339 posts categorized in "Cats & Dogs"


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

If you were following PAWS News back in March, you're sure to know the story of Betty Blue - a pit bull who gave birth alone in a field alongside a canal in California. Her courage, tenacity and unreserved faith in humans captivated and inspired all who met or read about her.

Today, an email from her new family has us reaching for the Kleenex to mop away those happy tears. Read on as Christine shares her family's first three months with this lovable lady:

Ms. Betty Blue…where to begin? We’ve had the pleasure of sharing our lives with Betty for just over three months and honestly we couldn’t be happier.

Betty Blue

Betty’s an eager to please, not so little goof-ball, who knows she’s got us wrapped around her paw. Her clumsy gait and big happy smile are so endearing I can’t imagine our lives without her. A gentle love bug whose tail starts thumping the second you say her name, she’s brought much joy into our home.

Betty and Ella (our feline baby) co-exist better than I could have asked for, and I am so appreciative to PAWS staff, who spent a good hour talking me through proper cat/dog introductions. As I think in most households, our cat tends to call the shots, and Betty for the most part has been extremely respectful of Ella’s boundaries. I don’t see the two of them cuddling up anytime soon, but they co-exist peacefully together.

On a side note, when Betty first arrived we purchased three large dog beds for different rooms of the house; she immediately decided the tiny cat bed was the best option (pictured, below) and chose that instead (the fact Betty is 70lbs and doesn’t fully fit in the 10lb cat’s bed didn’t seem to bother Betty one bit).

Betty-stealing-the-cat-bed

Betty’s an avid swimmer who loves car rides, walks in the neighborhood park, and overnight camping trips; although why one would want to leave a warm comfy bed to sleep on the ground in a tent is still beyond her! 

Betty’s left her mark on Cougar Rock Campground and Paradise at Mt. Rainier, and she’s been an excellent travel partner on our adventures.

7.  Betty Exploring the Beach

Her grandparents live on beach front property near Hood Canal and she tries her best to swim straight out to sea whenever we visit. Try as she might, she still hasn’t figured out how to move the buoys, which I can only assume from her perspective look like giant toy balls. She also has a habit of dragging to shore driftwood double or even triple her size; what she needs a log that large for is still a mystery to us!

Betty-Hydrotherapy2Betty’s still on medication daily, and will be most likely for the rest of her life. She has a bit of trouble going down stairs when excited, as her momentum and exuberance tend to get the best of her two front legs but—for the most part—Betty doesn’t let her injuries bother her.

We’ve introduced hydrotherapy sessions (pictured right), which are a fantastic workout for her and include massages while in a warm salt water pool.

While the weather’s still good though we’ll be trying to get her back in the ocean swimming as much as possible!

Since bringing her home, Betty has reaffirmed our decision to adopt every day, and we feel lucky to have her.

Thank you everyone was involved in her rescue and transport from California, and those who supported her care, we’re so grateful to share our hearts with her!

If ever proof was needed to reinforce the saying "those who say money can't buy happiness have never paid an adoption fee", this is it. Thank YOU Christine – we're so very grateful that Betty Blue found you.

Find your Betty Blue todayadopt.

Donate now and help us continue providing a safe place for companion animals in need until they find their forever families.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

In September 2012, Camille decided she was finally ready for the responsibility of a four-legged companion and began what she expected to be a lengthy search for the perfect partner. Little did she know she was only a shelter away from her happy union with a feline friend.

Three years on, Camille looks back on life with Harper (now Scout)...

Scout by melissa - aug 3, 2013 KS edit

What made you decide to adopt from a shelter?
I didn't have a specific breed I was looking for and I wanted an adult cat. Plus, I know that shelters are overflowing with animals. It seemed like a no brainer to me.

What brought you to PAWS?
I had been going to adoption fairs and scouring Petfinder.com for a couple months and was already well aware of PAWS.

When I finally got serious about adopting, I chose to go to PAWS in Lynnwood first because I lived close by...but I honestly didn't expect to find my cat that quickly! I assumed I would have to hit up a couple other shelters (including PAWS Cat City in Seattle) before I found "the one."

