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17 posts from May 2011

Did you know that June is National Adopt-A-Cat month? PAWS is celebrating by waiving adoption fees for all adult cats during the month of June. Celebrate with us by adopting a new feline friend, and the adoption fee is on us!


 Adopt an adult cat in June from PAWS, and you will be adding a wonderful new member to your family – like Albert. Albert came to PAWS with terrible mats in his fur, and much to his dismay the PAWS staff had to shave him! He’s been keeping warm by wearing a stylish sweater, but now that summer has arrived he is looking forward to shedding his outer wear and sunning in the window of his new forever home.


Adult cats make great companions for individuals, couples or families. Adult cats come in many shapes and sizes – some have the playful and curious nature of a kitten, others are lap cats and live off affection, and others still are independent and ready to give you some space. And perhaps best of all, they are all looking to becoming a part of a family.

Find Albert and other great cats like him at either PAWS location – PAWS in Lynnwood or Cat City in Seattle. All cats adopted from PAWS are vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed/neutered; and for the month of June, the adoption fee is waived! See all cats available for adoption.


Barn Owls in raptor mue 052811 KM (11) Animal intake at the PAWS Wildlife Center increased sharply in May as a wide
variety of orphaned birds and mammals came through our doors. Among the orphans
received were six young Barn Owls. Five of the owlets were sent to us from east
of the Cascades after they were anonymously left in a box on the doorstep of the
Quincy Animal Shelter. The sixth owlet was found in Maple Valley and came to
PAWS after they were dropped off at the Seattle Animal Shelter. Other than a
little dehydration, all 6 owlets were all in decent shape on arrival.
Over the past few weeks the Barn Owls have been eating and growing, shedding
their white, downy feathers for more adult looking flight, tail and body
feathers. All six have been sharing a large outdoor aviary and have become
capable flyers. When caretakers enter the cage, the owls tend to huddle
together and put on elaborate displays of "mantling" and "toe dusting."
Mantling is a display in which the birds spread their wings, puff out their body
feathers and spread their tail in an attempt to look larger than they really
are. Toe dusting is often done in conjuction with mantling, and it involves the
owls dropping their heads toward the ground and swishing them back and forth

Barn Owls in raptor mue 052811 KM (20) 

The combined activities are meant to deter a potential predator from coming any closer, and the impressive wing spread combined with the bizarre movements really can be intimidating.  The effect is amplified when several owls are doing it together.  I took some video recently when I entered the cage to check on the birds, and in it you can see the rhythmic movement and rapid head sweeping of toe dusting behvior.  By the end of June all of these Barn Owls should be ready to return to their home in the wild.


Northern-Alligator-Lizard-w On May 14 PAWS received a patient that is rarely seen at our wildlife center. The species itself, the Northern Alligator Lizard, is not particularly rare, but individuals are seldom seen due to their excellent camoflauge and secretive habits. The alligator lizard we received had been found by a hiker on a trail in Bellevue's Wilburton Hill Park. The lizard appeard to be stunned and did not run away when the hiker approached, so she scooped him up and brought him to PAWS for care.

During the initial examination of the lizard, PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitators noted that he had a small sploth of blood on top of his head and a swollen area around his left eye. What had caused the lizard's injuries was not readily apparent, but it is possible that he was pecked on the head by a bird that intended to make a meal of him. Whatever the cause, with a few days of cage rest and supportive care, the swelling decreased and the alligator lizard became bright and alert. By May 20 he had fully recovered, and he was released back to the forest from which he had come.


WholeFoodsLogoThere's another reason remember your reusable grocery tote when going shopping! Customers who bring their own reusable bag into Whole Foods Market in Redmond receive a $0.10 credit to donate to a selected non-profit, now including PAWS! PAWS will remain one of the organizations you can donate your 10 cent bag credit to through July 3, so don’t hesitate to shop at Whole Foods often and help support PAWS’ life-saving care for dogs, cats and wildlife. The Redmond Whole Foods Market is located at 17991 NE Redmond Way. We are thrilled that Whole Foods has chosen us as a beneficiary of this wonderful program!

