Main | April 2010 »

5 posts from March 2010

Last Saturday, I had the pleasure of being surrounded by people who love animals as much as I do. People who think spending time with their animal companions is heaven on earth; who would gladly interrupt their Sunday picnic to scoop up an injured duck and drive him to PAWS’ wildlife hospital so he can get help.

It was wonderful, warm and exhilarating to be in a room filled with those people—to be with friends like you who care so much about animals and will go to great lengths to make sure they get the second chance they deserve.

Inspired by stories of triumph and resilience, compassionate guests raised $300,000 for animals in need at this year’s PAWS Wild Night!

Highlights of the event included two former PAWS dogs, Scout and Guiseppe, who welcomed guests as they arrived. The PAWS 2011 Calendar spots went for $35,000 to 13 generous animal lovers, and nearly everyone in the room held their bid cards high for the Fund-a-Need portion raising more than $75,000—both record-breaking amounts!

Check out photos from the event by Nataworry Photography. (You’ll need to create a free account to view them.)

Watch the new video created by Juice Creative that guests enjoyed at the event.



Thank you to all of the volunteers, sponsors, donors and guests at PAWS Wild Night for making it such a success. Together we will continue our life-saving work at PAWS throughout the coming year.


To the inexperienced animal DonaldBlogguardian and the seasoned animal caregiver, senior pets can make amazing companions. Senior dogs or cats will gently ease a first time pet guardian into the responsibilities of daily care and maintenance. The life-long animal lovers who have already experienced raising a pet from adolescence to adulthood, will often choose an older animal because they know the animal will give you all the love and affection without the time commitment of training and hours of exercise.

When you first meet senior souls, their true personalities shine brightly. They strictly follow the motto, "What you see is what you get," so there usually are no surprises when you get home. Young at heart in their golden years, most seniors have been well socialized, enabling them to join you in your daily adventures. There is no need to worry about puppy training, mouthing, destructive behaviors or kitten curiosities. Most seniors are house trained, have gentle personalities with impeccable manners which allow you to trust them alone at home for longer periods of time. The saying, "You can't teach old dogs new tricks," is often a misconception. A senior pet will be more attentive, less likely to be distracted, and is often eager to please.

Smokey The world has been explored over and over before, so a senior's focus is more on the committed companionship with their person. There will still be moments of interactive play and also times of peaceful evenings on the couch. I strongly believe that it's not the quantity of years you spend with your senior friend, but rather the quality of time that truly counts. Some of the best lessons in life come from the wisdom, patience, and unconditional love of your elderly companion.

In the time that I have spent in animal shelters, my most heartfelt moments were with the faces that have shades of gray. The connection that I feel when engaging with them is priceless. They are the ones whose stories I love to share and memories that I keep dear.

The two PAWS alumni' pictured above are Donald, a 14-year-old Cocker Spaniel mix adopted February 2006 and Smokey Lonesome, a 10-year-old Domestic Long Hair cat adopted February 2009.

Beaver-photo-for-blog Last summer PAWS Wildlife Center took in two orphaned baby Beavers who, tragically, lost their mothers. Each of them weighed only a pound. Because they couldn’t yet swim well, PAWS’ wildlife rehabilitators gave them a stuffed toy animal to cling to in the water. They also bottle-fed the tiny, fuzzy creatures until they could eat solid food. (Read their story in PAWS magazine or watch a video about them on KOMO 4 news.)

That was almost a year ago. You should see them now.

PAWS staff constructed a make-shift lodge for the Beavers, essentially a large wooden box with a hole in the bottom leading into a pool. Using mud, sticks and branches the rehabilitators put in their enclosure, the Beavers have spent their time fortifying and remodeling the lodge to their liking. Each Beaver has gained about 24 pounds, and neither wants anything to do with their human caregivers—just the way we like it.

Here is a really short video of the Beavers getting started on their lodge. Once they noticed there was a person videotaping them, they stopped.

In the next couple of weeks, PAWS’ Wildlife Rehabilitation Manager Dondi and PAWS’ Naturalist Kevin Mack will scout out a good release site for the Beavers. Within the next month, we hope to return them home to wild so they can get started on building their new lodges from scratch.

In the five years I've worked animal welfare, there have been quite a few animals who have tugged at my heart. The most recent member of that club is a cat named Sophie.

Sophie came to PAWS at the beginning of last May after her guardian, with whom she'd shared all 10 years of her life, passed away.  Fortunately, he planned for the possibility that Sophie would outlive him, and made arrangements with PAWS to ensure she would find a good home after he was gone. Sophie1_55362 

Her first couple weeks at the shelter were rough. Certainly confused by her new surroundings, and perhaps grieving the loss of her life-long friend, she spent days curled in her bed not interacting with the volunteers or staff that tried to cheer her. As she slowly began to settle into her new life, we began to see her true colors. She revealed that she is a lady who has definite likes and dislikes. Her affinity for being brushed was the first thing we noticed. Her distain for other cats was the second.

With her increased confidence, staff decided her best chance for adoption would be at PAWS Cat City in Greenwood. The atmosphere there is much more conducive to cats who might need a little extra time and attention from staff, volunteers and adopters. Sophie was given a whole visiting room to herself so she could be as comfortable as possible. Weeks passed, then months, and she remained available for adoption. In the height of summer, when kittens abound, it's hard to drum up interest for a 10-year-old cat who just wants a window of her own from which to observe the goings on of her kingdom.

Now it's March--nine months after she first came to PAWS. After the evacuation of Cat City during the spate of Greenwood Arsons, she has been shuffled from foster home to foster home, but has still not found a new home. We here at the shelter all have a special affection for this girl. She is sweet and sassy, loveable and affectionate, confident and opinionated. Most of all, she's deserving of a wonderful home of her very own.


Mar 16


I wanted to be the first to welcome you to the new and improved!

We hope you like the changes. With lots of photos showcasing the amazing animals we are honored to help every day, clear and simple navigation, and the new blog, you can stay up-to-date on issues, find solutions for challenges you may be having with an animal, and be inspired by the breathtaking stories your support makes possible. 

While the site may look different, you’ll still find lots of useful fact sheets in our Resource Library. You can treat yourself to browsing photos and descriptions of the many wonderful animals available for adoption. Check out the cool and educational kids section with many ideas on fun activities kids can do to help animals. Stay updated on happenings at PAWS in our events calendar. And if you are looking for effective, humane solutions for conflicts with wildlife, we can offer you lots of great tips.

About_Annette_02 Please take a few moments to see what we’ve created for you.  Let us know what you think by e-mailing Your feedback is always welcome!

All the best,

Annette Laico
Executive Director