What was it that most attracted you to Harper?
How calm and relaxed she appeared. I grew up with dogs and never had a cat before so I was really hoping to find one that wouldn't be too crazy.

While I was at PAWS I also considered another cat who was far more rambunctious when I had some one on one time with him. While he was adorable, I thought "Harper" was more ideal for a beginner cat owner. I was 100% correct! Her personality was what sold me, I honestly didn't even realize how pretty she was until I brought her home.

Scout licking paw KS edit

How did Harper become Scout? 
I've always thought it was a cute name ever since I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" back in high school. I told myself if I ever got a pet that Scout would be top on the list of names I would consider.

How would you describe her personality?
She really has the sweetest disposition and is very affectionate. She's pretty social too and never hides from people when they come to visit. She likes to be the center of attention.

Just the other day, two guys from the cable company were over fixing some wireless internet issues and I swear she was flirting her fuzzy butt off the entire time! She's also a bit of a goofball... ok, more than just a bit.

Scout the Huntress from Camille on Vimeo.

Of course she has her sassy moments too, but those are few and far between. She's a sweetheart the majority of the time.

How was your adoption experience with PAWS?
It was very positive. I was a little worried because I never had a cat, but I clearly did my homework before I got there so I think the gentleman that helped me with the adoption was pretty happy about that and knew I wasn't making a rash decision.

How was your journey home and settling in together?
The whole drive home after the adoption she was meowing up a storm, but once I let her out of her carrier she went straight into exploring the whole house. After she finished she just relaxed and hung out with me the rest of the day...and it's been that way ever since!

I think I was more stressed out than she was when I first brought her home. I’d been talking about getting a cat for months, and when I finally did I couldn't believe she was there! I was just in awe of her and she wrapped me around her little paw in no time.

Scout under chair KS edit

We bonded very quickly. She honestly behaved as if she's known me since kittenhood. She didn't hide under the bed or have any behavior issues due to a new environment. She settled in beautifully.

Any funny moments in your life together so far?
There was a bit of kitty drama going on a couple months back. A neighborhood cat kept coming around our apartment looking up at our windows at night and Scout would lose her mind whenever she saw it. It was like Romeo and Juliet except Juliet wasn't interested and threw a temper tantrum whenever Romeo stopped by. Eventually Romeo got tired of rejection and had his revenge by peeing on Juliet's welcome mat. True story.

How has Scout changed your life?
I've actually noticed I'm less stressed out and a lot happier. She's been a wonderful companion and whenever I'm in a bad mood, I just need to look at her and I can't help but smile.

Sleepy Kitty from Camille on Vimeo.

What advice do you have for people considering adopting a cat?
I still consider myself a "newbie" when it comes to cat ownership but I learn every day. Like not to freak out over every little thing. I didn't know that cats shed more than just their fur. When I found one of Scout’s claws (which, I'd later discover, was a claw sheath) in the carpet, I was so upset I thought she was hurt! Turns out it's totally normal and a good thing.

Most importantly, be sure you're ready for the responsibility and pick the right cat that’s going to be the happiest with what you can provide for them. It took me over 10 years after I moved out of my parents’ house to decide I was ready to have my first pet.

This animal will depend on you to take care of them and to keep them safe and happy. Trust me, if you’re able to do that successfully, the rewards will be well worth it. There's nothing like it in the world. The best decision I ever made in my life was going to PAWS that September day and adopting my girl.

Thanks for sharing this great story Camille, and for choosing to give a much-needed second chance to an animal in need. We're delighted to have helped you find your perfect forever feline, and wish you many more years of goofball-ness ahead! Readers, you can follow Scout (AKA @sillykittyscout) on Instagram.

Find your Scout todayadopt.

Donate now and help us continue providing a safe place for companion animals in need until they find their forever families.


By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

That first night. Oh, that first night.

