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22 posts from June 2011

Dogs and cats hate fireworks, but if you own pets you already know that. July 5th is the busiest day of the year for animal shelters nationwide as panicked pets flee from fireworks on July 4th and are displaced as a result.

Angel-Hates-Fireworks Keep your pets safe and at home this Independence Day with these five helpful hints:

  1. Don't bring your dog to fireworks displays. Unless you know for sure that your dog is not afraid of crowds and explosions, keep your dog at home.

  2. Put I.D. tags on all your animals (dogs AND cats)! A collar I.D. tag is the quickest way to reunite with your lost dog or cat. If your pet has a microchip, make sure it has up-to-date contact information.

  3. Keep all companion animals indoors to avoid accidental injuries and reduce the risk of losing your pet. Dogs on tethers or in backyards may try to escape, and cats can get disoriented by the scary noises and run away to seek a safe hiding place.

  4. Provide a “safety spot” in the house, preferably with no direct outdoor access. Offer material comforts, such as beds, favorite toys, chew or cat nip toys.

  5. Reduce scary sights and sounds by turning up a radio or television and shut all windows and doors to help drown-out loud bangs. Close curtains and blinds to block out the flashing lights.

Following these tips will reduce the risk that your pet will get lost and end up in a shelter on July 5th.

Wildlife may also be extremely frightened by loud noises and bright flashes. Keep them in mind this holiday weekend and use fireworks with discretion. If you find an injured or orphaned wild animal, contact PAWS at 425.787.2500 x817.

You may wish to share this information with any pet owners you know so that they too can keep their animals safe. Also, please take the time to help a lost animal if you find one.

We at PAWS wish you and your family (furry and otherwise) a safe and happy Fourth of July!

Take our Raccoon Quiz and learn how to keep your home, pets and family free from Raccoon conflicts.

RacconCampaignWeb1 Summertime brings longer, warmer days, luscious blooming gardens…and Raccoons! During the summer months our phone lines at PAWS Wildlife Center are ringing with questions and complaints about Raccoons. Weather you love their cute “bandit mask” or you hate that they may be knocking over your garbage cans or frightening your pets, it is possible for us to co-exist with them. The best way to deal with Raccoons is to learn more about them so that you may alleviate conflicts and prevent them from recurring.  

Take our Raccoon Quiz, not on only to learn when and how Raccoon behavior can impact you, but also to learn how to Raccoon-proof your home. Visit our Raccoon page and download a brochure, which includes a detailed chart on how to prevent conflicts with Raccoons throughout the year. You’ll also learn about the effects of feeding wildlife, why relocating wildlife is not ideal, and seven tips on choosing a humane wildlife control company.





03- Black Bear 111089 intake and transfusion 060911 KM (32) small On June 9, PAWS received a yearling Black Bear cub that was found at Cayuse pass near Mt. Rainier. Weighing only 20 pounds, the cub was severely underweight. He was also infested with ticks and highly anemic. The cub’s red blood cell count was so low that the wildlife center’s veterinary staff decided to perform a blood transfusion to aid him in his recovery. The donor for the transfusion was a healthy, 190-lb yearling that had been in PAWS care since spring of 2010. At his release a week later, that cub had no way of knowing the lifesaving role he had played in a fellow bear’s life.  A story about the anemic cub and the transfusion procedure can be viewed on the KOMO News website.

I am happy to report that the cub has been doing quite well since the transfusion. He is now strong, alert and active. Yesterday we placed a pile of fresh salmonberry branches in his enclosure and he thoroughly enjoyed rolling on them and eating the berries. I attempted to film the cub as he enjoyed the salmonberries but, as you can see in the short video below, he was a bit camera shy.


To read more about PAWS bears, visit our PAWS News Page.

Every penny counts. The students of the Penny Harvest program make sure of that.
PAWS was recently honored by Adams Elementary, Cedar Valley Community School, McGilvra Elementary and John Muir Elementary with donations totaling $1,584. Wow!

Penny Harvest Kids Through the Penny Harvest program, children nationwide learn that they can make a difference in their community and the lives of others. After collecting a plethora of pennies in the fall, student representatives from each school form a leadership team called a Roundtable Group. These student leaders work hard to identify and research the issues of their communities and then award donations to deserving organizations who best serve their concerns.

