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8 posts from January 2013


The numbers can seem overwhelming. Every year, PAWS takes in and shelters thousands of homeless cats and dogs who arrive at our door in need of care. These are the lucky ones. Millions more companion animals across the country will struggle to survive on the streets without food, shelter or hope.

In an effort to combat pet overpopulation and reduce the number of homeless animals in our community, PAWS will be participating in World Spay Day 2013, a campaign to shine a spotlight on spay/neuter—a proven way to save the lives of companion animals and safely control the animal population.

During the month of February, as part of the Spay Day campaign, PAWS will be offering low-cost spay and neuter surgeries in partnership with other local shelters and veterinary clinics in Washington State.

World Spay Day, a nationwide effort, aims to end the suffering of unwanted pets and homeless animals in our communities by preventing unplanned litters. Spaying and neutering is good for the community and a great way to help our animal friends live longer, healthier lives. Low-Cost Spay Neuter - Spay Day 2013

How you can help:


  1. Schedule an appointment. Look through the list of participating clinics and contact the clinic nearest you directly to make an appointment.

  2. Tell a friend. If your pet is already altered, please encourage your friends and family to do the same for their animals. Share with them the benefits of spaying and neutering.

  3. Not in Western Washington? Visit the HSUS Spay Day page to find an event in your area.
  4. Learn more about PAWS' participation in World Spay Day 2013 here.

    Join us in saving the lives of homeless animals!



At the PAWS Wildlife Center, we see noses of all kinds. Can you guess to which species the nose in this photo belongs?

Townsends Mole nose


If you guessed Townsend’s Mole, you are correct!

Townsends Mole

This young mole arrived at the PAWS Wildlife Center after a dog dug up his nest. The dog’s guardian rescued the mole and brought him to PAWS, where our veterinarians gave him a full examination. The mole had made it through the ordeal uninjured, but he was too young to survive on his own, so he stayed in care for another several weeks to grow big and strong. Once he was old enough to survive on his own, he was successfully released back into his natural habitat to live wild and free.

Did you know...?

• Although they are sometimes confused with rodents, moles are members of the Talpidae family, which is part of the Insectivora order. Other Insectivores include shrews and hedgehogs.

• Moles are an important part of the ecosystem. Their tunneling behavior mixes soil nutrients as well as improving draining and soil aeration. Their diet consists mainly of invertebrates, many of which are considered lawn pests, like cranefly larvae and slugs.

• Moles have extremely dense fur which allows them to travel back and forth underground without turning into bundles of mud. Each hair has several very thin areas (strictures) that allow the end of the hair to move back and forth without disturbing the base. This prevents gaps from forming that might collect dirt. Additionally, there is a wide, flat section at the tip of every hair. When wet, these flat areas stick together, forming a shield against additional water or dirt.

• Most conflicts with moles stem from their industrious tunneling and the impact that can have on lawns and gardens. For information on humane solutions, click here.



In a blur of flying legs and black fur, the excited four-year-old Labrador Retriever tears across the yard in pursuit of a bouncing tennis ball, a spray of dirt and grass in his wake.

High-energy Dogs"My arm is getting tired!" laughs PAWS Behavior Lead Kristi Binau. She has been throwing the ball for JR and Annie, two of the larger dogs currently in care at PAWS, to give them some extra exercise and playtime.

"We want to make sure the animals are getting sufficient exercise, especially our high-energy dogs," says Binau.

Just like people, dogs have individual personalities and traits. Certain breeds tend to produce high-energy types (such as Pointers, Setters, Fox Terriers, and Huskies). Labrador Retrievers like JR are among these high-energy breeds that can develop undesirable behaviors unless they receive a balanced amount of food and plenty of exercise.

If you have a high-energy dog at home, or are thinking of adopting a typically high-energy breed, here are a few helpful hints:

  • Avoid too much alone-time.
    Try not to leave your high-energy pet home alone for long stretches of time. If you must leave your dog for eight hours or more, make sure they have lots of toys with which to occupy themselves, and that the room you leave them in is dog-proof. Another good option is to hire a dog-walker, pet sitter or neighbor to play with your pup during the day while you are at work.
  • Establish an exercise routine.
    Create a reliable exercise regimen with twice-daily walks, a jog around the neighborhood or playtime at an off-leash dog park before and after work. "It is important that dogs get at least 30 minutes of heart-pounding exercise each day," says Binau. "So visiting the dog park once a week is great, but should not be the only means of exercise." A regular, consistent exercise routine will teach your dog to relax during the day when you aren't home
  • Sign them up for school.
    For puppies less than six months of age, choose a puppy kindergarten or “good manners” class that will get you started in obedience training and help channel their energy. For juveniles or adult dogs, try a flyball or agility training course.

