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10 posts from August 2013


You've heard the old adage about teaching an old dog new tricks. Turns out, it can be done after all! But it's not as easy as issuing commands and handing out treats. Walking, handling and training a dog takes patience and skill, and being well-equipped to handle dogs with confidence in any situation is something that comes with time and training.

ATV-DBV Program at PAWS helps dogs like SteweyLuckily for the dogs at PAWS, we have an advanced training program that teaches our volunteers to become experts in canine care.

The ATV/DBV—Advanced Training Volunteers and Dog Behavior Volunteers—program builds on our basic Good Dog Program (developed by a certified animal behaviorist for PAWS and required for all dog volunteers) to include clicker training, education about dog-to-dog interaction, and how to mitigate "undesirable" behaviors.

"Some dogs who come to PAWS can be very fearful, or easily excited—behaviors that we don’t expect a level-one volunteer to be able to handle," says Molly Reagan Axt, PAWS Programs Manager. "Having volunteers who can support these dogs, and work with them one-on-one, is a huge benefit."

One such volunteer is Kerri Bridges, who spends the majority of her ATV shift using clicker training with the dogs to reinforce good behaviors, minimize undesirable ones, and teach them commands such as "sit," "stay" and "watch."

"The ATV/DBV program is great for the dogs because it reduces their stress, and makes them better candidates for adoption," says Kerri. "The clicker training engages their minds and makes the shelter experience more enjoyable!"

But that's not the only fun part of the job. ATV volunteers also have clearance to take the dogs for off-site trips! Kerri recently took PAWS dog Stewey, pictured right, for an all-day hike to Heather Lake.

"Stewey was a star when meeting other dogs and hikers on the trail, and they loved him," says Kerri. "He liked the water at the lake, and I think that if I didn't have him on leash, he would have jumped right in!"

The ATV/DBV program is about building trust and learning new skills, providing the volunteers with a rich, rewarding experience and giving the dogs a leg up on finding their forever home.

Interested in becoming a PAWS volunteer? Visit paws.org



On the "adoptability" scale, Byron didn't have a lot working in his favor. A nine-year-old black kitty with a serious illness, Byron was not at the top of the list for most potential adopters.

Byron in his foster homeHowever, the staff at PAWS recognized a diamond in the rough, and they were determined to save this friendly feline and find him a loving, forever home.

To help cure Byron's hyperthyroidism, PAWS turned to doctors Faythe Vaughan and Dennis Wackerbarth at the Feline Hyperthyroid Treatment Center in Shoreline. The doctors generously donated the entire cost of radioiodine treatment, which eventually cured Byron of his disease.

While undergoing treatment, Byron needed a place to rest and recuperate, so PAWS staff member Rachel Bishop and her husband Bryan stepped in to be Byron's foster family.

"We've gotten to know Byron really well, and he would make a great addition to any family, especially one with other cats," says Rachel. "He has a long list of endearing behaviors that will keep you entertained!"

Whether dipping a paw into his water bowl to get a drink, playing “chase” with other cats, or routinely greeting you with his characteristic squeaky meow, this distinctive boy will win your heart in no time.

Byron thrives best in the comfort of a foster home, and prefers to make “guest appearances” at PAWS on the weekends. If you would like to meet him, call our staff to arrange a visit, or stop by PAWS this Labor Day weekend!

Meet Byron and the other available pets at PAWS!



Put on your walking shoes and get ready to save animals, because PAWSwalk is just around the corner!  

PAWSwalk2013 Protector SponsorsJoin PAWS and our phenomenal Protector sponsors, Whole Foods Market, Cowbelly Pet Photography, Canine Behavior Center and BowWow Fun Towne for a fun-filled day in the sun at King County's Marymoor Park on Saturday, September 7 for PAWSwalk 2013. 

At PAWSwalk, you'll enjoy a walk in the park with your friends, family and favorite canine. There will also be great pet-friendly shopping, an interactive Kids Zone, doggie games, photobooth fun, delicious food and a beer and mimosa garden!

There's no shortage of fun at PAWSwalk, and best of all you'll be saving animals' lives.

This year, we're excited to welcome Whole Foods Market, Cowbelly Pet Photography, Canine Behavior Center and BowWow Fun Towne as PAWSwalk 2013's Protector Sponsors.

Their generous support will help us provide food, shelter and loving care for thousands of animals at PAWS this year.

We would like to thank Whole Foods Market, Cowbelly Pet Photography, Canine Behavior Center and BowWow Fun Towne and YOU for supporting PAWSwalk and helping us create a better world for the animals in our community.

Join the fun and register now for PAWSwalk 2013!




At PAWS, we deal in "second chances" every day. From placing homeless cats and dogs with loving new families, to repairing a Bald Eagle's broken wing so that it may once again fly free, we strive to make sure that every story has a happy ending. But every once in a while, a story comes along that reminds us exactly what a second chance really means.

Gandalf Goes HomeOne such story involves a cat named after a wizard, and his story seems pretty magical indeed.

Gandalf the cat came to PAWS in sad condition. He was 18 years old and suffering from a bladder infection, a mass on his forehead that needed to be removed, and in the early stages of renal failure.

