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Clarenville Correctional Centre for Women and SPCA team up; unsellable clothing donations get second life as handmade dog toys

Cyndi Hickey says these handmade dog toys mean that otherwise unsellable donations are put to good use. And, the dogs seem to love them.
Cyndi Hickey says these handmade dog toys mean that otherwise unsellable donations are put to good use. And, the dogs seem to love them. - Mark Squibb

Dog days

The handmade toys.
The handmade toys.

CLARENVILLE, N.L.— Some clothing that the Clarenville SPCA thrift store receives as donations are deemed unsellable, due to rips, tears or stains.

But rest assured, there’s still a use for them.

That unsellable clothing is being made into handmade dog toys by residents of the Correctional Centre for Women in Clarenville.

“It keeps the women busy and give them a chance to give back,” said Cyndi Hickey, manager of the Clarenville SPCA and thrift store.

The project began about a year ago as a spin-off of the “New Leash on Life” program, which gives shelter dogs and inmates the chance to befriend and work with one another.

Hickey says the toy project creates another means of putting to use donations the organization receives.

“Any clothing that you think that might be trash, could be used for the toys,” explained Hickey, who told The Packet that any donations received are put to use, even if it means sending them to another organization such as the Diabetes Association.

Or, turning them into craft chew toys to keep your four-legged family members busy.

Hickey says reaction to the toys has been positive.

“I’ve seen people snap pictures and put it on their Facebook or their Instagram, and some people have bought more knowing where they come from,” she said.

The store also seeks to aid the women at the facility in other ways.

“We also use some merchandise from the store for women from the correctional centre, because maybe they have a court date, or they’re just released, and they need new shows or need a new outfit,” explained Hickey.

Purchases of the dog toys and all other items at the thrift store go directly to the shelter, which is staffed by a mixture of paid employees, volunteers and summer students. The toys come in various sizes and colors, ranging in price from about $1-5, depending on the size.

Mark.squibb@thepacket.ca

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