SEMINOLE — Forced to temporarily close because of the coronavirus pandemic, Fluff’s Stuff Re-Tail for Rescue, a Seminole thrift shop that supports the advocacy work of the nonprofit Fluff Animal Rescue, will host daily virtual auctions for the foreseeable future.
All funds raised will benefit the organization’s animal rescue work throughout the state.
“Having to close the store is absolutely devastating to our work,” said Fluff founder Kimmy Chandler.
Every day at noon, Fluff’s thrift store will post auction items to their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/fluffanimalresq.
Those vying for these items will have 24 hours — until noon the next day — to place their bids in the comment sections of these posts. The highest bidder wins the item and Fluff will make arrangements with them to pick up their items at the shop, located at 11220 Park Blvd.
Items available through the auction range from collectible vinyl and DVDs, glassware, lighting, jewelry, clothing, decorative goods, stuffed animals, games and more. Often, they undercut not only the items’ value elsewhere, but also Fluff’s regular in-store prices on them in the starting bids, Chandler said.
“Instead of selling these (items) closer to their retail prices, we’re selling them at thrift prices,” she said. “We’re not afraid to lose money. We just want to generate something in this time of nothing.”
As the country faces economic challenges because of the pandemic, she anticipates animal rescues and shelters will be dealt a financial blow.
“We’re already seeing it with the pleas coming out of the shelters,” Chandler said. “They already need our help.”
She’s starting to see a rise in animal surrenders reported at shelters and event family pets being abandoned, she said, including several dogs recently dumped at Lake Seminole Park.
“People are losing it,” she said. “If they’ve already lost their job and they’re not committed to their animals or they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, they’re in freak-out mode.”
Luckily, Fluff is seeing an influx of foster homes while people are staying at home and focused on social distancing because of the spread of the coronavirus.
“Because they’re home more, now they have time to foster,” Chandler said. “I always say, adopters are silver, but fosters are gold. Because every foster opens up space for us to take in another animal from a shelter. If I don’t have a foster lined up, then I have to say no to shelters and animals in need.”
She added, “Fosters are the difference between life and death.”
Those interested in offering a foster home to Fluff should visit www.fluffanimalrescue.org or call 727-329-8443.