By TESA GLASS
MT. VERNON — —
Patty Cockrum of The Gettn Place consignment and resale shop opened her doors to give back not only to people in need, but to farm animals.
"It started with Pretty Boy," Cockrum said. "He's a miniature donkey and the reason for everything."
Pretty Boy, was discovered by Cockrum's parents, who were purchasing some miniature donkeys.
"My folks moved back here, and they decided they wanted to be farmers," Cockrum said. "They went to look at some miniature donkeys. They picked out four healthy ones, and they heard a noise in a darkened stall and wanted to see what was in there."
What was in the stall was a donkey about 3-feet-tall, emaciated, covered in its own filth and left to die.
"My mother called me, she knows I have always had a soft spot for animals," Cockrum said. "The owner said if they wanted that one, they would give it to them, so they took it and met me at the vet."
When Cockrum saw the animal, her heart went out to it.
"I looked back there and I just wanted to cry," Cockrum said. "It's growth was stunted due to malnutrition, it was covered in feces and urine, his hair was overgrown, he could only stand up on his back legs because his hooves were so overgrown. As soon as I saw him, I knew his name. I kept saying, 'you're a pretty boy, it will be all right, pretty boy.' He reminded me of Eyore, with his ears dropped down and head and eyes that didn't look up."
The prognosis was not good for Pretty Boy, but thanks to lots of attention and special help from veterinarians, farriers and donations, he is now a healthy miniature donkey with a new playmate. Since Pretty Boy, Cockrum has rescued chickens, birds, goats and other farm animals.
"Dogs and cats have someplace to go, there are lots of rescue organizations out there," Cockrum said. "Farm animals don't have that kind of place."
Cockrum was able to start The Gettn Place consignment and resale shop as a way to help people, and now has expanded it to help animals as well. Seventy-five percent of all proceeds provide vet care, food and the needs of animals. In addition, she gives back to customers and community members with an annual summer giveaway and a fall coat giveaway.
"Whether the Lord above decides for us to visit those in nursing homes, the help foster kids or children learn values and caring skills, or welcome the public to a free petting zoo, we do it," Cockrum said. "Our mission is to bless others as we have been blessed."
Cockrum said she has always had the passion to own a resale shop, and it was amplified during the years she spent as an activity director in a nursing home.
"People would come into the home and not really have anything, or have family that could get them clothing they needed," Cockrum said. "I started going to rummage sales and places where I could pick up things for them inexpensively. When I met my husband, he supported and blessed me and I was able to fulfill my dream. This was started to help people in need, so when Pretty Boy came along, we added the animals. But, I want to continue to help people as well."
The summer giveaway will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at The Gettn Place, located at 2203 Perkins Ave. There is a limit of two bags of clothing and two bags of miscellaneous items per family. The store will not be open on Saturday so volunteers can concentrate on the giveaway event.
"People don't realize when they come in the store, they are already giving back," Cockrum said. "This is a way to give back to them."