I was invited to meet with many of these students during their selection process. Animal welfare is near and dear to many children. Not only do they want to help animals in need with direct care, they also want to educate others to prevent cruelty and abuse.

As Penny Harvest representatives, Marlowe and Elliot (4th grade student leaders) stated in their school’s newsletter, the reason why they selected PAWS was because:

"PAWS  is an organization that helps stray animals such as dogs, cats and wild animals as well.  They neuter and spay dogs and cats to lower the amount of stray animals so not as many get sick or injured.  They also help wild injured animals, baby starving neglected animals and much, much more.” 

PAWS volunteer Marc Warner and I , were thrilled to represent PAWS at their awards assemblies. The handmade checks we received were as big as their hearts. Thank you Penny Harvest students for caring about animals and making a difference in so many lives. You rock!

Harbor Seal 111082 and 111168 KM (5) rt Harbor Seal pups are a common sight along Washington’s saltwater coastline at this time of year, and we receive many phone calls from concerned citizens who have sighted pups on the beach. If you find a pup, it is very important that you do not disturb it or attempt to remove it from the beach. Seals and other marine mammals are protected by the Marine Mammal Protection Act of 1972. Enforcement of the MMPA is the responsibility of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Fisheries Department. NOAA Fisheries maintains a stranding network that investigates reports of sick, injured or otherwise distressed marine mammals. If NOAA Fisheries determines that a seal pup needs help, PAWS Wildlife Center is often where they send them for care.

In June, PAWS received two distressed pups from a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist who specializes in marine mammals and works closely with NOAA Fisheries. The first pup was admitted June 8, and the second on June 13. Both pups were found, weak and underweight, on the beach in Westport, WA. How the pups became separated from their mothers is unknown, but after several days spent monitoring them from a distance on the beach, it was clear that they had been orphaned or abandoned.

So far, both seal pups have been responding well to care here at PAWS. They have both moved from milk replacer formula to whole fish, and they are steadily putting on weight. If all goes well, they will be returned to the Westport area as healthy, 50+ pound seals later this summer. To learn more about our work with Harbor Seals, visit the marine mammals page on our website.

PrideWalkers2 Our bright orange PAWS booth will be at the Capitol Hill Pride Festival this Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Broadway in Capitol Hill. Stop by our PAWS (which will be located in front of Samurai Noodle and the UPS store) to pet cute dogs, learn more about Raccoons, grab a PAWSwalk flyer, and peruse our adoptable cats and dogs binder.  We’d love to see you at this community Pride festival—its’ a great time filled with live music, yummy food, lots of entertainment, and even a Doggie Drag Costume Contest!

Then on Sunday, walk with the PAWS float in the 37th annual Seattle Pride Parade. The parade starts at 11 a.m. at 4th Avenue and Union street and the route goes north on 4th Avenue to Denny Way. You are invited to join the PAWS contingent in this colorful parade, and your crowd-friendly dogs are welcome too.  The time commitment for the parade is approximately 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Contact Eleanor at eblackford@paws.org or 425-412-4027.

Check out more events PAWS will be at this summer on our events calendar.

Red-tailed Hawk 111127 On June 11, a member of the public contacted us because they were concerned about a young Red-tailed Hawk that was on the ground in their backyard. Their address was not far from our location here in Lynnwood, so Wildlife Admissions Specialist Cindy Kirkendall and Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. Steve Johnson drove out to assess the situation.

Young hawks go through a developmental stage during which they are not yet able to fly, but they climb, hop and explore in the branches around their nest. During this “branching” stage it is not uncommon for the youngsters to fall and end up on the ground. If they are healthy and unhurt in the fall, they can simply be placed back in the tree. Unfortunately, this was not the case with the hawk Cindy and Dr. Steve drove out to assess.

Cindy and Dr. Steve examined the young bird and found that he was extremely thin and very weak. They brought him back to the wildlife center where we performed diagnostic blood work. We found that the hawk was anemic and suffering from a relatively heavy load of a common blood parasite. As of this writing the bird is still with us and responding well to care. He is expected to make a full recovery.


Short-tailed Weasel You may recall the orphaned baby Short-tailed Weasels that were featured in a May 11 post here on the PAWS Blog.  Although we were sad to lose one of the babies due to what we believe were congenital problems, I'm happy to say that three of the four babies thrived in our care and have been successfully returned to the wild.

