Humans in need find furry friends indeed

Samantha Cabeza, Staff Reporter

Empty cages at rescue centers mean more people are adopting animals during the stay-at-home order. 

Quarantine has caused more students and residents of Ellensburg to adopt all kinds of critters. Adoption rates have gone up as the weeks have gone on, which means animals are spending less time at the pound and more time in loving homes. Locals, as well as people all over the country, are emptying out cages and bringing home animals to keep them company during the loneliness of isolation. 

According to a receptionist at the Ellensburg Pet Center (EPC), they have noticed that more animals are being adopted since the stay-at-home order began. EPC is currently open to the public. 

EPC sells animals like birds, fish and cats. The animal center said on their website that the kittens they hold at their store are rescue kittens, so the center offers free vouchers to get the cats neutered or spayed. 

The Ellensburg City Animal Center is currently closed due to the stay-at-home order. Their voicemail explains that most of their animals found foster homes for the time being, and the animals currently there are being cared for. 

Zoe Whittaker-Jameson, a junior studying elementary education, adopted a kitten from a friend that would have gone to the shelter if she didn’t take him in. Whittaker-Jameson is currently living alone in Ellensburg with her cat. 

“It is comfortable living with him since I am alone and he makes me feel less isolated,” Whittaker-Jameson said. 

Whittaker-Jameson said knowing there is a living creature in the house with her makes her more comfortable rather than feeling alone. Her cat cheers her up when she’s sad by playing fetch outside with her on a sunny day.  

“I think it’s good that adoption rates are going up because I think that is preventing a lot of people from adopting an animal without the intention to keep it forever,” Whittaker-Jameson said. 

Tiffini Hawkins, a senior studying public health, has a cat named Mavis that she rescued with her roommate. Hawkins, her roommate and their cat live in Ellensburg in an apartment. 

“Mavis is like our third roommate and owns the apartment essentially,” Hawkins said. “She is so sassy but I wouldn’t want to be quarantined with anybody else.”

Hawkins is considered an essential worker as she works at Linder Chiropractic as a massage therapist and at Starbucks as a barista. She said after a long day of massages or serving drinks, she loves to come home and hug Mavis. Hawkins has had to work almost every day.

“I am so glad we got her when we did. She is so comforting and wonderful and the joy she brings us is an emotion we need especially during the stay-at-home order,” Hawkins said. 

There are multiple ways to adopt an animal without having to go to a shop. If you are looking for a furry friend to help keep you company during isolation, there are multiple ways you can adopt. Pet Finder and Ellensburg Pet Center are easily accessible resources to help somebody look for an animal during the stay-at-home order.