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13 posts from May 2010

Remember Sophie, who we posted about back in March? She's still looking for love.

It's true, she's an older cat, so many folks don't consider her as a companion. But she's been with us, in and out of foster homes (to give her a break from the shelter environment from time to time) for a full year, since last May. It's time for her to find her forever home.

Here's a video of Miss Sophie at play yesterday:

WA59.14245604-1-x As you can see, Sophie is a beautiful, quiet, and loving girl. She was surrendered to PAWS when her guardian passed away. She can be a bit shy when you first meet her, but give her some time and she'll warm right up.

Sophie is a dignified, 11-year old lady who is looking for a quiet and predictable home where she can spend her days lounging by the window, watching the birds, and simply being loved.

If that's what you're looking for too, please come in to meet her at PAWS Cat City today.


Wildlife agents brought in two more just about as tiny (and just as cute!) Black Bear cubs to PAWS Wildlife Center this week. They are brothers from Oregon who were orphaned when their mother was killed by a car. Fortunately, neither of them were hit so they are uninjured and in decent health.

From blood tests, we found that the little female cub we shared a video clip of earlier this week was anemic, but we are actively caring for her. She will be introduced to the two new cubs as soon as she is healthy, so she won’t be lonely and will grow up with others of her kind.

As with all wildlife, our hope for these three cubs is to care for them only as long it takes for them to grow healthy and strong enough to survive in the wild on their own. At that time, they’ll be released into remote areas, away from potential conflicts with humans.Black-Bears-100784-and-100785,-runs-iso-052710-KM-(2)-web

As the saying goes, “Curiosity killed the cat.” These beautiful, mischievous feline creatures are seekers of the most unique places to hide. Kitties are able to flatten and twist their bodies in so many ways, enabling them to squeeze themselves under, into, and in-between the smallest of places. Don’t forget about their ability to leap feet into the air and climb their way to the top of things. Cats can make the impossible become possible. 

So when you haven’t seen your indoor cat for most of the day and he won’t come to the rattle of cat treats or “here kitty, kitty” calls, check out this list of places that cats can hide before believing that your feline friend has officially disappeared. 

 My kitty, found hiding in the dryer!
Having knowledge of the possibilities of where cats can be will also help keep them safe.  Cats are sly and quick and can jump into a fridge, dryer, or dishwasher before you know it. Their curious nature also entices them to play, chew, or eat items they shouldn’t. Read up on some tips on how to keep your cat safe.  You’ll be surprised at some of the shenanigans cats can get into.

Black bear cub upon her arrival.

Baby bears don't get much cuter than this little eight-pound girl, a little spunky ball of fur.

This Black Bear cub came into PAWS a week ago from a nearby campground. She just wandered up to campers, alone, thin and scared. They took her to the park ranger who in turn contacted the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW). The WDFW agent tried to reunite the cub with her mother but the mom never returned to the area.

The cub will now be with the PAWS Wildlife Center for up to one year while she matures, learns to forage for food and to defend herself. She is doing great, is wary of humans (that's a good thing) and is a voracious little eater. She loves her "bear mush" and can smell the other larger bears we have in rehabilitation currently.

Our goal will be to house her with another bear cub through her stay at PAWS. This will allow her to bond with her own kind, learn the necessary bear skills for her future life and take away a little bit of the loneliness we can only assume she feels being away from her mother in the wild. As cute as she is, we rehabilitate all our bear cubs with a hands-off approach, allowing the cubs to be returned back to the wild as independent, truly wild members of their population.

Watch this video clip of the cub being examined by PAWS Wildlife Center's veterinary team.

In the video: The PAWS Wildlife Center veterinary team examines the health of the bear cub's eyes, mouth and ears, then observes her ability to walk on her own.

Like those puppies who are still growing into their feet, teaching kids always leaves me smiling, laughing, and full of warm-fuzzies. I spend my work week making new friends, listening to heart-warming stories, visiting numerous classrooms (sometimes even with my therapy dog Abby), and developing fun hands-on activities to teach kids about how cool animals really are.

Jealous yet? Maybe not, but take my word for it – being a humane educator is an awesome job.

The goal of PAWS' humane education program is to teach kids to appreciate, respect and help animals. Most children love animals, so animal welfare issues are the perfect vehicle to teach children about compassion and responsibility. It’s pretty clever if you ask me.

I recently received an e-mail from a teacher that perfectly illustrates the impact one visit can have on a classroom:

ONEisFUN Hi Tiffany and Abby,

Thanks again for the visit! We are working on our posters. [Click photo see the students' work larger.]

Over the long weekend (this past weekend)...THREE of my kids had their dogs spayed/neutered!

One of them is a Spanish-speaking family and it was only because of the lessons here at school that the 2nd grader was able to inform his parents about the importance of neutering their dog.

