« February 2011 | Main | April 2011 »

16 posts from March 2011

Nuttalls-Cottontail_web1 Nuttalls-Cottontail_web2 On March 19, a truck arrived at a Western Washington feed store with a load of hay from the Othello area. Workers heard a strange, squealing sound coming from the back of the truck as they were unloading it.

When they investigated, they found four infant bunnies tucked in among the hay bales. They scooped up the unexpected stowaways and brought them to the PAWS Wildlife Center where they became the first baby mammals we received this spring season.

At PAWS we identified the infants as Nuttall’s Cottontails, a species common on the east side of the Cascades that is often found in grassy areas such as hay fields.

The tiny rabbits were only a few days old, and weighed about 40 grams (about 1.5 ounces) each when they arrived. Their eyes had not even opened yet. They were a little dehydrated but otherwise healthy.

As of this writing, the cottontails have been in care for 10 days. Their eyes are open and they are capable of running and jumping. If all goes well we should be able to return them to their home on the east side of the mountains in a few weeks.

Actionline-March2011-Cougar Your action is needed today to stop SSB 5356 in the Washington State House of Representatives. This bill would grant the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) full authority to extend hound hunting of cougars to sport hunters for another five years in designated counties. Although WDFW presents SSB 5356 as a conservation bill that also protects public safety, it’s really a bill which goes directly against the will of the voters and is driven by misinformation and weak science.

The companion version of this bill (HB 1124) was successfully stopped. We now need your help to stop SSB 5356 from passing!

Please take 5 minutes today to tell your representatives you oppose SSB 5356:

  1. Enter your address to identify your district and representatives.
  2. Call/ e-mail (or both) your representatives urging them to vote NO on SSB 5356, allowing the hunting of cougars using dogs, on the full House floor.

HELPFUL HINTS: Calling is fast, easy and very impactful. Legislative staff will take your call. Follow up with a polite e-mail to thank them, and to solidify your action. To avoid forms, use the legislator e-mail directory.

You can also use the template below to assist with your phone message or e-mail. Pick 1-2 bullets to keep the message short.

SUBJECT: Your subject line should be short, on point and personal.

Dear (Representative’s Name),

As your constituent, I respectfully ask that you oppose SSB 5356 allowing the hunting of cougars with hounds. This bill would grant the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) full authority to extend hound hunting of cougars to sport hunters for another five years in designated counties.

(Please choose ONLY 1-2 bullets below to personalize your message.)

  • SSB 5356 will not increase public safety. This bill would allow the use of hounds by sport hunters to tree and kill cougars. It is not designed to target cats that have had conflicts with humans. There is no clear scientific evidence to support the idea that random sport hunting reduces human/cougar conflicts. In fact, recent studies suggest that the opposite may be true.
  • SSB 5356 goes against the will of the people. In 1996, voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 655 by 63%, banning the use of hounds for sport hunting of cougars. There have been repeated attempts since that time to overturn the will of the voters. Support for this ban is still strong among Washington voters. A 2008 survey sponsored by WDFW showed that only 33% of people support sport hound hunting.
  • WDFW already has the ability to remove “problem cougars” with hounds when necessary—The WDFW claims they need hound hunting in their “toolbox” to effectively manage cougars. Even since the passage of I-655, this tool has always been available to the WDFW to remove cougars that pose legitimate threats to public safety. There is no scientific evidence to support the idea that extending the use of hounds to sport hunters increases public safety. Recent studies indicate that increased hunting may actually lead to an increase in human/cougar conflicts.
  • Heavy hunting may actually disrupt the social order of Washington’s cougar population and lead to increased conflicts. Cougar populations are an essential part of Washington’s ecosystem. Researchers have found that heavily hunted areas have fewer adult males and a younger overall age structure. Younger, inexperienced cougars are more likely to be involved in conflicts with humans than older cats who have learned to avoid them.

Please vote NO on SSB 5356 on the full House floor! I look forward to your response and thank you for your time.

(Your name, phone number and home address)

Help us report back to key legislators—please let us know when you take action. Send a copy of your e-mail, or simply a quick note that you called, to publicaffairs@paws.org.