Baby and juvenile animals are starting to pop up all over PAWS Lynnwood Campus as the breeding season continues to progress. This is a fun time of year in that the youngsters are inexperienced and less wary than their parents and this makes them much easier to observe than the elusive adults. A pair of young Eastern Gray Squirrels I encountered last week were shining examples of this young naivete. One of them was sitting on a weathered log, sampling different items to see if they were edible. You can't see it in the photo below, but the squirrel is tasting a bit of mossy bark.

01 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (5)

Finding the bark unsatisfying, the squirrel next clipped off a nearby blackberry leaf and began to nibble on its stem.

02 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (12)

On a nearby branch, a squirrel that I presume was a sibling of the first squirrel sat and sampled some other bit of prospective food. The second squirrel appeared to have an injured right eye as he was unable to open it all the way.

 03 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (17)

The squirrel with the injured eye jumped over onto the log next to his sibling. He paused for a second to inspect me with his undamanged left eye. 

 04 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (21)

Apparently finding me unthreatening, the squirrel then picked up the blackberry leaf that his sibling had just dropped and began to nibble on it.

05 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (24)He found the leaf just as distasteful as the first squirrel did. He dropped it and looked at me again with his good eye before disappearing behind the log.

06 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (28)

Meanwhile, the first squirrel had moved about six feet away to the base of a tree. She had discovered a promising piece of bark on which she was nibbling eagerly.

07 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (33)

The squirrel didn't seem to be enjoying the bark very much, but she must have decided it was worth saving for later. She began to dig a whole in which she could hide the woody prize.

08 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (36)

After digging for a few moments, the squirrel looked up at me with the bark still in her mouth. It was as if she had realized that if I saw where she buried her treasure, I might decide to dig it up myself.

09 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (37)

She repositioned herself about six inches to her right and burind the bark in a spot that was just barely obscured from my view by the tree trunk.

10 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (42)

Despite the new, and improved hiding spot, after the bark was buried, the squirrel still seemed to feel like there was a chance I would dig it up. She looked at me warily.

11 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (47)

She then repositioned herself between me and the hiding spot and began to nibble nervously on a clump of dirt. I left at that point, because I didn't want her to feel uncomfortable and because I didn't want to scare her away with my laughter.

12 Eastern Gray Squirrel, PAWS Campus 051211 KM (61)

Baby animals are EVERYWHERE right now and will continue to be for the next few months. They are inexperienced and very vulnerable to the world. Please watch out for these little guys and help to keep them out of harm's way. Also, although it is always important to keep your cats safely contained and and your dogs on leash (especially in parks/natural areas), right now it is especially crucial that you do so. Newly born and hatched wild lives are depending on you!

Photos and words by Kevin Mack, PAWS Naturalist

Five days left to submit your photos!

We're looking to feature your best photos in our summer edition of PAWS magazine!

Anyone can enter, just visit our website at paws.org for an electronic entry form and send us your best high-resolution photograph for consideration. Our staff will judge all photos, and the winners will be announced and featured in the pages of the summer PAWS magazine. For complete rules and regulations, as well as entry guidelines, please visit paws.org.


•Top Dog Photo
•Top Cat Photo
•Best People and Pet Photo
•Best Urban Wildlife Photo
•Top Wildlife Photo
•Best Junior Photo
(17yrs. and under)

Entry fee: $5.00 per photo
Deadline: All photos must be submitted by May 27, 2011


Poster-Art Kick off the Seattle festival season with PAWS at the University District Street Fair - May 21st and 22nd on University Way N.E. As the country’s longest running street fair, you’ll enjoy a blend of arts and crafts, community, music, and food that has a Mardi Gras feel to it. And of course that includes world class people watching. Best of all—it’s free! This is one party you don’t want to miss.

