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25 posts from August 2011

Hello PAWS Friends,
DaisyPostcard I must belong here--my new family has the same color fur as me!
I'm making myself at home and getting more settled every day.  I like my yard and I get to go on walks and car rides.  Mom's my current favorite human of the house, but I like everyone else too.
The cat and I get along.  I won her over by being very polite, even when she walked  up and hissed at me for no reason.  Now we nap on the living room rug together. (Don't tell the cat, but I think she's adopted too.  She has gray fur.)
I've gotten to meet new dog and human friends.  I like it when kids come over to play--they give me lots of belly rubs. 
Bye for now.

Have you registered for PAWSwalk yet? Visit PAWSwalk.net to register and start fundraising to help dogs like Daisy find their forever homes.


Northern Flying Squirrel syringe feeding 082611 KM (2) So far this summer, the PAWS Wildlife Center has cared for dozens of orphaned squirrels representing four differnt species.  The rarest of these species was the threatened Western Gray Squirrel, but the most unique is definitely the Northern Flying Squirrel.

Flying Squirrels don't actually fly, but they are capable of gliding as far as 80 yards or more from one tree to another.  This is made possible by loose folds of skin stretching between the squirrel's front and back legs.  When the squirrel extends all four of his limbs, the skin is pulled taut to create the gliding surface.  Although Northern Flying Squirrels are very common, even in many neighborhoods of Seattle, their high-flying acrobatics are seldom witnessed because they are only active at night.

Northern Flying Squirrel syringe feeding 082611 KM (5) There are currently four Northern Flying Squirrels in care at PAWS Wildlife Center.  The first arrived on August 17 after being found on the ground in the town of Duvall.  A young male, the squirrel had suffered a puncture wound on his head, most likely from being attacked by a predator.  The other three flyers are siblings from a nest that was destroyed when a tree fell in Carnation, WA.  Fortunately, none of the three were injured in the incident.

All four squirrels are doing well so far in our care.  If all continues to go well, they should be ready for release sometime in October. 

You may be familiar with our all-star Naturalist Kevin Mack, who is responsible not only for the amazing photos of wildlife he provides us with, but also for making sure that the wild patients in our care return to a wild, natural life. Below is a tale by Mack illustating one of the unexpected challenges we are sometimes presented with at PAWS. 

Two weeks ago we had a visitor at PAWS that caused a bit of stress for some of our songbird patients. A young Cooper’s Hawk spotted the swallows and robins in our aviary cages and must have thought they looked like an easy meal. When he flew in to capture his meal though, he was puzzled by the wire that prevented him from reaching the seemingly vulnerable birds.


The hawk looked to be a juvenile that hatched earlier this year. He behaved like a naïve bird that was still learning the ropes. He was so fixated on the songbirds in our aviaries that it was difficult to convince him to get off of the cage. When I attempted to frighten him, he simply stared at me at first.

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Eventually the hawk flew up into the nearby trees, but he kept an eye on the aviaries. Whenever we turned our backs, the hawk flew back to the top of the aviary cage. We repeatedly chased him away but he would not be deterred.

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This continued for some time. Under the constant, watchful attention of the hawk our songbird patients were beginning to become very stressed. The hawk was simply puzzled by, and possibly annoyed with the humans that kept trying to frighten him away.

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It was clear that no amount of arm waving or other intimidation was going to dissuade the persistent hawk. He actually seemed to become more tolerant of our scare attempts as time passed.
After a while the hawk was so relaxed with me standing right under him that he began to stretch. But even in mid-stretch he kept looking in the direction of the aviary cages.

HawkVisit11   HawkVisit10

Despite the conditions under which the encounter occurred, it was quite a treat to see such a gorgeous bird up close outside of a cage.

We eventually ended the standoff with the hawk by covering the top of our aviaries with a tarp. Once the hawk could no longer see the birds from above, he decided to search for prey elsewhere.


Bazil - American Pit Bull/Australian Cattle Dog – 1 year old

Bazilwalk Walking into the shelter this week, Bazil is getting the king’s treatment in the manager’s office. With his adorable spotted nose and friendly personality, it doesn’t surprise me that the staff likes having him around throughout the day. For those unfamiliar with PAWS, there is a bed in the front office where the treats and behind-the-ear scratches are endless.

Bazil is calmly lying on his bed with his eyes closely following all the lively activity around the shelter entrance. I walk towards him slowly and ask, “Bazil, are you ready….” And before I can even finish my sentence he is at my feet with his tail wagging and ears perked straight up. I was going to take his picture first, but I think at this point, he’s already got his mind set on one thing… Getting outside to play.

Walking around the trail, Bazil is very good on the leash, staying just slightly in front of me, but still at my side. I think he would definitely enjoy a home with someone who runs regularly, as he’s definitely ready to hit the trails at a fast pace. Pausing for a bit, we work on some commands, many of which he already has a firm grasp on, especially if there are treats involved.

Back at the shelter, as I’m trying to take a picture, Bazil keeps trying to nuzzle right up next to me, resulting in about ten blurry pictures of his nose pressing into my camera lens. This pretty well describes the type of dog he is though, a little bit playful, a little bit loving, and a lot of goofball.

To learn more about Bazil, visit his profile. Have you registered for PAWSwalk yet? There's less than two weeks until the big day!

PAWSwalk is almost here! If you are registered for PAWSwalk, this new video will help you in your fundraising efforts. If you’re having a hard time getting your friends and family excited about the event, share this video with them to remind them how important their participation is. Because PAWSwalk is free to attend, we rely on your fundraising efforts to support the animals at PAWS.