Want more info?

With your help, we can be a voice to conserve cougars in Washington State.

Here are some more wonderful photos and updates from PAWS adopters. Thank you for sharing!

Eve_web Megan:
Terry and I adopted Madeline (now Eve) on February 18th. We wanted to give you an update on how she is doing in her new home! She knows “sit” and her new name very well. We are now starting on “sit and stay.” She is really smart so training so far as been a piece of cake, just a matter of making sure we stay consistent!

She has made a new best canine friend in my parents’ 2-year-old lab/shepherd named Indy. She enjoys running circles around him since he is twice her size and can’t keep up. Eve had some initial problems with being separated from us, even for just a few minutes. We have been doing a lot better, now that she has caught on that we will come back every time and that it is not a big deal when we come and go. She is a huge cuddle bug in the mornings and evenings. She enjoys her morning walks with me and then her evening walks which include Terry. She is very loved and we are so happy that we found such a perfect girl.

LillyCat_web Emily:
I adopted Lilly in September. She was very shy and timid, but soon showed how playful she is! These days she's quite vocal, goes crazy for the laser pointer, and loves her fort!

Caine_web Angie:
We got Caine in July, and he's firmly embedded himself in our lives and mostly in our couch. We love this crazy K-9, he's a wild man but also a sweetheart and a comedian. We can't say enough good things about your staff at PAWS. Thank you again!!

Trixie_web Brandon:
I adopted Trixie (formerly Cashmere) just a couple weeks back and she's been totally on board with her new home from the first moment she realized life was starting to look a little brighter. I'm warmly greeted with kitty hugs every day after work now. Thanks PAWS! :)

Miyu_web Ilona:
So happy we adopted Miyu (aka Twizzler) from PAWS Cat City! She's great, makes itty-bitty sounds (hence the name Miyu - Meow) and is very playful :)

Teddy_web Izabela:
We adopted Teddy in October, 2010 and we absolutely love him. He's a big boy now and is doing great, thank you PAWS!

Bear_web Kelly:
PAWS is such an amazing place. This is Bear (formerly Bruno and a few other names). I talked my aunt into adopting him and now this 11-year-old sweet, sweet boy doesn't leave her side! Bear came into PAWS infested with fleas, old, and homeless and thanks to this amazing organization Bear has found his human in life!

LilyDog_web Lori:
Adopted my Lily (Piglett) from PAWS in 2005.

Battery-caged-chickens_web PAWS has joined Washingtonians for Humane Farms in endorsing the Yes! On Initiative 1130 campaign, to prevent the extreme confinement of egg-laying hens.

About six million egg-laying hens in Washington State are forced to live their entire lives in cages so small they barely can move an inch. Initiative 1130 ensures that these animals have enough room to simply stretch their wings.

You can help PAWS with this effort today!

  1. Gather signatures for Initiative 1130. More than 300,000 signatures are needed by July in order to get this initiative on the November voting ballot. Sign up at YESon1130.com to receive your signature gathering kit. Pass this message on to family and friends, inviting them to join in the effort also.
  2. Help to stop a “bad egg laying bill” currently in legislation. Tell your Washington legislators  you oppose SB 5487, an egg-industry backed bill which only gives the illusion of reform. SB 5487 proposes minor changes in cage size, changes so small they still don’t support humane husbandry practices for caged hens. HELPFUL HINT: Calling your legislator is the fastest and most impactful action. Find your legislators here. Staff will take your call and are often amiable. If you have time, following up with a short, thankful e-mail solidifies your action. Find your legislators’ e-mails here.
  3. Ask your veterinarian to endorse Initiative 1130. Download and share this flyer with them, and contact us if they are are interested or have further questions at publicaffairs@paws.org.

Adding your voice to the movement for more humane treatment of egg-laying hens is an important step in getting Initiative 1130 on the ballot this November. Thank you!

Farcus If you want someone to greet you at the door with rapt attention and a big hug, Farcus is your man!