I attempted to photograph one of the weasels prior to his departure to show how much he had grown since May 11. If you've ever seen the way weasels move, you will know this was easier said than done! You can see the photos I did get to the right, and they show the sleek subadult animal this weasel had become prior to release.


Peregrine Falcon 111109 close-up On June 10, workers at the Seattle Boat Company found a Peregrine Falcon that appeared to be in distress.  He was sitting on the ground, and did not fly away when approached.  The concerned workers scooped the bird into a box and PAWS staff member Cindy Kirkendall picked him up and brought him to the wildlife center.

At the wildlife center, staff identified the falcon as a juvenile bird.  The Seattle Boat Company sits directly below the Interstate 5 bridge in Seattle where a pair of Peregrines has been nesting each summer for the past several years.  The youngster brought to PAWS was a fledgling from this years nest, and he had likely ended up on the ground after one of his first attempts at flight.

Two Photos copy Since the young bird was uninjured, we decided that the best course of action would be to reunite him with his parents.  After receiving some advice from Bud Anderson of The Falcon Research Group, I traveled to the area in which the falcon had been found to scout out an appropriate release site.  During the scouting trip I spotted an adult Peregrine sitting on a bridge support high above me.  I also identified a stand of trees that would make a good starting point for the bird in our care.

Back at PAWS, we tested the fledgling falcon's flying abilities in our large flight pen.  He was a little rough around the edges, but seemed capable enough.  Fellow PAWS staff member Jim Green and I transported the young Peregrine back to Seattle for the release.  When we released the falcon, I expected him to take a short flight and land in one of the nearby trees.  Instead, he flew up and over the trees, evaded a brief attack by a local crow, and then gained altitude as he circled off to the Northwest.  He continued flying in a wide circle until he was heading back south toward the bridge.  He finally came to rest accross the Seattle ship canal, high up on an electrical tower.  He was now right next to the bridge, and on it we could see one adult falcon and one other fledgling.  Satisfied that he was back where he belonged, we left the falcon to enjoy his family reunion.       

With a knick knack, pattywhack – Give PAWS dogs a bone (and cats, too)! This week, we are hosting a toy drive for the animals! This is a fun, easy, and inexpensive way for you and your friends to make a difference for the dogs and cats in our care. Just donate a toy from our Amazon Wish List, and it will be sent straight to us!

CatToyDrive We’ve featured a new kind of toy called a “work-to-eat” toy. These toys are fun and challenging to use; the animals have to “work” by playing with the toy in order to release the yummy treats stored inside. View a video of Mr. Chin playing with one! These interactive toys help alleviate boredom and keep the animals in our care happy and healthy while they wait for their forever homes.

From June 17th to June 24th we aim to have 50 dog toys and 50 cat toys donated through our drive, so share this post with your friends and family! You can track our progress with our “Toy Thermometers” below and by keeping updated on Facebook. And please stop by either of our locations to see your gift in action!

DogToyDrive2 Donating a toy to PAWS is easy! If you’re familiar with Amazon, just go to PAWS’ Amazon Wish List and get shopping! Remember to click PAWS LYNNWOOD HEADQUARTERS for the shipping address (This insures that the toys get shipped to PAWS, and not to you).

If you would like to be acknowledged for your gift, please enter your information in the Gift Note box.

If you’re unfamiliar with Amazon, just follow this handy guide:

  • Go to PAWS’ Amazon Wish List.
  • Click on the toy you wish to donate.
  • Choose the quantity you want to donate and click ADD TO CART.
  • Once all the items you want to donate are in your cart, click PROCEED TO CHECK OUT.
  • Sign in with your Amazon log-in, or follow Amazon’s instructions to proceed without signing in.
  • Once signed in (or past the log-in page), PAWS is listed on the right-hand column.
  • Click SEND TO THIS ADDRESS button above the text that says PAWS LYNNWOOD HEADQUARTERS (This insures that the toys get shipped to PAWS, and not to you).
  • Choose shipping options.
  • Enter payment information, click CONTINUE.
  • Review shipping and billing information, then click PLACE YOUR ORDER.
  • Share this with your friends and encourage them to donate a toy as well!