Okay, I’ll admit it. I spent the first night that I brought Henry home (at PAWS he was Gru) just staring at him. I took pictures too and some video. I loved him instantly.

Henry, on the other hand, spent the first night testing each item of furniture. He tested the bed for stretch-ability. Could he get a full length body stretch across my mattress? Check.

AACM-Blog-First-Night,-Henry-landscape

Then he tested the couch for comfort. Was there an equal amount of room to curl up and sink into cushions? Check. Could he knead the blankets deep enough for his claws not to touch surface? Check. Was there enough distance from this odd lady who kept staring? Check. Double check.

While I was madly in love immediately, Henry was still assessing the situation. While I was posting to Facebook about my new family member, he was one-eyeing me with uncertainty. For me, we were family. For Henry, the jury was still out. He seemed to think it best to sleep on the final decision overnight.

Can't see Henry kneading in the video opposite? Try watching it on our Vimeo channel instead.

Taking a new "baby" home can be a little nerve-wracking, and with cats you’re never quite certain if you meet with their approval.

For all of you—like me—who made adopting a cat a priority for Adopt-A-Cat Month, here’s a little "first night" primer for what to expect;

Do you have all the essentials?

  • Water
  • Dish
  • Fresh food – dry and wet
  • Litter box
  • Litter

Want a full rundown of what to expect? Check out this information in the PAWS online resource library. Once you’ve got the essentials for his or her first night, what should you expect from your new fur-family member in the way of behavior?

“A cat needs to know its surroundings, so he or she is going to spend a lot of time sniffing,” explains Steph Renaud, PAWS Cat City Supervisor, “and perhaps, sneezing.”

That’s right, cats react to new smells and irritants too.

“Give them a chance to adjust to their new surroundings. This is their home and they’ve got a lifetime to discover it, so let them go slow and find their way on their own time.” Steph encourages. And, if they keep sneezing (like Henry did), bring that up with your vet on your first visit.

AACM-Blog-First-Night,-Henry-portrait

Naturally, you already know that every cat is unique and—of course—your new darling is the most interesting being who has ever existed. 

For any questions about his/her behavior, the PAWS Resource Library is a thorough hub of online articles for most every cat preparation need you might have. 

If you’re introducing your new cat to another cat, take the time to read this. Same goes for introducing a new cat to its new canine sibling.

“There’s no better solution than love and patience.” Says Steph, “If you can remember this, then your latest family member will transition nicely to his or her brand new surroundings.”

As for Henry, he suffered just a few days of ‘everything’s-new-itis’, and it only took a little more than 72 hours to discover that he’s probably a birder at heart – more interested in cat food with bird as the base than fish (lucky for my local wildlife, Henry’s also an indoor cat). 

Phew-y, gross, ick fish – according to the tiny panther I now work for.

Suffice to say, Henry’s home now and lucky for me, he seems to like it.


Looking for a feline friend? Browse our available cats here. 

Check out our Adopt-A-Cat Month special here - fees waived on weekdays in June for adult and senior cats, thanks to Road to Puppy Bowl funding from Animal Planet and the ASPCA!

Have your own homecoming story to share? We'd love to hear it! Email us or post a message on our Facebook page.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

There’s a lot of dirty work involved in being a cat volunteer at PAWS. From cleaning litter trays and mopping floors, to dishing out cat food and tackling piles of laundry, it takes dedication, patience and—at times—a strong nose!

But talk to any of our dedicated team and it’s more than worth it. Because they get to enjoy the fun stuff too – think cuddles, muffin making, wand toy playing, and purring.

Our adorable adoptables’ way of saying thank you.

In celebration of June's Adopt-a-Cat Month, we asked our volunteers to take a selfie with their favorite adoptable kitty – the ones who have captured their hearts, who they find it hard to tear themselves away from after their shift has ended, and who will stay in their minds long after they’ve found their perfect forever home.

For many, choosing just one cat was a challenge in itself! Here are some of our favorites:

AACM-Blog-Vol-Faves-Ophelia-&-Kate-B

Amanda & Ophelia (above left): It's hard to resist sweet, outgoing Ophelia when she gives you her signature adorable head tilt, along with a little chirp to say "pet me!"

