selling only the best items”.

Across town, Safe Haven Thrift Store is Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary’s primary fundraiser and strives to live up to its motto of “a first-class thrift store experience.” Large, bright and well organized, upon entering you are greeted by rows and rows of crockery, small appliances, glassware and decorative items. To the right is an impressive display of books and furniture. In the back are shelves full of clothes (where you’ll find me!). If you are willing to dig, you will find buried treasure. (Pro tip: Women’s formal wear and even wedding dresses can be some of the best savings deals to find. Bonus pro tip: Wear skin-tight leggings and a tank top when saving clothes so you don’t don’t have to wait for dressing.)

Animal Action Programs and Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary are members of the Las Cruces Green Chamber of Commerce. Shopping at resale stores is definitely a “green” activity, keeping unwanted items out of a landfill and reducing your carbon footprint. Second-hand shopping also makes sense for people on a budget, like students or beginners, or anyone who wants to limit their spending.

The Safe Haven Animal Sanctuary thrift store is located at 840-D El Paseo Road.

Most importantly, APA’s Second Chance Thrift Store and Safe Haven Thrift Store are critical sources of funding to fulfill their organization’s respective missions. Its website states that Safe Haven Thrift Store “is (SHAS) primary source of funding” and that “every purchase at a thrift store helps feed the animals.” APA’s Second Chance Thrift Store funds a large portion of APA’s overhead.

When you support a local animal organization, you indirectly support them all. So what are you waiting for? On your marks… get set… shop!

Safe Haven Thrift Store

  • Where: 840-D El Paseo Road
  • Hours: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday. Donations accepted only during opening hours
  • Website:
  • Call: 575-541-4942

Second chance thrift store

More notes from the ASCMV:

Elaine Stachera Simon writes for the Mesilla Valley Animal Services Center. Follow on Facebook (, check or call 575-382-0018.

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