By Nicole Noce

Elm Staff Writer

Greeting those who walked into the bookstore the Thursday before spring break was Apollo, a Labrador retriever and American pit bull terrier mix. Felix the cat could also be found in the back half of the store, most likely in the arms of a student or faculty member.

This was the second of three collaborations between the bookstore and the Animal Care Shelter of Kent County, formerly the Humane Society of Kent County, to bring animals from the shelter to campus for an hour. The animals will be making their last visit of the semester on April 25.

“The idea of bringing animals to the bookstore started from talking to students and employees and hearing how much they missed their pets at home,” said Shannon Wyble, director of the Washington College Bookstore.

Along with giving those on campus the opportunity to play with animals, it provided a source of stress relief in the midst of midterm week.

“I had a test this week and I needed a stress relief and I miss my dog at home,” senior Mackenzie Bosack said.

Bosack was not the only student missing their pet and looking for some furry companionship.

“I have cats at home. I miss them and I’m so happy right now,” freshman Emilee Daniel said with a cat in her arms.

Daniel was one of about 10 students and faculty who were able to hold Felix during his visit. Felix is a relatively new addition to the shelter.

“He’s four years old; he actually has a broken jaw. It just recently healed up. He has almost no teeth. He’s been at the shelter for about two weeks. He acts like an old male, but he’s young,” Animal Care Shelter volunteer Asia Perez said.

Apollo is the same age as Felix and even shares a similar patch of white fur beneath his jaw.

“He’s about four years old. He came to us because he was hit by a car. The person that was driving the car did all the right things, got him to the vet, got him fixed up, and he came to the shelter,” said volunteer junior Kailani Clarke.

While Felix and Apollo were only in the bookstore for an hour, they received a lot of love and attention and perhaps left students considering adopting animals from the shelter in the future.

“This summer we will sit down and discuss if this was a worthwhile thing for the shelter, how we can improve upon it, and hopefully a plan going forward for the 2019-2020 school year to continue what is becoming a campus and bookstore favorite,” Wyble said.

The event also served to publicize an ongoing donation for supplies for the Animal Care Shelter. Donatable items include canned dog and cat food, dog and cat treats, durable dog and cat toys, cat litter, paper towels, sanitizing wipes, towels and small blankets, and 13-gallon sized trash bags.

There is a donation box on the first floor of the bookstore for students and faculty who would like to contribute.

“Being able to host the amazing animals brightens everyone’s day, hopefully brings [the shelter] some much needed donations, and [helps] some animals get some much-needed affection and love,” Wyble said.

The Elm

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