Dawn & Kate Bosworth (above right): Love this girl. Yes, she can be a little sassy, but she does have that cute cuddling face. HOW CAN YOU NOT LOVE THOSE CHEEKS!

AACM-Blog-Vol-Faves-Poette,-Peanut-&-Fiona

Hillary & Poette (above left): This gorgeous girl has become pretty outgoing. When you look into her eyes your heart will melt! She's more than just your average black cat. Come visit Poette today and you'll see what I mean!

Les & Peanut (above center): Who loves ya, Peanut? Who doesn't!

Tammie & Fiona (above right): Fiona is a stunning girl with a mind of her own and desire to be an only kitty. She has a playful, attentive independence and infinite spunk!

And—if these glowing reports weren't enough to convince you to adopt right this second—their adoption fees are waived on weekdays in June, thanks to Road to Puppy Bowl funded by Animal Planet and the ASPCA.

Inspired to meet these fabulous felines? Find out more about them here, and start your adoption journey today.


Can’t have a kitty but would like some fur time once in a while?
Sign up to be a volunteer here.
If these kitties in need have touched your heart,
please consider giving to PAWS today.

By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

We here at PAWS are the recipients of many stories that touch our hearts and motivate us to keep up the good fight for the health and welfare of all the animals in our care. We feel so lucky to have an open dialogue with every member of our PAWS community and thank everyone who shares with us.

Every once and a while, however, we receive a story in our email inboxes that makes even those who work in this field every day stop and dab away the tears.

This is one of those stories. Last week, we received this email from Seth who told us the story about his friend. We see no reason to edit or polish his email, instead we’re going to deliver it to you just as we received it. Our only caveat before you start reading, you might want to have your tissues handy.

Hi there, I adopted a puppy from your Lynnwood, WA location on March 2, 2001. His name was Damon but I changed it to Kobi. He was 7 weeks old when I brought him home. He was one of 11 litter mates that were surrendered with their mother from Snohomish County.

I tried to give him the most adventurous, and love filled life I could.

Yesterday at approximately 2:30 I said goodbye to my best friend of almost 15 years. It was by far the most difficult thing I have ever had to do but I believe it was time…as much as it hurts.

I just wanted to let you all know. He had a fantastic life of camping, rock climbing, running, chasing and catching Frisbees and playing at the beach.

There is definitely a hole in my heart now. His hips were just too painful for him anymore. He had fallen a few times recently and on the hardwood floor was unable to get up on his own. He laid there a few times in his own urine barking a very sad “somebody come help me” bark until we got homKobo7e to help him. He was a sweet, sweet boy and I will miss him every day of my life.

Here are a few photos.

This was watching his last sunset the night before we said goodbye.

This was his last bike ride...yes that is a pizza box on top of him. He got rib eye, ice cream and pizza a few times during his last week and had pizza just before he took his last breath.

My sweet kobi-doobie-doo.Kobo6

His last day at the beach. We got him this trailer last year due to him being unable to walk more than 100 yards or so but still wanting him to be able to get out and see the world.

Just an hour or so before I said goodbye to my best bud. I couldn’t have asked for a better pal.

Thank you for all that you do. Those precious animals deserve it.

Thank YOU Seth. From all of us at Kobo4PAWS, we grieve with you, and are guided now by our gratefulness for the loving life you showed Kobi.

We'll post a few more of Seth's pictures of Kobi to our social media this week. 


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

It’s standard practice that new arrivals at PAWS are given a quick wash and brush up before they settle into the cat colony or dog kennel that will be a temporary home until their new forever family comes calling.

In the case of one recent kitty, that quick wash and brush up was more of a top-to-toe makeover.

Longfellow 25225414 & adopter Phoebe ROF

Longfellow came to us from Everett Animal Shelter. He was found as a stray, so we don’t really know much about his life – but he was so affectionate it was clear he’d been somebody’s cherished pet for most of his life.

