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12 posts from May 2013


It's a PAWS Baby Shower!We're hosting a very special Baby Shower here at PAWS, but it doesn't involve blue and pink cupcakes or guessing baby names. It's a "Baby Shower" drive to help us prepare for the flood of kittens, puppies and baby wildlife who will come to PAWS for care this spring and summer.

Two-thirds of the animals PAWS cares for every year are babies and juveniles. You can help these kittens, puppies and baby wildlife by making a quick and easy donation from our Amazon wish list!

Your generous gift will help us care for these young, orphaned animals in many ways. Whether it's a gift of specially-formulated kitten food, toys for the puppies, heating pads for the very small animals, or jars of baby food and corn meal for young wildlife, your donation will help us save lives.

Make a gift to the PAWS Baby Shower!



It's that time of year. Birds that went largely unnoticed throughout the fall and winter are suddenly highly visible (and audible). They're busy collecting food and stuffing it into seemingly insatiable gaping beaks. They take a break every now and then to dive-bomb anything that comes too close to the nest, but once the intruder is dealt with they go right back to their primary focus of food, food and more food for their ever-growing young. We know they're out there, because when they run into trouble they come to PAWS. And even in a setting as foreign to them as a wildlife center, those hungry mouths just keep right on gaping.

American Robin nestling

Fortunately, we have a dedicated group of volunteers and interns who keep these hungry mouths fed. Known as Bird Nursery Caretakers, these volunteers raise our orphaned songbirds until they're ready to fend for themselves. The volunteers feed, clean and encourage the birds to begin to eat on their own. The patients are very small, but the job is very big.

  Dark eyed Junco nestlings

Meanwhile, our dedicated wildlife admission specialists are answering calls from the public and helping to determine whether or not young birds are actually in need of help. Fledgling birds learning to fly are everywhere at this time of year, and they often appear to be sick or injured when they're not.

American Robin Fledgling

Some fledgling birds look very much like adults. They're often distinguishable only by their behavior, and by fleshy pink, red or yellow gape flanges at the corner of their mouth. Look closely on the fledgling Pine Siskin below and you can see his pinkish-red gape flange.

Pine Siskin fledgling

If you find a baby bird that you believe may need help, you can always contact PAWS at 425.412.4040. We also have a handy flow chart online, titled "I found a baby bird! What should I do?", that will help walk you through the process of assessing a baby bird.

We are also currently looking for motivated, detail-oriented volunteers to join the ranks of our Bird Nursery Caretakers. A job description and applications are available online. If you would like to help raise some of the dozens of orphaned birds that PAWS receives each spring and summer, we would love to hear from you!

If you don't have the time but would like to help feed the birds another way, you can donate an item from our "Baby Shower" wish list on Amazon.com! Jars of baby food and bags of wheat bran or corn meal are especially helpful.

Become a Bird Nursery volunteer today!



Foster a dog, save a life!

The dogs at PAWS need your help!

 PAWS is in desperate need of foster homes for our full grown dogs! By taking an animal into your home on a temporary basis, you provide them with a safe place to rest and heal, while giving us additional time to find them a permanent home.

The PAWS Foster Care Program is critical to the life-saving work we do, and our foster families play a vital role in our ability to rescue and find permanent homes for thousands of homeless pets each year.

But we’re running out of available foster homes, especially for our medium and larger breed dogs.

“Like any shelter, the number of animals we can care for at any given time is limited by the number of available kennels,” says Rebecca Oertel, PAWS Foster Care Coordinator. “But with the help of foster families, the number of animals we can save is limitless!”

FAQ's about fostering

Can I foster if I live in an apartment?
Absolutely! We will work to match a foster animal to your needs, given your abilities and environment. We assess all our dogs and then make the best matches possible based on that particular animal’s needs and the needs of our foster families.

What if I don't have a fenced-in yard?
No problem! Some lower-energy dogs are often well suited for apartment and condo living.

I work full-time. Can I still foster?
Yes! Most adoptive families also work full-time jobs, so it’s good for the animal to adjust to your schedule so that their adjustment into a new home comes easily. Consider if you or someone you know can check in at lunchtime to take the dog for a quick potty break.

I'm worried about damage to my home.
Consider crating or confining your foster animal to a limited area, and using enrichment toys to keep the dog engaged and entertained while you’re not at home.

I travel a lot. How would I foster?
Foster parents can take animals as their schedule allows. You're not required to constantly have a foster animal, and we're happy to work with your availability and needs.

What if I already have a pet at home?
Foster animals may need to be isolated from your own companion animals, but a separate room or enclosed area with no carpet (like a bathroom or laundry room) will do just fine! Foster animals have full medical exams by a veterinarian as well as vaccines, flea treatments and deworming before going out to foster. If your animals are current on their vaccinations and otherwise in good health, the risk of your animal getting sick is extremely minimal even if you are fostering an animal who is sick.

