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14 posts from June 2010

Bobcat released back into the wild after successful rehabilitation. Thursday, June 3 was release day for an orphaned Bobcat and an orphaned Black Bear, both of whom had been in care at the PAWS Wildlife Center for a full year.

The Bobcat was brought to PAWS on June 26, 2009 by state wildlife agents. She was a tiny, 1.7 lb kitten when she was found wandering alone near a highway outside of Washougal, WA. Thin, weak and suffering from diarrhea, she had clearly been away from mom for several days.

During her year of care at PAWS, she grew into a gorgeous, 20-lb sub-adult Bobcat, and she was strong and ready to be independent as she bounded away into the brush at her release.

Black Bear released back into the wild after successful rehabilitation. The Black Bear had been brought to PAWS by state wildlife agents on June 13, 2009. She was a 10-lb cub who had been struck by a car near Skamania. At admission the cub showed signs of serious head trauma, and she was only able to walk in circles.

There was no sign of injury on June 3, 2010 as the now 100-lb sub-adult bear bolted from her transport carrier and disappeared into the forest. Both of these animals were perfect examples of our goal for all of PAWS’ wild patients. They are physically strong with their wariness of humans intact, and they are now living free in the wild.

My cats are indoors-only. For three of my cats, this poses no problem whatsoever. The fourth is another story.

Meet PAWS alumna, Speedboat McTavish. (Yes, that's her real name. The story behind it is a blog post in itself.)


She loves to walk on her "Come with Me Kitty" harness that she got at PAWS. 


She gets to explore,   


hunt bugs,


dip her nose in things,


and scratch, scratch, scratch.


She certainly does not like to have her adventures interrupted by hugs.


She'd much rather put pawprints on her dad's car.


And when she's done with her walk, she has a very specific way of letting me know it's time to go in.


For more information on keeping cats safe and happy indoors, visit this page.

By the way—it’s Adopt a Shelter Cat Month at PAWS and we’re offering fabulous discounts on adoption fees for cats six months and older. Tempted? Meet some of the awesome cats at PAWS.

Spring has already sprung and so have the kits—baby Raccoons that is! Raccoon breeding season started mid-winter and we’re now in the midst (April through June) of baby season as females give birth and raise their young.

Orphaned baby Raccoons at our wildlife center spend 4-5 months at PAWS before they can be released back into the wild. When I do Raccoon outreach in our communities, I find public perceptions vary in extremes with this “masked bandit”. Some of you love Raccoons, almost to an iconic degree—I recently met a woman who collects Raccoon mugs, plates, artwork, stuffed animals, you name it. But some of you fear them to the point of loathing.

Regardless of your perceptions, Raccoons are and will continue to live among us. Our best course of action is to learn more about them and how to prevent conflicts with them. For example, during baby season simply leave them be.

In the wild, Raccoons naturally den in hollow trees, rock crevices and burrows dug by other animals. To them, an attic, crawlspace, chimney, shed or space under your deck might fit their needs just the same.

If you think there are Raccoons living in an opening around your home, assume there are young in the den now through summer. Sealing up a space you suspect has an active den in it could risk fatally sealing the babies in!

The kits (usually born 3-4 to a litter) will remain in their den for about 6-7 weeks until their mother moves them to a series of alternate dens. Wait until the babies are old enough for their mother to move them before you take any steps to seal up the impacted spaces around your home.  Or to be totally safe, wait until fall when young Raccoons in our region will disperse from their mothers.

Jun 04

Dog Park Daze


Summer is just around the corner, the days are growing longer, and your raincoat is giving way to short sleeves and sunglasses. This can only mean one thing – DOG PARK!!!

Granted, you can visit the dog park year round, but it is far more enjoyable when it’s sunny, warm, and dry. The dog park can be tons of fun for both you and your dog if you follow a few simple rules for the off-leash arena:


  • Your dog should be confident, have good social skills with other canines and humans, and reliably come when you call him.
  • Supervise your dog at all times.
  • Refrain from talking on your cell phone.
  • Puppies under the age of 4 months should stay at home.
  • Be prepared to leave if your dog is overwhelmed, or isn’t having a good time.
  • Remember that there are as many human personalities at the park as there are canine personalities, so prepare to be patient and polite.
  • As always, clean up after your dog.
  • PAWS recommends that pit bull type dogs refrain from going to off-leash parks and instead use other appropriate outlets for exercise and socialization (learn why).


Proper dog park etiquette is basic common sense and can ensure a safe and pleasant outing for everyone. 

Never been to an off-leash park? It’s never too late to get started. You’ll be surprised at just how many fabulous off-leash dog parks there are in the Puget Sound area. ‘Tis the season to get outside and enjoy the weather, and what better way to do that than with your best friend frolicking, off-leash, by your side.