Sparrell welcomes volunteers at the local animal shelter

Adams County Pet Rescue | September 14, 2020 1:00 AM

OTHELLO - When Thalia Sparrell first started working at Adams County Pet Rescue, staff there said she was definitely a cat person. They were right.

“I was told I have the personality of a cat,” she said. “I’m not as active, but I am quirky.”

Since then, Sparrell has been in charge of the cat rooms.

Currently, the shelter has four rooms of cats, double the usual number, and many are doubled up in their cages. Sparrell said those numbers don’t include those in isolation.

In fact, there is a waiting list of people who want to bring cats to the shelter, so Sparrell said they are trying to accept cats only from Adams County. Many of those already at the shelter are bottle babies, which are too young to eat on their own and must be bottle fed by hand.

“We try to find fosters for them, but it’s a bit of work,” Sparrell said.

For those who want to foster, they must fill out an application. Some of the requirements are that fosters must have an area separate from other pets for them and they can’t get attached to them. There are two different groups of fosters – the bottle babies and the cats that need socializing because they haven’t been around people that much.

The shelter also fosters with an animal group in Lynnwood.

Sparrell said a lot of the kittens – and dogs – they have now were dumped at various places. One of the newest kittens was found thrown out in a box of beer bottles.

“I get anxious because some people actually threaten us if we can’t take their cats or they lie and say they talked to someone who said they could bring the cats here,” Sparrell said. “They will also talk to different staff trying to find someone who will agree to take the cats; I think that is disrespectful.”

Donations for the cats are always helpful. Most of the money goes to food brands that are specific for stress in the cats.

“Like people, stress can make cats sick,” Sparrell said.

The cats also require veterinarian checks and spaying or neutering. Sparrell believes any cat owner must do those same things for their own pets.

“Cats are easy to take care of, but they are sensitive creatures and should be kept on a regular routine,” she said.

Sparrell was born and raised in Othello and has two cats of her own. She will graduate from Big Bend Community College in the spring and then go on to Central Washington University to earn a teaching degree in elementary education.

She began volunteering at the shelter when she was 16 years old and was hired at 19. Last year, she attended a cat convention to learn more about them.

“I like cats that much,” Sparrell said.

Her one complaint is that she wishes people wouldn’t poison stray cats and were nicer to them.

“Cats are caring and will help people through a lot,” Sparrell said. “They aren’t that different from dogs, they just take longer to get used to you.”

Anyone is welcome to help volunteer at the shelter.

“If you want to hang out with the cats, fill out a volunteer form,” Sparrell said. “Like dogs, they need love too.”

Adams County Pet Rescue is located at 1961 Bench Road east of the fairgrounds. Hours are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The facility is closed Mondays and Thursdays for cleaning.

To contact ACPR, call 509-488-5514 or email adopt@AdamsCountyPetRescue. Be sure to visit the website at and like their Facebook page.