Photo by Brooke Weisbecker
At the Small Animal Adoption event on Saturday, March 2, the Whatcom Humane Society was packed with people eagerly waiting to adopt an animal displaced by the Feb. 18 fire at Hohl Feed and Seed.
The fire displaced over 75 animals, many of which were taken to the Whatcom Humane Society to be cared for, according to Kelcie Faber, the manager of Hohl Feed and Seed.
Multiple animals were available for adoption from Hohl Feed and Seed, including rabbits, domestic rats, hamsters, gerbils and mice, according to Hohl Feed and Seed manager Kelcie Faber.
Event attendee Erica Huynh commented on the high volume of attendees waiting to adopt an animal.
“There were dozens of people lined up and ready to adopt whatever little animal needed some help,” Huynh said. “I think the majority of people I saw walk in ended up taking an animal home. And that was just in the first hour.”
Faber said the event was an emotional experience for her.
“We’re sure going to miss everybody down at the store, so it’s kind of nice to be here and see people coming in,” she said. “It’s a little sentimental too. I worry if that’s my last time I’m going to teach some little kid about a hamster, I hope not.”
Faber’s favorite part of her job is seeing how excited people are about taking an animal home. She said the event exceeded her expectations.
“It’s different when everybody says a million nice things on Facebook, but to see everybody show up is really great,” Faber said. “To see a line out the door is great.”
The number of people who attended the event was unexpected, so Whatcom Humanity Society employees sent small groups of people at a time to the room the animals were being held in so the lobby didn’t get too crowded, Faber said.
“I want to see as many animals as possible get adopted,” Faber said. “I hate to think they’ll all get stuck here for too long. I’m sure not all of them will find homes today, there’s a lot of them.”
Faber said the support given by the Whatcom Humane Society has been a comfort to her and other employees.
“Knowing that the animals were saved and have been well-cared for at the Humane Society has been such a weight off of our shoulders and one of the few comforts for all of our staff during this tragedy,” Faber said. “We love those animals, and it means so much to us that they all find homes.”
Luke Price, the assistant manager at Hohl Feed and Seed, said he has seen a lot of concern for the animals’ well-being and the response from the community has been positive.
“I don’t know if I realized how big it was to the community before all of this,” Price said. “But the response has been really awesome from everybody. I’ll just go to the grocery store and somebody will have something nice to say about it.”
Whatcom Humane Society mentioned in a Facebook post that three-fourths of the animals from Hohl Feed and Seed were adopted at the event. Animals that remain available for adoption include domestic mice, rats, gerbils and a hamster, according to the post.