Read more great tips for dealing with high-energy pets!



Love delicious vegetarian food? Want to support the animals at PAWS? Then here’s a tasty, animal-friendly deal for you!

The Veggie Grill.jpgEnjoy a delicious vegetarian meal at Veggie Grill in Seattle on Saturday, February 2 between the hours of 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. and they will donate 50% of your meal’s proceeds to PAWS!

Veggie Grill serves up flavorful and craveable 100% plant-based soups, salads, burgers, sandwiches and desserts.

Dine at Veggie Grill in Seattle on Saturday, February 2, mention this fundraiser and 50% of your food and beverage purchases will be donated to help the animals at PAWS!

You can also print out this flyer and present it to your server at the restaurant.

We hope to see you there!


As an Oceanographer, Dale Ripley knows everything there is to know about creatures under the sea. But when it came to land-dwelling animals, Dale had a lot to learn when he started as a volunteer at PAWS.

Volunteer Spotlight - Dale Ripley“I went to my first volunteer orientation with the thought of working with dogs and cats at the shelter, learning about different breeds. But then they mentioned the PAWS Wildlife Center, and the idea of working with native wildlife intrigued me. A lot of people know about PAWS, but not necessarily that they have a wildlife rehab program.”

Dale will be the first to tell you that life as a PAWS Wildlife Center volunteer isn’t always clean or easy—but it sure can be funny!

"The task of collecting squirrels out of the small mammal enclosure is absolutely hilarious,” says Dale with a grin. “They’re racing all around the cage, and you have to grab them. Picture a bunch of staff and volunteers running around, chasing squirrels with a net in a 10x10 enclosure. It’s hilarious pandemonium."

The work is also incredibly rewarding, says Dale. “Feeding the young mammals, like Raccoons and possums, is amazing. You have to be so careful with them because they’re so small, barely just born. It’s rewarding to know you’re giving them a chance at life.”

Outside of PAWS, Dale is an avid snorkeler—even in the freezing waters of Puget Sound. He’s met some incredible creatures along the way, including a face-to-face encounter with a three-foot-long Barracuda!

Thank you for your passion and commitment to the animals, Dale. Your dedication and hard work are truly appreciated, and we’re grateful to have you as a PAWS volunteer.

Become a PAWS Volunteer today!



What weighs 700 pounds and will help PAWS save the lives of thousands of homeless animals this year? The incredible supply of pet food donated by YOU during the Whole Foods Market "Feed Fido" pet food drive!

PAWS Food Room - After!

Last month, Whole Foods Market hosted a pet food drive for PAWS, with all six Seattle-area stores providing donation bins and encouraging shoppers to donate pet food items from the PAWS Wish List.

With more than 700 pounds of dog and cat food and treats contributed by caring members of our community, our pantry is full and will help fill the hungry tummies of the dogs, cats, puppies and kittens who arrive at PAWS, in need of warmth, love and a second chance.

A huge thanks to Seattle-area Whole Foods Markets, and to everyone who participated in the Feed Fido pet food drive—your donations make a difference in the lives of injured, orphaned and sick animals in need.

Here are some other ways to help PAWS this year!



The numbers don't lie. A quick scan of PAWS Cat City's 2012 adoption figures, proudly displayed by Cat City Supervisor Steph Renaud in the form of squiggly-lined graphs, shows just how successful the cat adoption facility has been during its second year of operation in its new, state-of-the-art facility in Seattle's University District.

PAWS Cat City in Seattle"In 2012, adult cat adoptions were up 35 percent and kitten adoptions up 76 percent" says Renaud. "That's a total of 1,391 animals adopted into loving homes!"

Two years ago—on January 11, 2011—PAWS Cat City moved from a small, cramped office space in Greenwood to the current spacious facility on Roosevelt Way. The new-and-improved location features three cat colonies, a separate visiting room and a bright and inviting common area for staff and volunteers to greet and counsel prospective adopters.

Cat-CityPAWS Cat City's new, updated facility has played an integral role in the placement of hundreds more cats and kittens into loving, forever homes.

The open-colony setting, with cats and kittens staying in rooms rather than in cages, provides an opportunity for visitors to interact with the cats, see how they interact with each other, and get a better sense of each cat’s unique personality.

The open floor plan also allows the cats and kittens to freely move around and explore, alleviating boredom and allowing them to socialize both with others cats and prospective adopters in a relaxed environment.

"It has been a great two years," says Renaud, "and we look forward to finding loving homes for even more deserving cats and kittens in 2013."

Come visit the friendly felines at PAWS Cat City!