DEEP RIVER, Conn. (WTNH) — The new version of “Dr. Doolittle” is hitting movie theaters this month and there’s also a Deep River shop owner dedicated to helping animals.
Walk into Ashleigh’s Garden and be greeted by beautiful, fresh blooms. But it doesn’t take long to see that this place, owned by Allison Sloane, isn’t your average flower shop. It’s also a haven for animals in need.
“My island of misfit toys, I call them,” laughs Sloane. Sam, the Akita, likes a warm pat while a tortoise named Humphrey is known to go after customer’s toenails, painted red.
“He thinks they might be a strawberry or cherry tomato,” says Sloane with a smile.
And, the shop houses even more creatures than meet the eye. 36 parrots live out back. Many are animals that have nowhere else to go.
“We rescue them. We try to teach people, frankly, not to get these animals. They’re a heck of a lot of work. Parrots can live 45, 55 up to 100 years,” she says.
Some animals are adopted out but many call the flower shop their “forever home”. And, now, a new endeavor is supporting the charitable mission.
“There are about 10 rooms,” says Kim Olson, manager of The Pandemonium Rainforest Project which opened in September. Got extra stuff? Donate it! Then, folks can pick-up the gently used items for a good price.
“They’re finding things that remind them of their childhood,” says Olson.
“We came up with the idea of opening the thrift shop because all the money from the thrift shop goes to the animals, 100 percent,” explains Sloane.
Walk with the animals and talk with the animals. At Ashleigh’s Garden, life is about beauty, caring and love.
“It’s just kind of a nice, warm neighborhood place,” says Sloane.
The Pandemonium Rainforest Project is open every day of the week except Mondays.
Click here for more information.