The good news was he’d been neutered – something we’re strong advocates for here at PAWS, particularly in the case of cats who have access to the outdoor life.

The not so good news was that his time as a stray had obviously taken its toll on his good looks. Estimated to be around six years old, Longfellow was suffering with tapeworms, dandruff and had large mats in his beautifully golden fur. 

In spite of his friendliness and—as we discovered—his love of riding on shoulders, without a makeover Longfellow was definitely lacking that “take me home today” appeal.

And that’s where awesome volunteer Rose Silcox stepped in.

The trained and certified cat groomer behind BetterKitty.com, Rose originally joined PAWS as a volunteer at Cat City, and is now “on-call” whenever we have a kitty who really needs a groomer.

Longfellow definitely fitted into that category, and so she set to work!

During his initial veterinary examination—a standard exam for all incoming cats and dogs here at PAWS—our vet clipped some of the mats out. Until, that is, Longfellow became too wiggly to clip anymore!

Longfellow shaved

Rose took it from there and gave him what’s called a “lion cut”.

His body was shaved down to fuzz but the fur was left on his head, lower legs and the tip of his tail (see picture opposite, post-shave).

Some of the mats were so close to Longfellow’s skin, you could see irritation marks underneath where they’d been. We can only imagine it must have hurt to be pet in these places.

After a warm bath, Longfellow was ready to settle into his cat colony and start the search for a new forever family. 

While he dried off, we made sure he was kept warm by temporarily using a kitty sweater – quite the fashion statement (though, from the look on his face in the picture below, we're not sure Longfellow felt the same)!

Longfellow in sweater 2

Needless to say, with his fresh new look, velvety fur, and affectionate nature it wasn’t long before Longfellow’s happy ending arrived in the shape of adopter Phoebe (pictured at top of story)

This kind of grooming can easily cost $70-$90 in a grooming parlor, an expense that can be a barrier to adoption for many. Thanks to the kindness of Rose, restoring Longfellow to his former beauty while in our care, he found his perfect match in no time.

And, given how much he craves human contact, Phoebe should have no problem maintaining his freshly-shaved coat as it grows back!

Do you have a skill/service you think might help cats, dogs or wildlife in our care? We’d love to hear from you! Email us.

Looking for your perfect match? See who's waiting at PAWS.

Make a donation and help us continue creating happy endings for companion animals in need.

 


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

Lovable labrador Odin (now Porter) captured the hearts of Suzanna and her husband Paul back in December 2012, and has kept them active and smiling ever since! Here's a sneak behind the scenes at how he's transformed their lives over the past couple of years...

What influenced your decision to adopt from a shelter?
For us there really was no other option. We believe strongly that shelters are the only option when looking for a family pet. 

What brought you to PAWS?
We both knew about PAWS from experience and knew it was a reputable place to find a dog.

PorterFirstPic_2012-12-16-15.46

How did you first find out about Porter?
When we visited PAWS, we saw several dogs we liked, including another black lab named Pilgrim. We found Odin and Pilgrim in the quarantine section—recovering from kennel cough—and took them both for a test drive.

Pilgrim was a very quiet, likeable dog and easy on the leash. When we saw Odin in his kennel, he looked up at us and gave us a full body wag! 

Odin pulled on the leash, and when we threw a ball, oh my, he was so focused on retrieving that ball and bringing it back to us. We laughed and were instantly drawn to him.

Ultimately, Odin’s personality won out. We decided to name him Porter, after Suzanna’s favorite kind of beer.

What was it that most attracted you to Porter?
He really had us with the full body wag and his attention to fetching. He has a very loving and playful personality and is always in a good mood.

How would you describe his personality?
Happy, sweet, attentive, social, eager to please. And he loves to eat!

How was your adoption experience with PAWS?
Quick and easy! The one trick we learned was asking to see the pets in the quarantine area.

Tell us about your first journey home and how he settled in.
When we left PAWS we visited a pet store to stock up on dog supplies, and took his first picture (see above). He was pretty excited!