With over 350 craft, food and information booths, it’s guaranteed you can shop 'til you drop. Rejuvenate by sampling an impressive array of international food. Two main stages showcase a great medley of music, dance performance, and comedy while a special children’s area offers events for the kids. Street performers entertain throughout the fair creating a colorful ever-changing spectacle. Find out more about the Fair here. 

Join PAWS and party into summer Saturday from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. Drop by our booth to say hello and pick up information on our programs and services and check out our adoption book. Stay in the know on upcoming events at our PAWS calendar.

Evening Grosbeak 110440 (2) in cage This male Evening Grosbeak was brought to PAWS on April 22 after he struck a window at a home in Brier, WA.  The bird had blood in his mouth and subcutaneous emphysema (air pockets) around his neck, under his wings and along his breast bone indicating that he had suffered some trauma to his respiratory system.  He also had swelling around his right eye and difficulty fully extending his right wing.  Unrelated to his window collision, he also had a scaly leg mite infestation.

Evening Grosbeak 110440 (2) in tree The grosbeak was treated for his injuries and given medication to treat his mite problem.  His respiratory problems improved steadily during the days following his admission and he demonstrated that he was still able to fly despite having a visible droop to his right wing.  With a little time and plenty of space to exercise in a large aviary cage, the grosbeak returned to full health.  With strong, confident flight, and mite-free legs, he returned to the wild on May 13.

For more information on how you can protect songbirds on your property from becoming window-strike victims, check out the PAWS songbird fact sheet.

Extended “winter” weather got you down? Kick off your summer right on May 21 at the Hales Brewery Palladium room (in Ballard/Fremont at 5 p.m.) with a night of hot music, cool auction items, and caring compassion. 

Join PAWS for Music, Life, and Tails II, a benefit event presented by Living Life Larger for Others. Buy your tickets early and party for a purpose into summer at livinglifelarger.org.  

The night kicks off at 5 p.m. with a silent auction and the original tunes of Dave Ellis and the Hopeless Sinners. After a short break, get ready to raise your paddles for the live auction to raise funds to support the critical work of PAWS and Operation Sack Lunch.

Immediately following the auction, get your “dance on” and show off your best moves to the soulful sounds of the one and only, hottest funk band ever, Doctorfunk. Known and loved locally and nationally, Doctorfunk sets the standard for new soul music in the Pacific Northwest. The 10-piece ensemble echoes the legendary passion of famed horn band Tower of Power and that “Bay Area Sound” while adding to the tradition.

Be sure to stop by our table and see which PAWS dog we brought for the party.

One Barred Owl On May 3, a nestling Barred Owl was left in a box on the doorstep of a Whidbey Island veterinary clinic.  The bird appeared to be healthy, but having no information on his point of origin, the veterinary clinic staff had no way to know where his nest tree might be.  Unable to reunite the owl with his parents, the clinic transferred him to PAWS Wildlife Center for care.  The Barred Owl spent his first week at PAWS with only his own reflection to keep him company, but that was soon to change.

On May 9, a homeowner in Everett, WA heard a commotion in his yard.  He investigated to find a flock of crows dive-bombing a young Barred Owl that was on the ground.  The man scooped up the owl and placed him in a box.  After searching the area for any sign of a nest or parent birds and finding none, the man brought the owl to PAWS.

Two Barred Owls After ensuring that both young owls were disease, parasite and injury free, PAWS staff introduced the two to one another.  They will spend the remainder of their time in care at the wildlife center keeping each other company as they grow to adulthood.  We house young animals with others of the same species whenever possible as it helps to both decrease both their stress level and the chances that they will imprint on or habituate to their human caregivers.  Although it is unfortunate that these two young owls were separated from their parents, they will be very fortunate to have one another in the coming weeks as they progress through the PAWS Wildlife Center.