He loves people, but when his humans are away, he'll entertain himself watching the world through the nearest window.

This 12-year-old's loveably grumpy look is perfectly offset by his cuddly, purring personality. Farcus gets along great with other cats, loves playing with kids and enjoys having his soft fur brushed.

His adoption fee is $75 or $35 to a senior human (60+). He will need some vet care for hyperthyroidism, but it's a completely treatable condition. And hey, at least you know about it up front!

Come bask in the glory of Farcus' kinky whiskers and charm at PAWS Cat City in Seattle!

Vegfest1 Love food? Want to know more about veggie options? Come to VegFest 2011 and munch your way through the day.

Join hundreds of Washingtonians as we rejoice in yummy and humane treats for the tasting on March 26 and 27 at Seattle Center’s Exhibition Hall from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Even if you aren’t a vegetarian or vegan, this event has something for everyone. Food, of course!

You just might be turned on to something you never knew could taste good. And for you “vegheads” who are certain “you’ve tried it all,” we have just two words: vegetarian caviar.

Stop by and say hello at our PAWS booth for all kinds of great ideas on how to live humanely. We’d also love to hear your animal stories!

Additional event fun includes cooking demos, presentations, and well…more food samples of course.

Western-Grebe-110213-in-pool-031711_web2 Western-Grebe-110213-in-pool-031711_web On March 16, PAWS Wildlife Center received a phone call about a beached Western Grebe in Edmonds, WA. Wildlife Rehabilitator Nicki Rosenhagen drove to Edmonds and collected the bird from a wet patch of sand below the ferry terminal.

When she picked  him up, the bird was wet to the skin, very cold and lethargic. Back at PAWS, we gave the grebe fluids and placed him in an incubator to combat his hypothermia. As his wet feathers dried and his body temperature rose he became active, vocal and extremely agitated toward his caregivers—all good signs that he was beginning to feel better.

A full examination of the Western Grebe revealed a small wound on his breast and an abrasion beneath his bill. He was otherwise in good condition. We placed the bird in a pool to test the water-repellency of his feathers. He was not perfectly waterproof, but he did not immediately become waterlogged either.

It’s unclear how or why he ended up on the beach, but he is recovering well from his ordeal. He will remain in PAWS’ care until his waterproofing is fully restored and he is ready to return home.

Black-Bear-110222-in-runs-cage-031711_web On March 17 PAWS Wildlife Center received a new female Black Bear cub from Oregon. The cub was captured on March 8 after she was spotted wandering around the town of Central Point, with her mother nowhere in sight.

Although she appears to be over a year old, the cub has had a rough first year. She was very weak when captured, weighing in barely over 10 pounds and completely emaciated.

The cub spent nine days in the care of the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and was examined by a veterinarian.

She had no injuries, but her blood work showed that she was suffering from anemia. She was fed and kept comfortable, and by the time she arrived at PAWS she had begun to perk up.

She huffed and smacked her lips at us as we transferred her from her transport carrier to one of our large bear enclosures. It was meant to be a threat display, but it was almost comical coming from such a tiny little bear.

With proper care and nutrition here at PAWS, this cub will have the size and strength to back up her threat displays in the not-too-distant future.

Horned-Grebe-110192-in-exam-cage-031011_web Horned-Grebe-110192-in-pool-031711_web On March 8, a homeowner in Bremerton, WA discovered this Horned Grebe sitting in her driveway.

Grebes are strictly water birds, and their bodies are so highly adapted to an aquatic life they are nearly helpless on dry land. Even standing is difficult for them, and they are unable to take flight without first running on the water’s surface for a significant distance.

It is not known whether the grebe was attacked by a predator in flight, or simply mistook the wet pavement for a body of water and landed, but once he was on the ground he was unable to get airborne again.

The woman who found the grebe scooped him up and took him to West Sound Wildlife Shelter on Bainbridge Island. Following a short stay at that shelter, where he was treated for foot wounds and minor lacerations, the bird was transferred to PAWS on March 10.

As of this writing, the Horned Grebe has been in our care for one week. His wounds are still healing and he’s being monitored closely.