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Humane Society Resale Shop unveils new trailer dedicated to two of shop’s original volunteers
The Dawson County Humane Society Resale Shop has recently unveiled its new trailer, which will be a huge help to the shop and the Humane Society in many ways. - photo by Erica Jones

The Dawson County Humane Society Resale Shop has officially unveiled its new wrapped trailer, dedicated to a local couple who was instrumental in helping to start the shop. 

Susan Sexton, volunteer and general manager of the resale shop, said that the idea for a trailer first came to some of the volunteers when the shop was asked to remove the signs from the front of the building in cooperation with county ordinances. 

“I recall the idea coming out when all of our signs had to be removed from the front because of county code, and we were brainstorming on ‘okay how do we get more visibility here’,” Sexton said. “Because you would think looking at 53 that everybody can see this but people come in all the time and say they never knew we were here.” 

The trailer is dedicated in honor of Terri and Jerry Tragesser, a local couple who were instrumental in the idea for and execution of the resale shop. - photo by Erica Jones

The enclosed trailer is wrapped with the Dawson County Humane Society and the Resale Shop and Boutique logos and contact information, as well as photos of some of the dogs and cats that the shop helps through the Humane Society. The trailer is parked on the corner in front of the shop, and because it’s so eye-catching, Sexton said that the goal is to let people know the shop is there and to peak their interest to come check it out. 

“The idea of a wrapped trailer sitting prominently out there would hopefully garner some attention; we’re getting ready to find that out,” Sexton said. 

In addition to being a large sign to advertise the shop, both when it’s parked outside the shop and when it’s being pulled down the road, the new trailer will be useful to both the shop and the Humane Society in a myriad of ways. One of these ways, according to Dawson County Humane Society Board President Tim Smock, is that the shop can now transport more and larger items without the help of outside organizations. 

“Currently we utilize the services of a local moving company when we have a large, heavy furniture move that is beyond the volunteers,” Smock said. “We have the need from time to time when there’s things we could haul and not have to pay the cost, so that was one of the reasons that we wanted to get the trailer.” 

Smock added that the trailer can also help decrease the number of trips that volunteers would have to make to help carry items from the organization’s offsite storage units to the shop. 

“We have a couple of offsite storage units, and sometimes we have to make a fairly large move either to or from the store,” Smock said, “so it’ll make it a little bit easier than loading up vehicles and doing it that way.” 

In addition to transporting items to and from the resale shop, the trailer will be useful to help the Humane Society transport supplies to and from the shelter for offsite adoption events, Smock said. 

“We have a very aging older trailer at the shelter now, and also we have a cargo van that are both in need of replacing,” Smock said. “So this trailer, if needed, could also help in transporting supplies and so forth to off-site adoption events; it can carry cages or so on and the animals can be transported in the heated or air conditioned transport van.” 

Because the merchandise in the resale shop is all donated items from the community, volunteers never know when donations will come in, Smock added. Because of this, the trailer can also act as storage for overflow merchandise when large donations come into the shop. 

“The one thing we cannot predict or plan for is when will donations be made and it’s never on a linear scale; either we don’t have anything or it all comes at once, so to have that as overflow storage as needed will help us a lot,” Smock said. “It also can act as a staging overflow storage for us here; let’s stay we’re getting ready for a big Christmas sale or sidewalk sale or yard sale and we don’t have room in here to store everything, we can use it as well.” 

The shop received the trailer last week, and the volunteers all agreed that it should be dedicated to local couple Terri and Jerry Tragesser, who were instrumental in getting the resale shop off the ground about eight years ago. 

“Terri is the person who came up with this brainstorm for the shop along with five other women; they had been volunteering for the humane society for years  and they were doing a lot of fundraising, and Terri came up with this plan for an upscale resale shop that would really be different than anything else we have out here,” Sexton said. “It took them probably close to a year to get everything in shape to really open up, and Terri was our general manager for about seven of the eight years we’ve been open.” 

Terri was the “engine” that got the resale shop going, and her vision for an upscale resale shop still carries on today, Smock said. Her husband Jerry Tragesser was also instrumental in helping to get the shop off the ground. 

“Terri’s husband Jerry is a workaholic behind the scenes,” Smock said. “He’s past president of the Lion’s Club, he’s been involved with RIC-Rack — he’s known as somebody who very quietly does a lot and was very instrumental in carrying things in and out, helping set everything up, and doing it with a big smile to get it done.” 

While Terri has stepped down from the position of general manager, she and her husband are still very instrumental in supporting the shop, Sexton said. Today, Terri runs the shop’s social media, helps create the ads that they post and is available for anything else she can do in her free time. 

Smock said that he and everyone else who helped bring the trailer to the shop were all completely on board with the idea of dedicating the new trailer to the Tragesser family. 

“We didn’t take any funds out of the operation of the shelter; they were all donated funds and the people involved with that as well as the board fully endorsed doing it in their honor,” Smock said. “They’re humble spirits, so this was a modest way of honoring them.” 

Sexton added that the trailer will be used in dozens of ways throughout the year, and it makes sense that it be dedicated to the couple that helped the shop get off the ground in the first place. 

“There are just so many possibilities, and it’ll probably be utilized differently throughout the year,” Sexton said. “This is the first trailer we have for this shop; it’s only fitting that it should be dedicated to the Tragessers.” 

The Dawson County Humane Society Resale Shop and Boutique is located at 54 Lumpkin Campground Road in Dawsonville. The shop is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. 

For more information about the Dawson County Humane Society and the resale shop, including how to volunteer, donate or help with the organization’s mission, go to