He seemed to adapt to the house and our habits very quickly. We stayed home with him for the first couple of days but soon after we were able to leave him alone all day while we were at work with no issues.

Porter sleeps in the living room in his kennel with the door open, and at about 4 a.m. every morning we hear him walk over to our bedroom door and lay down resting against the door. When we get up, he’s right there wagging his tail and greeting us, ready to get on with his day!

How have you spent time together since Porter came home?
Some of his favorite things are Kong’s, bones and, of course, his Chuck-It fetcher! Porter shows his Labrador Retriever heritage by his wicked attention to fetching at the dog park, where he is the most focused and consistent fetcher of any dog we’ve ever seen there.

He also loves to swim. We first learned of this during a walk around Green Lake, when he started pulling hard as soon as we got close to the water. At one point, we were either both going in or I could let go of the leash — so I let go and off he went charging into the water!

Can't see Porter enjoying playtime in the water? Watch him on our Vimeo channel instead.

One time, he swam so much in Rattlesnake Lake fetching sticks that he sprained his tail! It was all better after a couple of days of rest.

How has Porter changed your life?
You can’t help but be in a good mood with Porter around. We consider ourselves very lucky to have him in our lives. He is a wonderful walking and hiking companion, and helps keep us active. 

What would be your advice for anyone thinking about adopting a dog?

  • Visit shelters and get to know the dog before you choose to adopt. 
  • Consider your lifestyle, and the personality of the dog, carefully to ensure a good match
  • Be patient and willing to put the time in.
  • Realize that owning a dog is a responsibility.
  • Remember that dogs are very loyal but they will depend on you to take care of them.

Suzanna and Paul—thank you for giving Porter his second chance, and such a loving and energetic life! We wish you many fetch-filled adventures together as the years go by.

Find your Porter todayadopt.

Donate now and help us continue providing a safe place for companion animals in need until they find their forever families.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

When "Hokie" first arrived at PAWS, he was a stray – name unknown, suffering with fleas, un-neutered, and without a microchip to help our in-house detectives (aka our Companion Animal Services team) find his true home.

All we knew from the person that brought him to us was that they found him in a Mukilteo neighborhood (in fact, as we know now, just a few blocks from his real home).

Hokie-2

As with all stray cats and dogs who arrive at PAWS with no identification such as a collar, tag or microchip, this handsome tomcat was kept on a stray hold for 72 hours, just in case his guardian came to call.

When no one did, and the 72 hours was up, he legally became adoptable. Our veterinary staff neutered him, cured him of his flea affliction, and he was ready to find his brand new start!

Very quiet and a little nervous around people, newly-named Hokie went to hang out at our Cat City location in Seattle’s University District – where he was introduced to the cat colony lifestyle and company of the feline kind.

Hokie-3-vers-2

It only took a couple of weeks for a visitor to fall for him and begin the adoption process. But this was going to be no ordinary adoption.

Adoption Advisor Terri was on the front line that day, helping with the paperwork: “I was in the middle of adopting out Hokie when one of our volunteers said to me, "You see that guy over there? He says that’s his cat." Naturally, it's the one for whom I'm halfway through the adoption."

"After finding out the process for returning an animal to its owner, I sat down with this young man and starting talking to him. He knew where the cat had been picked up as a stray, about how old the cat was, when he went missing, and that he wasn't neutered."

"Then he went out to the car and came back in with his mom. When she walked into the room, they both burst into tears, and this quiet cat jumped off of his perch and started meowing his head off seeing his people again. They spoke to him in Russian and called him by name. It was awesome!”

This miraculous turn of events led to the happiest possible ending for Hokie. The adopter about to take him home graciously chose another sweet boy so that Hokie could be reunited with his family.

Before heading home to Mukilteo, our staff and volunteers were able to talk to Hokie's family about the benefits of indoor-only and/or directly supervised outside time for cats, both of which help keep our beloved kitties (and wildlife) safe and secure.