I nearly cried! It was such a beautiful thing! He was so proud that his parents listened to the knowledge that he brought home.

AND a first grader in my class adopted a cat from PAWS over the weekend.


I love my job, wouldn’t you? I look forward to sharing more kid-inspired stories with you soon!

Ever heard of “crush” videos? How about as they relate to animal cruelty? If you’ve got a horrible image going in your mind, you won’t believe that creating and selling these videos are now legal again. Are you appalled? I know I was when I read about it. 

This April, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a 10-year federal law that made it illegal to create and sell these brutal “crush” videos of torture on defenseless animals.

A cute kitten safe at PAWS So what can you do?

Simply enter your state and zip and use the message below to ask your U.S. Representative to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5092 amending the Crush Act. It’s important to personalize the subject line and add polite, personal touches to the email below. Congress gets a ton of email so we need to get yours noticed. 

Dear (Your Representative’s Name),

As your constituent, I’m asking you to co-sponsor and support H.R. 5092 amending the Crush Act if you have not already done so.

Before a 1999 law was enacted, approximately 3,000 horrifying “crush" videos were available, selling for up to $300 apiece. Those videos (entailing acts such as women in high-heeled shoes impaling and torturing small animals) disappeared soon after the law was passed.

I hope you will work to get H.R. 5092 enacted amending the Crush Act so that we can once again ban this kind of intentional torture of defenseless animals for the sake of profit.

(Your name, phone number and home address)

Research shows people who abuse animals are more likely to be violent toward other people. These “crush” videos not only cause horrible animal suffering, but they promote violence to both animals and humans.

Public outrage over these videos helped to put a law in place in 1999 banning the commercial sale of this kind of animal cruelty. We can do it again. Write your legislators!

Read more on actions taken to ban “crush” videos and background on the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling and a more background on a 2009 investigation and 1999 ruling.

As a new blogger for PAWS, I’m excited to share my world of “public affairs” with you. I’ll be blogging about animal issues, legislation that impacts animals, and how you can transform your animal compassion into action!

Microchip Charles is a beloved, family cat from Albuquerque, New     Mexico who ended up in a shelter in Chicago. How he managed to travel 1,300 miles from home remains a mystery.  Yet how he was identified is simple - by scanning and locating his microchip. The story about Charles is quite impossible to believe, yet not uncommon.

Nationally only 30% of dogs and 3% of cats are reclaimed from shelters each year due to lack of identification. Lost animals who come into PAWS fare a bit better – 4.5% of cats and 49% of dogs are reunited with their families, leaving a large number of lost animals that aren’t so lucky. This is the reason why PAWS believes microchipping is so important.

In case you’re not familiar with microchipping, it’s an identification device about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip has an identification code unique to that animal. Shelters and vet clinics use a special scanner to pick up the microchip code and positively identify stray pets. It is the only sure method of pet identification on the market today and it’s quick, painless (similar to getting a vaccination), and permanent. Oh, and once “Fido” is chipped, be sure to keep your personal account information up to date with the microchip company. A microchip is only as good as the information provided through the company registry.

No one will ever know how Charles, the cat, made it all the way to Chicago but thanks to his microchip, he has been reunited with his family. Please take the time to microchip your animals. It could save their lives someday.

Recently at the wildlife center we had to think outside the box to help an injured Brandt’s Cormorant prepare for release to the wild.

The seabird came into PAWS with a fractured tarsometatarsus (the bone between the foot and the ankle) and multiple abrasions on his foot. The leg was quite swollen, inflamed and painful. We suspect he may have been struck by a vehicle.

Our veterinary team applied a series of creative splints to this bird’s leg over many weeks to immobilize the fracture. This allowed us to give the bird free access to water at the same time his injuries were healing.

But because seabird patients have it pretty easy here at PAWS with all the fish they want to eat, comfortable aquatic housing, free of predators or competition, they can become a bit lackadaisical in getting the exercise they need to condition a healed leg.

To entice this particular bird to get in the water and to actively swim and dive, we chose intensive hydrotherapy. We increased the currents and flow of the water in his pool by turning up his underwater pool jets much higher than normal... We also built a fountain sprayer to encourage him to get into the water, float, paddle and dive after the live fish he needed to eat.

The Brandt’s Cormorant did so well with this creative therapy we were able to release him back to the wild this past weekend!

Sandy pup 3 The five cutie-pie Dachshund/Wheaten Terrier puppies born to Sandy (the dog who was given up to PAWS while she was in labor) are now available for adoption!

Sandy puppy 1 If you and your family want to welcome one of them into your home, and have the time, energy and patience to raise a young pup, visit our Adopt a Pet page to download and print a Dog Adopter Survey. Complete the survey and bring it with you to PAWS to meet these sweethearts in person.

Don't delay--these little ones won't be here for long!