H Street thrift boutique opens to support nearby pet rescue


Owner of Rescue Ranch Thrift Boutique and Grooming, Leslie Fee, holds CC, a 12-week-old puppy rescued from California. Photo by Stefanie Donahue.

By Stefanie Donahue

Blaine pets and their owners have a new place to shop.

Rescue Ranch Thrift Boutique and Grooming made its debut last month and has since been offering the public a variety of low-cost clothing options for pets and their owners. The new thrift boutique is located on 335 H Street and opened on October 18.

For owner Leslie Fee, opening the new shopping spot is just one of the many endeavors she’s taken to aid in the rescue and adoption of pets in need.

In 2012, she shifted her career as a full-time financial advisor to opening and claiming the title as president of Embrace a Discarded Animal Society. The organization is based out of British Columbia and facilitates the rescue and rehoming of small-breed dogs.

In June 2015, she took it one step further and opened a 10-acre pet rescue in Blaine to house dogs, cats and other animals awaiting adoption.

Each year, Embrace a Discarded Animal Society facilitates the adoption of about 80 to 100 dogs, most of which are housed on the Rescue Ranch in Blaine. Many of the dogs are rescued from California, where about 500,000 dogs are euthanized each year,
Fee said.

Fee makes sure all the dogs she cares for are spayed and neutered before finding them a home. Each day, Fee cooks up turkey and fish stew for the dogs. She fronts most of the cost herself and hopes that the new H Street thrift boutique will help fund the ranch in Blaine.

“We’ve got a very high success rate because we know our dogs so well,” she said. “You learn something every day.”

Just days after the store opened, Fee was already relishing in the support she’s received from the community.

“The people of Blaine have been so fantastic,” she said.

The store is lined from top to bottom with clothing, accessories and home goods donated from the community and various partners in the United States and Canada, she said. Fashion-forward pups can also pick from a slew of different clothing and accessory options in the store.

Fee said she hopes to continue bringing in dogs and cats to the store for adoption. She’s still in the process of hiring a groomer for the store, but hurdles aside, she’s happy with the time she spends with dogs and prospective owners on the daily.

“To see them in these amazing homes – they’re totally loved,” she said. “That’s just worth it.”

To stay up to date on upcoming events, visit the Embrace a Discarded Animal Society Facebook page or the Rescue Ranch website at therescueranch.net. Stay tuned for details on a holiday-themed fundraising event Fee hopes to set up this December.

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