Customers of Hollyloft Ski, Bike and Snowboard Shop got to see a different type of merchandise outside the store Saturday.
This is because Les Johnson, owner of Hollyloft, has partnered with a local pet adoption organization, called "New Leash on Life," to help find homes for its animals.
The Celoron-based organization, founded by Sue Coffaro and Diane Hendrix, brought several dogs, cats and rabbits to Hollyloft's back porch to greet customers as they entered the store. According to Johnson, who is an animal-lover, the event was intended to serve what he says is a moral obligation to the animals.
Patrons of Hollyloft Ski, Bike and Snowboard Shop play with a group of seven week old puppies at an adoption event by New Leash on Life.
P-J photo by Gavin Paterniti
"We like to help the animals because, unlike humans who have the chance to help themselves if they want to be helped, the animals can't do that," he said.
Johnson said he met Coffaro and Hendrix as they were both customers of Hollyloft, whereupon he decided to help provide exposure and resources for their organization. Prior to Saturday's event, he said Hollyloft had raised $2,600 for New Leash on Life through customer donations and by sending the proceeds of used bike donations to the organization.
"I just thought (having them come here) would be better exposure for them in hopefully finding homes for some of the animals," he said. "And it works well for everybody. We get more traffic, and (Coffaro) gets the cash. All the money goes right down to her."
According to Coffaro, who has personally been rescuing animals for four decades, her collaboration with Hendrix began approximately 15 years ago - which is when New Leash on Life was founded.
"We focus on spaying and neutering (the animals), and we keep the dogs in our homes until they're up for adoption," she said. "If they're senior dogs, we just keep them. It's a different kind of rescue, because we know what it's like to live with them - but with that, we do have a saturation point."
Although Coffaro and Hendrix have traveled regionally to host adoption events, they prefer to remain local. Their placement rates have been consistently high, both locally and from afar, having shipped animals by private plane to locations such as Long Island and San Diego. They have also received animals by plane from areas with high-kill shelters, such as Ohio.
"They can't help it out in Ohio, they're just inundated with animals, but they've flown a couple of our dogs in with their own airplane. We don't care about where they come from or how they get to us. We figure that, if they get to us, they were meant to," said Coffaro.
"All of our adoptions are (done) on a trial basis," said Hendrix. "We refund the adoption fee if it doesn't work out because we just want to keep (the animals) out of shelters."
In addition to hosting the adoption event, Hollyloft also provided a drawing for a Hollyloft gift certificate. Store credit in the amount of $25 was also offered to those who adopted an animal.
For more information on New Leash on Life, call 483-1420, visit www.petfinder.com/shelters/NY375.html or find them on Facebook.