Becoming a foster parent is a wonderful and personal way to help save the lives of homeless animals. By taking a dog into your home on a temporary basis, you provide them with a safe place to rest and heal, while giving us additional time to find them a permanent home.

Questions about fostering? Visit PAWS Foster Care FAQ’s or sign up today at PAWS.org

Save a life - become a foster parent today!



Wags & Whiskers Adoption Event 2013

Are you ready for some family-friendly adoption fun?

On Sunday, May 19, Northpointe Animal Hospital is hosting their 3rd Annual Wags and Whiskers Pet Adoption Event and Block Party!

Meet adorable and adoptable dogs, cats, kittens and puppies from local rescues and shelters, including PAWS!

All adopted animals are spayed/neutered and receive a complimentary office visit courtesy of Northpointe Animal Hospital.

Businesses and local vendors will be on hand with free food, raffle prizes and more! Adopting a new four-legged companion has never been more fun.

Join PAWS for the Wags & Whiskers Block Party!



This Mother’s Day, give that special woman in your life a gift that gives back. Give her the gift of love when you make a donation in her name to PAWS!

Mother's Day Gift

Honor your mother, grandmother, wife, sister or friend and help thousands of injured, orphaned or abandoned animals get the lifesaving care they need. Make your gift by Wednesday May 8 to ensure delivery of your special Mother’s Day card.

Your gift to PAWS in honor of Mom will help animals like Tiger Lily, a formerly homeless cat who was discovered living in an abandoned alleyway with no food or shelter.

Tiger Lily and her three small kittens were brought to PAWS where they received everything they needed to grow healthy and strong.

Your Mother’s Day donation will give animals like Tiger Lily and her sweet kittens the second chance they deserve and help feed, shelter and care for them while they’re at PAWS.

Send your Mother's Day gift today!


An old joke poses the question, "Why did the chicken cross the road?" One of many possible answers to this question is, "To show the opossum that it could be done." Unfortunately, opossums find themselves the butt of this joke because they really are prone to getting hit by cars. This susceptibility to being run over is a direct result of the opossum's primary defense. Freezing, baring your teeth, or rolling over and playing dead might work if you are under attack from a predator, but it is less than effective against an oncoming automobile.

At this time of year, the opossum you see laying in the road may not be the only victim. Virginia Opossum breeding season is in full swing, so many females are currently transporting up to 13 babies in their pouch. The opossum's pouch is located on her abomen. At birth, the opossum's bean-sized babies climb inside the pouch and attach themselves to a nipple. They spend about 60 days nursing and growing in the pouch before emerging to cling to their mother's back for an additional 30-40 days. In the photo below, you can see a number of babies partially enclosed by their mothers pouch as she nurses them.


Continue reading "Opossums in the road may not be alone" »


The PAWS Wildlife Center raises dozens of orphaned Raccoon kits every summer. Most of these babies have lost their mothers to cars or other human-related causes, and most are ready for release by late summer or early fall. Every year, however, we receive a few late summer babies who are not ready for release before cold winter weather sets in. These kits spend the winter with us, growing and playing with one another, while awaiting their release in the spring.

For three Raccoon kits who were with us this winter, their long-awaited day of freedom came on April 25. As evening fell, the Raccoons' transport carriers were opened next to a creek in a beautiful King County Natural Area. The following photos will give you a glimpse of their initial exploration as they made their transition back to the wild.

Release day is exciting, but it's also a bit overwhelming for the young Raccoons. They often spend time assessing their surroundings from inside or on top of their transport carriers.


Continue reading "After a Long Winter, Three Raccoons Go Free" »


St Martin de Porrres Dog Kennel

The men at St. Martin de Porres Shelter in Seattle don't have much to give. Residents often arrive at St. Martin, a night shelter and housing service for homeless men age 50 and older, with little more than the clothes on their backs. But while these men may have a small amount of possessions, they have amazingly big hearts.

In a show of solidarity, the men at St. Martins decided to raise whatever funds they could for the animals at PAWS who, like themselves, don't have a home to call their own. In total, the men collected an incredible $265.05! The amount was more than enough to pay for a Kennel Sponsorship, which provides a "home away from home" for dogs like Whitman, who stayed in the St. Martin de Porres kennel at PAWS until he was adopted by his forever family.

When the men were shown the photo of Whitman in the kennel they had sponsored, one of the residents said in a heartfelt voice, "If I had a home, Whitman would have a home."

The compassion shown by the residents at St. Martin is "beyond words," says PAWS Donor Relations Coordinator Vicki Nelson. "It's one thing to be generous when you have a lot to give, it's another to be generous when you don't."

Thank you to the gentlemen at the St. Martin de Porres shelter for their incredible generosity and for supporting the animals at PAWS!


St Martin de Porrres - Gary and Jerry
Above: Residents Gary and Jerry with the St. Martin de Porres-sponsored kennel

Sponsor your own PAWS cat or dog kennel!