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Tracy Briggs, Published April 29 2012

Thrift store helps fund April Beautiful Woman’s passion to help animals

How to help

Jazzy and Mumbo’s, 4720 7th Ave. S.,

Fargo, is accepting donations of cash or gently used items accepted (Jazzy and Mumbo’s is not taking TV’s, computers or clothing at this time).

FARGO - For Wendy Cowan, it all started with a girlhood trip to the pet store to buy a guinea pig.

“I remember he was just so little and fluffy,” she says. “He couldn’t do anything but squeak when he was hungry.”

But that little squeak might as well have been a roar. It led to a lifelong passion for animals and a devotion and commitment to all pets in need. Those qualities make Cowan our Beautiful Woman for April.

One of the first things you notice about Cowan is the unassuming way she carries herself. She wears her hair loose and wavy over her shoulders. She dresses in a t-shirt and jeans as she scoops up Kyle, a foster cat she’s caring for. She speaks in a soft voice to him as he begins to purr.

Some would say she’s a gentle soul – probably one reason why Kyle and other animals seem to adore her. Just how many animals? Cowan has a hard time keeping track.

“We own horses, roosters, six dogs, five cats and a guinea pig,” she says. “I can’t imagine not having animals in my life. I remember even as a kid I connected more to animals than I did to some of the kids in school.”

Now Cowan has taken that love of animals and turned it into a business. In May of 2010, she opened Jazzy and Mumbo’s Thrift Store in Fargo. Like many thrift stores it sells clothing, toys, furniture and home décor.

Congratulations to our other finalists

Congratulations to April’s other two Beautiful Woman finalists: Joan Cudworth and Melanie Popejoy.

Online: To watch Wendy’s story and see more video on the project go to http://beautifulwomenof.areavoices.com. Voting is also open for May’s Beautiful Woman finalists at the same site.