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RAPS thrift store unable to reopen in time for Halloween

The Richmond-based charity's thrift store has been closed since early September.
The RAPS thrift store is not quite ready to reopen just yet.

Plans to re-open Richmond’s animal charity thrift store in time for Halloween were nixed when it became clear an engineer’s report would not be ready.

“It was a huge disappointment,” said Pat Johnson, communications manager for The Regional Animal Protection Society.

RAPS had planned to welcome visitors into their thrift store on Francis Road earlier this week, but “unfortunately, the structural engineers have not given us the okay yet,” said Johnson.

The store has been closed since early September when a car lost control and drove into it. No one inside the store was hurt, but shelves came crashing down and merchandise went flying inside the store.

Johnson estimates it will be another few weeks before the store can re-open. In the meantime, the charity will continue to rely on support from the public and donors.

100% of the profits from RAPS’s thrift stores go directly to the animal hospital and programs helping rescued animals, explained Johnson. 

RAPS Animal Hospital has provided more than $4 million in financial aid for low-income families, those living in transitional housing and anyone facing other financial challenges who have pets that need to receive treatment. 

Living in an expensive city, some people cannot afford a sudden medical bill for their pet, says Johnson. “We’re the only animal hospital in the Greater Vancouver with an interest-free financing plan”. 

The Discovery Channel has aired an 8-episode series called Pets and Pickers, which documents how RAPS has helped families receive necessary healthcare for their pets. 

Johnson believes the show has helped raise awareness for the work RAPS Animal Hospital is doing and has helped compensate for the missing revenue from their closed thrift store. 

“It’s a great way to share the story of our work,” Johnson added. “Everything on the show is possible because of the people who support RAPS and the people of Richmond who have been supporting us for the past 28 years.” 

The show will release a second season in January 2023, streaming on Crave TV, CTV and soon on Discovery Plus.