Bay County Humane Society prepares to open new thrift shop

Panama City

PANAMA CITY Fla. (WMBB) — After the Bay County Humane Society’s former thrift store building was destroyed during Hurricane Michael, the non-profit felt homeless for the time being. 

The thrift shop is a major source of revenue for the Humane Society being they do not receive grants from federal governments and have to survive solely on local donations.  

The group was able to secure a new building back in January, but have not been able to open due to financial troubles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The pandemic has also forced the Humane Society to temporarily close the doors of their animal shelter in order to survive long term. 

Now thanks to a generous donation from The Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, the non-profit organization is working toward getting back on their feet. 

Each year the Chamber host’s their golf classic and then chooses one organization to donate the profits to. This year they chose the Humane Society knowing the obstacles they have faced over the years and looking to help in any way they can.  

President of the Humane Society, Mary Gauden, said they are very grateful for the help and ready to get back to doing what they do best – helping Bay County’s animals.

“I’m excited about getting through that process and getting to see the completion and being able to open our doors and share it with the public and get people in and use that momentum to be able to get back in and get the shelter operating,” said Gauden.

She said they are starting to get products in the store and are looking forward to reopening both the store and the shelter. The new store will be located at the Panama Plaza on 15th St. in Panama City.

She said they are planning a grand opening to coincide with the two year anniversary of the hurricane.

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