In celebration of the 20th anniversary of PAWSwalk, there will be many new activities as well as all the old favorites. We’re talking a Tail Gate, vendors, contests for people and dogs, Flyball demonstrations, fundraising prizes, and more! If you haven’t registered for PAWSwalk yet, what are you waiting for? Visit www.PAWSwalk.net to sign up at start fundraising!

Our fee-waived adoption promotion for senior cats is a huge success! We’ve found homes for many of our lovable and mature kitties, but there are still plenty more to go around. If you adopt a senior cat seven years or older in August, their adoption fee is waived!

Taylor and Adopter PAWS staff celebrated this past week as long term resident and media star “Taylor” found his forever home. Taylor had arrived at PAWS in November 2010 after his previous owner had passed away. He stayed at PAWS for more than nine months, and even though the PAWS staff and volunteers adored him, Taylor was more than ready to find a new home.  On August 18th, a gentleman came to Cat City looking for a new companion. After meeting several furry seniors, the gentleman chose Taylor to be his new best friend. Taylor was sent home with his favorite stuffed catfish, a scratcher pad, and a bag of tasty bonito flakes – all for no adoption fee!

Check out a cute video of Taylor, and keep an eye out for his ad in the Seattle Weekly this week – he sure is a handsome fellow.

Earl and Adopters Earl is a special 11-year-old gentleman who was looking to spend some quality time with a new family. After a brief stay at Cat City, a lovely young couple was charmed by Earl’s good looks and charming personality, and they decided to add him to their family – and his adoption fee was waived. Love is priceless, and so is adoption!






Louie Chloe and Adopters Louie and Chloe, both nine-years-old, are best friends and needed find a home that was willing to take them both. Their new family found them this month, and they got two new best friends for the price of none!

There are still many more senior felines looking for forever homes at PAWS. If you adopt one of them in August, their adoption fee in on the house.  How cat-tastic is that?

Come by to PAWS in Lynnwood or Cat City in Seattle to find your new best friend – they’re waiting! 

Can't adopt? Help the animals at PAWS by registering and fundraising for PAWSwalk!

Seal Underwater 1

The two Harbor Seal pups that were featured in the June 24 PAWS blog have been thriving in care here at PAWS.  As you may recall, both pups were thin, sickly orphans when they were found on the beach in Westport, WA.  Today the seals are plump and healthy, and they are making steady progress toward the day they will be ready to return to their wild home.

During their stay here at PAWS, the seals have been supplied with a steady supply of fish, but in the wild they will need to find food for Seal Underwater 2 themselves.  In order to prepare the pups for their coming independence, we have been periodically supplying them with live herring so they can practice their fish-catching skills. 

Last week, one of our wildlife interns brought in her waterproof camera gear which enabled us to get a rare look at our patients in their element.  The resulting photos and video have given us a new appreciation for the seals' underwater grace.

Many thanks to Niki Desautels for capturing the photos and video footage.         


Western-Gray-Squirrel-in-GS On August 3 the PAWS blog featured the story of four orphaned Western Gray Squirrels that were brought to the PAWS Wildlife Center for care.  Listed as a threatened species, Western Gray Squirrels are very rare, existing in just a few isolated pockets of habitat within Washington State.  The four babies that we received were starving, dehydrated and extremely weak when they were admitted, and despite our best efforts we were unable to save two of them.  But the remaining two, one male and one female, grew stronger and eventually thrived in our care.

Western-Gray-Squirrel These were the first Western Gray Squirrels with which we have had the privilige of working.  As the squirrels grew, it was amazing to see how different they really are from the introduced Eastern Gray Squirrels that are now so common in our state.  Among the many differences we saw between the two species, perhaps the most striking was the incredibly long and bushy tail possessed by the Western Grays.  It really is quite impressive.

By August 18, the two surviving squirrel kits had grown old enough to be released.  On that day, the biologist that had brought the squirrels to us for care returned to the wildlife center to retrieve them.  The next morning, he placed them in the very tree cavity in which they had been born.  Despite their rough start, these two young squirrels now have the opportunity to live a full, wild life.  Best of all, they will have the opportunity to acquire mates and produce more Western Gray Squirrels to make the sight of these beautiful animals a little less rare in our state.       

Ruby – Boxer/Terrier, American Pit Bull – two years old

Ruby2 Don’t let her fool you. Ruby might seem like a dainty pup, the type terrified to get her feet muddy. She might sucker you into thinking she isn’t much for playing fetch or getting some exercise on the trail. She might even have you believing she doesn’t absolutely love having her back scratched for hours on end.

But she’d be fooling you.

Ruby might come across a bit shy, but once you show her a little bit of love, she’s quite happy to reciprocate. When I first walk into her kennel, she curiously pops her head up and slowly walks toward me. I reach for my back pocket, full of treats, and she immediately recognizes what that means. Her short little tail starts wagging as she nuzzles into my leg with her little eyes staring straight up at me.

We go for a quick walk around the trail; Ruby stays close to my side the whole time. We even pause a few times to make sure to scratch all the right places on her back as well as behind her ears. The moment my hand stops moving, she spins around and gives me a look clearly stating, “You’re not done yet, mister, keep scratching.”

Right as we’re about to head back into the kennel, Ruby makes it pretty clear that she wants to play some fetch. We head down to the off leash area and I grab a tennis ball. She sits right at my feet, eyes fixated on that glowing green goodness I have in my hand. A quick toss to the other side of the run and she’s sprinting faster than almost any dog I’ve ever seen. We play for about 20 minutes before I realize there are other dogs to walk. I’m pretty sure she could go for at least another hour.

Ruby would be the perfect fit for someone with an active lifestyle, but she is also more than happy to relax once the evening rolls around. She loves to interact with her people, so her best fit will someone who is willing to give her the attention and affection she deserves.