The Spice & Tea Exchange of Duck hosted a Holiday Happiness Cookie Competition and Bake Sale Saturday, Dec. 15, to benefit Dare County SPCA — and there were lots of winners.

• Three talented bakers — Sue Tucker Jacques (Hot Chocolate Christmas Kiss Cookies); Sharon Thomas Huttemann (Cherry Chocolate Fudge Cookies): and Lauren Saunders (Cinnamon Sugar Cookies) — each received a $50 gift certificate from The Spice and Tea Exchange, thanks to a three-way tie for First Place;

• Shoppers who stopped by the Duck shop to support the OBX SPCA were able to fill their holiday cookie tins with delicious home-made goodies ($1 per cookie) and received 15% off all purchases that day in the shop;

• And nearly $300 was raised for the animals at the animal shelter in Manteo.

The funds raised at the event will help the Outer Banks SPCA fulfill its mission to provide quality care, rescue, reunification, and rehabilitation to all stray, homeless, and abandoned animals in Dare County.

But money isn't the only thing needed at the Manteo nonprofit:

Volunteers: The OBX SPCA needs help with dog walking, training, transportation, marketing, laundry, bathing or cleaning of the kennels, and socialization of the animals in its care — a happy, social animal that is looking for love is more adoptable than a frightened, skittish or anti-social dog or cat. Volunteers are especially needed to take part in the Sidekicks program —  which pairs hard to adopt or behaviorally challenged canines with committed volunteers known as Sidekicks. Sidekicks work with their partner dogs regularly to improve behavior and increase general adoptability;

Bedding, beach/bath towels: Baby, it can get cold outside, and thin fleece throw blankets not only provide warmth, they're also easy to launder and quick to dry — which is very important when you have so many critters in need of a dry, comfy blankie (Note: Comforters and quilts are a bit too cumbersome to dry);

Cleaning supplies: Bleach, liquid laundry detergent, paper towels, rubber gloves, Windex and Formula 409 cleaner;

Homes for senior animals: Puppies and kittens are always the first to be adopted, and there are loving senior animals who would be grateful for a forever home — but are often overlooked. There are benefits to adopting an older animal: Most older dogs and cats were once owned and loved by someone who — whether because of a death, displacement, or some other life-altering event — surrendered the pet to the shelter. Older pets are loyal, already house-trained and grateful for a loving home. They also are more "chill," require much less training and are generally well behaved around children. Open your home — and your heart — to an old boy or girl, and you'll be rewarded with a companion that will return the love tenfold.

To find out more — and check out the adoptable dogs and cats at the shelter — visit, call (252) 475-5620, or stop by the shelter at 1031 Driftwood Drive, Manteo.


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