In the heart of San Dimas is a large red barn. Dogs bark as customers approach the newly-renovated building where children excitedly shuffle around between animals. Sounds of excitement spill out as visitors bend down to make contact with the animals. The puppies match the excitement, eager to be seen as they pounce on the cages and shove their wet little noses through the peeping holes of their cages.
The San Dimas Grain is a safe haven for animals without a home. A large piece of machinery coming from the top of the building hints at its past, where an old thresher that used to process grains looms as a reminder that this building was once a granary. Now, the former granary on Bonita Avenue serves as a temporary home to dozens of rescue animals.
Next to the puppies stands a cage of guinea pigs and rabbits of sorts. Rattles ring out from floppy-eared rabbits hopping inside their cages and drinking from the dripping water holders.
“Nice to see you again,” a store associate shouts. Employees and customers cheerfully chat with each other, and the staff is enthusiastic and eager to help.
Store manager Paige Patch has worked in the store for 12 years.
“Most of the people are just long time customers but we’re getting more and more people,” Patch said. “They’re like, ‘Oh my God, I love coming here!’”
Rescue cats frolic around playfully in the display window. The sound of birds chirping fills the air, dozens fly around on display in the long window in the front of the store.
The smiles on visitors’ faces tells the story of a place where everyone is welcome. It is a warm, friendly and inviting environment where visitors forget about the cold hospital floors inside the pet shops of PetCo and PetSmart.
“We carry mainly high end product.” Patch said. “We want people to feed their animals healthy. We carry all the hay over in the barn. We are able to bag it up so it is fresh.”
A short walk away from the main store is another wooden barn that holds stacks of hay, a cage of German shepherd puppies and a cage of chickens. Chickens coo at the site of approaching visitors, pecking away in their pens.
The rescue puppies hide behind their doghouse, unsure of the approaching visitors. The puppies can’t hold their excitement and run to the gate to approach visitors.
“The atmosphere, it is more down to earth,” Patch said. “It is a fun place to work.”
For more information, visit https://sandimasgrain.com, or stop by 142 W Bonita Ave. #3088 in San Dimas.