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19 posts from July 2010

 Squirrel Sock-puppet Did you ever stop to think about all the different senses we use to experience and learn about animals and the world around us? I recently had the incredible opportunity to help develop curriculum for and present summer camp lessons to students at the Louis Braille School, which serves children with vision impairment and special challenges. After hours of brainstorming, curriculum writing, and even blindfolding ourselves, my co-educator and I could not have been more thrilled with the results of our unique presentation.

The children were able to experience different ways they can appreciate, learn about and help animals with the use of sounds, touch and scent. It really made me think of a lot of different ways I experience things. For instance, hearing a bird chirp, the scent of ripe strawberries, or petting my dog.

There were so many delightful moments that touched me. I will never forget bringing my therapy dog Abby to visit the campers. As I observed one camper carefully touch her soft ears, wet nose, and curly tail, he suddenly exclaimed, “She’s beautiful!” It warmed my heart to know he felt her beauty. It also reaffirmed that like all kids, these children have an inherent love of animals.

We were thrilled to team up with Louis Braille School and wholeheartedly agree with their director Carolyn Meyer, that when we focus on people’s abilities, they produce amazing results. It’s hard to explain, but if you check out these photos, maybe you’ll understand what I felt.

Brett and Tiffany
Using a tub filled with water, trash and food that wild animals find in their natural habitat, I explain to Brett the importance of not polluting.

Sandy and Christopher
PAWS educator, Sandy, guides Christopher hands over a pair of Great Horned Owl wings.

Brett and Sandy
Sandy helps Brett create a pinecone enrichment item to donate to the animals at the PAWS Wildlife Center.

Olive-sided Flycatcher at PAWS Wildlife CenterThis Olive-sided Flycatcher was brought to PAWS on July 9. Not yet old enough to fly at the time, he had been found sitting on the ground with his feathers puffed up and his eyes closed in a mild state of shock. With his parents nowhere to be seen, a kind person brought him to PAWS.

He has thrived in our care and is now practicing his flying skills in an outside aviary.

Orphaned Harbor Seals at PAWS Wildlife Center

Both of these Harbor Seal pups were brought to PAWS after they were found on a log raft that had been towed into Tacoma’s Commencement Bay behind a tug boat on July 21.

The tug had hauled the raft quite a distance so the pups had been separated from their mothers. They are doing well in PAWS’ care.

Baby looking on at the family cat Are you expecting a new baby, or thinking about starting a family? With all the excitement and emotional and physical stress involved in bringing a new human child into your family, it’s easy to lose sight of the animals in your life who are also completely dependent upon your love and care.

It’s important to start planning ahead of time, to ensure that both your pet’s and human child’s needs are met once new baby arrives.

PAWS has some great resources with tips for integrating new babies into homes with cats and dogs.

  • In our latest PAWS magazine, two families shared their success stories of bringing a new baby home to their formerly pet-centric household.
  • Kay Joubert, PAWS Director of Companion Animal Services, was also recently quoted on the issue in Parent Map magazine.
  • And on our website, we have a resource page on pets and babies, that provides a great set of proactive steps you can take to ensure a happy home and family.

Bringing a new baby into the family doesn’t have to mean giving up or ignoring your beloved, life-long furry companions. Use the resources above, and if you still have concerns or questions, please utilize our free behavior help line for one-on-one answers and solutions.

Great Horned Owl in a flight pen at PAWS Wildlife CenterThis Great Horned Owl was admitted to PAWS on May 30 after being found on the ground under attack by crows. The owl had multiple bruises and a small cut on his belly. When the wildlife medical team did some blood tests, they discovered he was also carrying a blood parasite that is common in birds, but that was present in high enough numbers in this owl that it was causing him to be anemic.

As of today, his minor injuries have healed and after being treated for the blood parasite his anemia has improved.

Cooper's Hawk 101541 in raptor mew 071510 KM (5) On July 17 I had the privilege of reuniting a young Cooper’s Hawk with his family in a Seattle neighborhood. The bird had been brought to PAWS after a concerned citizen found her attached to a screen door. Most likely, the young bird had collided with the screen door during one of her first attempts at flight. She tried to hold on, but ended up hanging upside down with the talons of one foot embedded in the mesh of the door. Fortunately she had not been injured in the incident, and she was in good health when the person brought her to PAWS.

Continue reading "Cooper's Hawk Reunion" »

CAS_Kitten_01 Great news! On July 21, the U.S. House of Representatives passed an act that would prevent the commercial trade of the horrible “crush” videos (showing women’s high heels crushing and impaling small animals). The vote was almost unanimously in favor. Thank you to everyone who contacted your representative to make this happen! Read my previous post asking you to take action on this act.

Congress is about to adjourn for the summer, but when they return in September, we hope to see the Senate introduce the companion bill and move it just as quickly through the process. I’ll keep you posted.

Carriage crest 1_ecClearly, kids in our community care about animals. PAWS was recently honored by several Penny Harvest schools with donations totaling $2,633.33. Wow, and to think people say a penny doesn’t go far these days.

Thanks to the Penny Harvest program, children nationwide learn the value of every penny and how to help their community. After collecting pennies in the fall, each school selects student representatives to form a Roundtable Group. These student leaders help identify and discuss the issues of their community and then select deserving organizations who best serve these concerns. 

 This year, a whopping 47 percent of Penny Harvest Roundtables identified animal welfare as one of the top three issues they care about most. I was invited to meet with several of these students during their selection process. I can tell you first hand, they took their job seriously. I was so impressed with their compassion, leadership qualities and commitment to make this a better world.

Students chose PAWS, because we help both wild animals and companion animals in our community. You can imagine how thrilled I was to represent PAWS at their awards assemblies once we were selected! After all, who doesn’t dream of receiving handmade checks that are so big you need both hands to hold it up?

Dogs and check1_ecSo a great big thank you to these schools for caring about animals:

  • Carriage Crest Elementary
  • Cedar Valley Community School
  • Coe Elementary
  • Gatewood Elementary
  • Giddens School
  • Greenwood Elementary

You guys rock!