The Wairarapa community and the welfare of its animals were front and centre at the opening on Wednesday of Masterton's SPCA opportunity shop at its new premises.
Shop manager Fleur Harlick and shop assistant Ross Nixon were awake until the small hours ensuring the final touches were in place ahead of the 10am opening of the shop, in the space that formerly housed Chiropractic Health Centre, across from the Wairarapa Times-Age building on Chapel St.
Mr Nixon said the shop had been a roaring success since opening two years ago in the Harcourts block several doors south.
Ms Harlick said the shift took about a week to complete and the removal of several walls had turned five rooms into a comfortable retail space, which was more expansive and better lit than in the original location.
Mr Nixon said the space had been re-carpeted as well and "we did the rest".
"So what it's cost the SPCA and the community is a $28 can of stain and a couple of hinges."
The hinges are used in a divider to give loveable leonberger dog Jazz a base next to the counter from which to watch the comings and goings of customers.
Jazz has become a permanent feature of the shop since its opening in February 2013. New fixtures such as shelving, a table and display stands were donated by neighbours the Farmers Trading Company, Ms Harlick said, while Masterton firm Gawith Burridge Lawyers had shifted premises and donated equipment to the shop as well.
Masterton cleaning company Blue Bucket Express Services had also pitched in and cleaned the display windows free of charge at the new premises, she said.
Mr Nixon said: "All the rest of the preparatory work we've done, we did with what was on hand. We made a point of not covering the windows while we got ready and lots of people have been popping in to see how we were going, wishing us all the best, and making purchases as well.
"So what the tin of stain and hinges cost, we paid for out of sales while we were technically shut for the shift. It really has been self-driven."
Mr Nixon said the shop had been an unqualified success, with individuals and groups from the Wairarapa community selflessly donating a wealth of second-hand and unused goods that had helped generate about $100,000 over the past two years.
"When we started with this, we got a loan from the branch SPCA that we repaid in six months, and the shop has actually raised about $100,000 for the SPCA and that money has stayed locally," he said.
"It's awesome to be able to help people as well as ensuring animals are well looked after too."
Ms Harlick and Mr Nixon said they were eager to also start a foodbank for animals and were seeking non-perishable pet food that could be used to feed hungry animals through Wairarapa SPCA.
"A lot of animal welfare issues are driven by the economic situation and some people want to do their best for their animals but haven't got the money. That's quite a specific focus, we can be effective. People and their animals, that's what we do, and that's what keeps us going, keeps us motivated.
"This is a way for people to see the Wairarapa SPCA is working for itself, not just sitting back and asking for help and volunteers and money. And all the funds stay here and get spent on animals in Wairarapa that need help."