Out and About
Cause for Paws
Shopping for a Great Cause
By Mia Azizah
When Sue Sturgis got her first puppy, she knew that she and new best friend were meant to be together. Ever since that day, Sue has felt that her calling is to save animals from neglect and abuse. Eleven years ago, she made a big change to more fully dedicate her life to helping animals. She sold her spa business and started Cause for Paws, an upscale non-profit boutique in Lincoln, where she combines her interests in fashion, beauty, and animals by giving her proceeds to local animal charities and organizations. Cause for Paws has donated more than $300,000 to charities such as Hearts United for Animals, Lincoln Animal Ambassadors, Nebraska Boston Terrier/French Bulldog Rescue, the Capital Humane Society, and many more.
Sue also uses the proceeds from the boutique to provide animals better housing and help families in financial distress with their pets’ vet bills. Sue understands that life happens, and she tries to help as much she can. “All I want is peace and happiness for animals,” Sue says. “That’s what I wish for every animal on the planet.”
The more products Cause for Paws can sell, the more animals the store can save. That’s why Sue selectively fills her boutique with a great selection of new and gently used women’s and men’s clothing, shoes, purses, and jewelry, as well as housewares, furniture, seasonal decorations, and pet items. The products are high-quality items sold at an affordable price.
Before displaying the items, Sue and Jane Lammers, who has worked in the store since the first year it opened, make sure that each item is in good condition. Shoppers can even find designer handbags, clothes, and shoes that have never been worn at only half the original price.
Cause for Paws is also a great place for girls to find prom dresses or brides-to-be to find the perfect wedding gown at an affordable price! The never-worn wedding dresses are samples donated by Lincoln bridal shop Ellyne Bridal. The store does not do any fitting or alterations, but customers are more than welcome to call ahead and make an appointment to try on dresses. Sue, with her background in fashion and beauty, can help customers to find the perfect outfit for any occasion.
Sue and Jane always make sure that the boutique feels like home—every customer is greeted with a smile and a warm beverage. The items are beautifully displayed and organized by color. Through the store, Sue and Jane have had the opportunity to meet fellow animal lovers and help animals who are in need of care. Many customers share their love for animals. All the hard work pays off when Sue and Jane know they’re making a difference in the life of an animal and its owner. “We help animals, and that is the most important thing,” Jane explains.
Sue says she still feels there is more she could do to help save more animals from cruel treatment, whether they are being abandoned out in the hot or cold, starved, or abused by their owners. “If you don’t like the dog, don’t get a dog,” Sue advises. “They can’t tell you how they feel. They can’t tell you their emotions.” She regrets that, despite her best efforts, so many animals are still mistreated. “It’s just so sad to see that. It just really, really breaks my heart.”
Sue can feel proud of the difference that Cause for Paws has made in the lives of local animals who needed help.
Once, a woman came into the store and asked Sue and Jane for help with her pet’s care bill, as she was in a financial struggle. Sue says she admired the woman’s decision to not abandon the dog, so Sue paid the bill to save the dog’s life. Little did Sue know that the same woman nominated Cause for Paws for a grant for $2,500 as a token of gratitude, Sue says. “I love the people who shop here who really care about the animals,” Sue notes. “I love them. I really mean that because they make a huge difference.”
Sue notes that her store is not an animal store, though customers are welcome to bring their animals into the store. Rather, it is an “animal-loving” store, where people can shop for clothes, housewares, and many more items while also sharing their passion for saving animals.
Visit Cause for Paws at 2445 South 48th Street, in Lincoln, or online at causeforpawslincoln.org. You can also check their Facebook page or call 402-420-5758 for more information. Show your support for animals by shopping, donating, or volunteering with Cause for Paws!
and Sue Strurgis