Now neutered and microchipped, the future looks safer for this cat-about-town. Since being fixed, he's less likely to be struck by wanderlust – and, if he does go walkabouts, he’ll be more likely to find his way home.

Learn about the benefits of spaying and neutering.

Lost your companion? Find out how PAWS can help.

Make a donation and help us continue creating happy endings for companion animals in need.

 


By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

Her eyes draw you in. The expressions she has; hopeful but weary, happy but nervous. It’s mostly the hopeful and happy part of her that makes you instantly like her. Once she knows you've seen her, her tail begins to wag. Not a small wag, a wide sweeping side-to-side wag that makes all of her little body sway back and forth almost knocking her over. 

Betty Blue2

This is Betty Blue. She’s 6 years old—we estimate—and, despite every scar that marks her coat, she keeps putting her faith in humans.

It’s the scar that surrounds her muzzle that you notice first. That one is a deep scar that crosses her snout, then divides down both of her cheeks. That’s the puzzling one, the one that breaks your heart when you imagine how it could be that no one noticed her pain.

Once you step up to Betty Blue—and how can you not with that clumsy wag of hers—that’s when you see the real damage of human unkindness.

On her back, starting between her shoulder blades and slicing right down her spine, is a scar so thick and wide that you have to believe someone, anyone with a heart, saw that she was in need. 

Surprisingly, no one did. Because that’s not what saved her.

You see, Betty Blue is who saved Betty Blue. To be specific she saved her puppies but, in doing so, she saved herself too.

Betty Blue is from northern California and, after giving birth to a litter of pups in a field alongside a canal, she reached out to strangers for help. When a group of workers gathered nearby, she bounded towards them, urging them to help her with the babies she had lovingly kept safe.

The workers surmised that the birth had recently occurred, yet who knows how many days she waited for help?

Inspired by her motherly instinct to save her little ones, the workers scooped up the vulnerable pups and Betty Blue and got the whole family to a local shelter. Heroes for heroes as they say. Problem was, the shelter didn’t have room for a grown mom dog and her litter of pups.

They did, however, have a partner in the shelter world and that partner was PAWS.

“As soon as we knew she was on her way, we started reaching out to our community to help,” explained Kay Joubert, Director of Companion Animal Services. “Our shelter staff prepared for her arrival and our Foster Care team contacted their emergency foster homes in anticipation of the puppies’ needs.”

For their car ride north, Betty Blue and her puppies were wrapped up and safely crated with warm blankets, and given lots of food and water.

That’s when new troubles began. Busted tires, engine problems, inclement weather, and road closures plagued their trip. Through it all, Betty Blue kept nursing her defenseless little ones every leg of the tumultuous journey.

“We knew they were having some problems along the way, but we were ready for Betty Blue and her family,” Kay added.

2015-03-06 15.14.36

After 18 grueling hours, Betty Blue and her puppies met the PAWS volunteer transport team in Washington State. Her babies—by then weaned—were received in PAWS Foster Care and sent to homes where they could grow stronger, able and ready for lives with new families.

Betty Blue herself was hurried into PAWS' veterinary clinic for a check over.

“With everything she had been through, she was remarkably healthy.” Kay explained. “The scars on her body had healed and left marks only she knows the source of and, with any luck, will soon forget.”

While her healthy puppies thrive in the safe homes of loving foster parents, Betty Blue rests up and recovers. Her sad, scary days are now behind her.

She doesn't have to go it alone any more, now she has a team of friends looking out for her just like she looked out for her pups.

At PAWS, little Betty Blue wins over every animal caretaker she meets. That wiggly-waggle of a tail, those expressive eyes and that hope she has is contagious.

She reminds you that, despite what you’ve been through, it’s the future that matters the most.

For Betty Blue, we can’t wait to see who will come along and make her future as bright as her hopeful eyes. 

Are you just the person to give Betty Blue her forever home? Find out more about her and all the other companion animals we champion here.

