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Published April 29, 2012, 10:15 PM

Beautiful Woman shares her love of helping animals

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It's said, The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they treat animals. And if that's the case this month's Beautiful Woman is as good as they come.

By: Kerstin Kealy, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- It's said, The purity of a person's heart can be quickly measured by how they treat animals. And if that's the case this month's Beautiful Woman is as good as they come.

Wendy Cowan doesn't remember not loving animals. As a shy child.. animals helped her through, now she's the one trying to give back.

Our beautiful women team caught up with the Durbin area woman at her unique Fargo store and found the beauty of tenderness.

Tucked away in a quiet "strip mall" in South Fargo is a dream come true for Wendy Cowan.

From a young age, Wendy knew animals were her passion..

Wendy: "I connected better with animals than I did with kids in school. I love pets, animals I have horses. I have Roosters, dogs, cats. Yes, and a Guinea pig."

It wasn't until the loss of two special pets that this wife and mother of three made animals her life mission, Jazzy, a much loved dog, was poisoned and then there was her son's cat, Mumbo.

Wendy: "And I looked at him and his paw had been severed and he had a piece of skin just holding it up and it was a Saturday and I was like oh, God, No. I have to run to the vet and no money, what am I going to do."

With not enough money to treat him at the vet, she made a heart-wrenching decision, but the only one she could afford, putting Mumbo down.

Wendy: "So that's how I came up with the store. I was working at a window company and it just bugged me because I knew there was more people out there like me that have to live paycheck to paycheck that love their animals and some of them need their animals ."

She took it as a sign when her credit card extended her limit and took a leap of faith to start Jazzy and Mumbo's Thrift Store.

Wendy: "I have to sell all of these donated items in order to help them."

100 percent of the profits of everything that's sold goes to help animals, down to the donations on the counter, everything from funding life-saving surgery and medications, to food for pet parents who can't afford it.

Wendy: "We would love to help every animal, but as you can see business hours are open and there's nobody here."

Over the past two years, it's taken a lot to keep her dream alive of helping animals..

Holding down another full time job, now at D & M Industries, she's had many days that start at 3 a-m. But with few customers coming in, business at her thrift store is struggling.

Wendy: "Every month I'm worried, every month."

They haven't been able to help any animals this year.

Wendy: "We haven't been able to help any of them and we get a lot of calls."

Wendy says, it's heartbreaking to say no to an animal in need.

Wendy: "The animals are the ones. They're like a baby. It doesn't have a voice."

Tina: "I think there should be more places like this that help animals."

Her friends and volunteers, some who work full-time for free to keep the doors of this thrift store open are inspired by this beautiful woman's unwavering dedication and passion.

Tina Draper: "She's been there. She understands what they're going through and what it is to need, what it is to want to be able to do something. She's just awesome."

If you'd like to help...Jazzy and Mumbos is located at 4720 7th Avenue South in Fargo. You can check out their facebook page to learn more about how you can help Wendy's mission..

You can hear more about Wendy in tomorrow's Forum and at 12:35 on the Christopher Gabriel Program tomorrow..

And you can find more information about our continuing project... and how to nominate and honor a beautiful woman in your life.. at beautifulwomenof.areavoices.com.

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