Splashy, dramatic, huge raffle baskets. Crafty creations from wood ladders to sassy signs, jaw-dropping jewelry, wreaths and lighted tabletop decor. When you see all this, plus assorted kitchenware, furniture, pet beds and other eye-popping surprises appearing at the Olean Center Mall the week before Thanksgiving, you know the most wonderful time of the year has arrived in the Enchanted Mountains.

When you shopped here, you knew that every penny spent directly benefited the dogs and cats in our care. We thank you for patronizing our six-week holiday store, not only to raise much-needed funds, but to share the stories of our animals and how we address their needs.

Have you ever seen angels? We have — many times, when they appeared in our “Pawtique” to stuff our donation jar. Other angels, not so visible, contributed countless dollars and hours, energy, talents, and ideas behind-the-scenes, year ‘round, to make this store happen. So many wish to remain nameless ... oh, how we wish to acknowledge “those who must not be named.”

These caring, creative, folks from our community always come through because they understand how critical the shelter needs are to render responsible, compassionate care for “all creatures big and small.”

From helping lost pets return home, to caring for medical needs, to rescuing abused and/or abandoned animals, our SPCA is dedicated to doing its best. Your Pawtique patronage supports these efforts.

If you’d like to donate items for next season, please consider regifting any new merchandise. We’d also be grateful for clean, perhaps slightly used items in excellent shape. Crafters, your skills are invaluable ... and you’ve probably already started projects for next Christmas! We can begin accepting your donations in early October.

With your help, Pawtique 2020 will open in November. Once again, our baked goods will be delectable. Our resident cats will deign to hold court at their leisure. Our passionate-yet-playful staff will be eager to wrap your gifts and carry them to your car, and our resident accordionist may inspire you to sing along in the spirit of the season.

Sheryl Anderson, Becky Brockway,                                                               Lila Ervay, Kathy Howard,                                                                              Judy Hupf and Mimi Smith                                                                            SPCA in Cattaraugus County volunteers