Would you like to join the ranks of our PAWS Foster Program? It's for anyone who has the home and an open heart for animals in need. Find out about our next orientation class here.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

Adopted by Estelle and her husband back in April 2013, the once-fearful Maki has blossomed into a playful cuddle bug. We caught up with Estelle recently and she gave us this wonderful update on life since becoming a PAWS parent!

May29th2014

What made you decide to adopt from a shelter?
My husband and I wanted to give a forever home to a shelter cat and specifically, we wanted to adopt a "less adoptable" adult cat.

We adopted from PAWS because we’ve made donations in the past and are avid followers of this local non-profit.

What was it that most attracted you to Maki?
Maki needed very specific living conditions: the only pet, in a home without children with a predictable environment. She was a perfect match for our life choice.

The fact that Maki wasn't cooperative during the visit didn't stop us from wanting to adopt her. If anything, it made us want to take care of her even more. I knew that with time, her and I would become best friends.

How would you describe her personality?
Maki is a gentle little cuddle bug at heart, she loves to be held and be kissed behind her ears and, now that we’ve won her heart, she sleeps by our side every night.

She loves to play hide and seek, loves to pounce, and loves to place her feather toys all around the house for us. She’s a little kitten at heart, so playful!

April20th2013

How was your adoption experience with PAWS?
I’m amazed at how accurately PAWS outlined her personality and what was best for her. 

Our success was a combination of what we had to offer and PAWS’ dedication in finding the right homes for the pets waiting for adoption. 

Tell us about your first journey home and how Maki settled in.
Maki was stressed from all the changes that had happened in her kitty life in such a short time, and she was very scared initially. Soon after arriving home, however, her instincts took over and she went in all the rooms to explore and smell.

All in all, it took about a year for Maki to adapt to her new home. It was hard for her to trust that this change in her life was beneficial to her.

We learned to be patient and gentle with her and let her decide when she’d had enough interaction. Hissing, biting, hiding became less and less frequent and she gradually became more and more confident and relaxed.

What have you experienced together since Maki came home?
Maki and I are very attached to one another. When I am home, she follows me around everywhere! She thinks my husband and I are big kitties and she loves to play tag with us. She is of course better at it than me. We also race each other up the stairs but once again, she always wins!

Our living room is her playground and we often watch the squirrels and birds out the window together. She loves to wake my husband up in the morning by walking all over him!

How has Maki changed your life?
Maki has taught me to let go and relax; because she can sense stress, it was important that we learned to be attentive to our levels of stress in our interactions with her.

Maki also taught me to never give up. I had times where I thought that Maki would never open up to us, but I never stopped wanting to be her human friend. I am glad I was patient with her and let her adopt us at her own pace.

My husband mentioned that, when she hears my car pull up in the driveway, she runs to the door meowing and when I open it, all I see my little furry girl with her tail up, ready to be picked up for a snuggle. This moment always brightens my day.

She taught me that trust from a furry friend is a precious gift, earned from a real connection heart to heart. I love her to pieces.

May27th2014-KS-crop

Any advice for people considering adopting a cat?
I think that the key to a successful adoption is to assess and understand the needs of the cat you want to adopt and make sure that your home offers the best conditions to raise a happy cat.

Don't be discouraged by the bumps on the road helping your feline friend adapt to her new home. It can take years for an adult cat to reach true happiness. Let your kitty build a relationship with you. Trust her to bond with you and the day she will, it will be for life!

If you come across behavioral issues, don't stay alone with your questions and concerns, you can find great support and advice in so many places: PAWS, for instance, has a behaviorist and variety of online resources. Above all, keep the faith—very simple changes can turn a scared kitty into a happy feline.

Finally, when you adopt an adult cat, unlearn all your assumptions and start over with that special little friend that you brought home! Praise and reward verbally and with treats—just like dogs, cats love to please too!

Estelle—we're so very thankful that Maki found you and your husband! Your kindness, patience, honesty and encouragement will be an inspiration to many other families looking to adopt. Wishing you all many play-filled years ahead!

Find your Maki todayadopt.
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