But he also had an undeniably bright and energetic personality, and the staff at PAWS knew that Gandalf had plenty of life left in him. So they made it their mission to find this handsome 18-year-old cat a forever home.

While recuperating from his various illnesses, Gandalf spent time with four different PAWS foster care families, and he charmed everyone he met.

Two people in particular were charmed by Gandalf—PAWS volunteer Jamie and her boyfriend Michael. After a short deliberation, they knew he was meant to join their family and they adopted him!

Gandalf, the 18-year-old cat with a magic personality, is finally living his happy-ever-after.

Meet the other sweet senior cats at PAWS!



Grab those leashes and get ready, because PAWSwalk is almost here! Join PAWS and our dynamite Defender sponsors, Seattle Weekly and P2 Solutions, at King County's Marymoor Park on Saturday, September 7 for PAWSwalk 2013!

PAWSwalk2013 Defender SponsorsGather your friends, family and favorite canines for a day of fun in the sun at PAWSwalk and help thousands of cats, dogs and wildlife in need of a second chance. Helping homeless animals is indeed a walk in the park!

This year, we're excited to welcome Seattle Weekly and P2 Solutions as PAWSwalk 2013's Defender Sponsors.

Their generous support will help us provide food, shelter and loving care for thousands of animals at PAWS this year.

We would like to thank Seattle Weekly, P2 Solutions and YOU for supporting PAWSwalk 2013 and helping us create a better world for the animals in our community

Join the fun and register now for PAWSwalk 2013!



GiveLitter™ to PAWSGiveLitter™ to the cats at PAWS!

Donating kitty litter to PAWS is now just a click away (and free!) thanks to World's Best Cat Litter's Give Litter charity campaign.

GiveLitter™ is the only cat charity that allows you to instantly donate free all-natural World's Best Cat Litter™ to deserving shelters across the country.

For each vote, PAWS will receive one pound of kitty litter! To vote for PAWS, simply go to worldsbestcatlitter.com and select PAWS as your desired charity recipient.

Each vote can help us receive up to 15,000 lbs of free cat litter!

Visit WorldsBestCatLitter and vote for PAWS!


Join PAWS and our Presenting Sponsor, VCA Animal Hospitals, at King County's Marymoor Park on Saturday, September 7, 2013 for the 22nd Annual PAWSwalk!

PAWSwalk 2013Every year, more than 1,000 animal lovers from around the city gather with their friends, family and favorite canines to walk in support of injured, orphaned and homeless animals.

We're excited to welcome VCA Animal Hospitals as this year's PAWSwalk Presenting Sponsor! VCA Animal Hospitals are proud supporters of PAWS’ live-saving work as a champion of companion animals and wildlife.

In addition to their support of our annual PAWSwalk event, the VCA offers complimentary wellness exams and a complimentary 10-day follow-up care for our adopted animals, as well as diagnostic evaluations and treatment for animals at the PAWS Spay and Neuter Clinic and the PAWS Wildlife Center.

Their generous support allows us to continue working to save animals' lives, and ensure a better tomorrow for the cats, dogs and wildlife in our community.

Join the fun and register now for PAWSwalk 2013!



Peregrine Falcons are known for their impressive flying skills. They are master aerialists, flying circles around their avian prey in a pursuit that sometimes culminates in a 200+ mile per hour dive at the end of which the falcon delivers the fatal blow. But these skills take time to develop, and a young Peregrine leaving the nest on his or her first flight shows considerably less airborne talent than one would expect from the species.

One such youngster ran into trouble on Saturday, July 27 shortly after she took flight from a nest ledge on the ship canal bridge in Seattle. That flight ended with her splashing down in the water below, and her parents frantically circling her in a vain attempt to lend assistance. Although the parents could do nothing to help, the commotion they caused caught the attention of a nearby boater who scooped the fledgling falcon out of the water and brought her to PAWS.


Continue reading "A Fledgling Falcon Stops By to Dry Off" »


PAWS has been awarded a $5,000 grant from the Humane Society of the United States to assist in providing low-cost spay and neuter services to pet owners in the Seattle area.

Spay and Neuter Saves Lives“This grant will help provide feline spay and neuter surgeries for our low-income clients," says Kay Joubert, PAWS’ Director of Companion Animal Services.

"These families are the ones who need our help the most.”

Spay/neuter is a proven way to reduce pet overpopulation, ensuring that every pet has a family to love them. PAWS offers low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to pets of qualified low-income individuals on an appointment basis.

Companion animals who are altered live longer, healthier lives and their guardians have fewer concerns for their animals’ well-being.

Visit paws.org to learn more about spay and neuter



Northern Alligator Lizards are relatively common in Western Washington, but they are seldom seen due to their excellent camouflage and secretive habits. Their brown, mottled coloration allows them to blend so well with the leaf litter and woody debris in which they live that they become almost invisible to human eyes. They blend slightly less well with pavement though, so when an alligator lizard recently wandered onto the blacktop at a Toys-R-Us in Lynnwood, it wasn’t long before a concerned citizen snatched her up and brought her to PAWS.


Continue reading "That's Not a Plastic Lizard in the Toy Store Parking Lot" »