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

When you come across a wild animal you believe to be injured or orphaned, it’s only natural to want to try and help.

At this time of year, the telephones at PAWS Wildlife Center are starting to ring more frequently with calls from concerned and compassionate members of the public, looking for advice on helping a wild animal they’ve found.

From a Dark-eyed Junco baby found under a Range Rover at a car dealership, to an opossum mom and babies attacked by a dog, we deal with many different situations every day of the week. It’s safe to say there’s never a dull moment on the front lines of wildlife rehabilitation here at PAWS!

We also get a lot of general questions about wild animal behavior, and requests for information about how people can live more harmoniously with their wild neighbors. Here are just a few of the most frequently-asked questions during springtime:

Why is a Robin attacking my window?
This is very common in the spring during nesting season. Robins (pictured below) are very territorial, and when the bird sees his reflection in the window he thinks it’s another Robin competing for his space!

They don’t typically injure themselves during this behavior, so just hang in there. The behavior should end once the chicks have fledged.

American-Robin-KS-edit

Help! I found a wild baby abandoned on the ground/out of its nest. What should I do?
“Abandoned isn't a term we typically use when referring to wildlife babies. This is because wildlife parents do not usually desert their offspring but will leave them alone while they search for food.” comments Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist.

It’s important to understand that not all baby wild animals found alone—with no mom or dad in sight—are orphaned, injured, or in need of help. It's completely natural for wildlife parents to leave their babies alone for several hours at a time while they search for food.

As you can imagine, it's pretty tough raising wildlife babies – especially for those species that have more than one offspring at a time (the Mallard Duck family pictured below is just one example). They have high nutrient requirements in order to grow up strong and healthy in a short amount a time. 

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Instead of taking their young with them while they forage, parents generally leave them hidden in a centralized location where they'll be safe.

It's always best to keep wild families together and let the natural parents raise their young. They know exactly what their babies need to survive and how to protect them.

PAWS’ website has flow charts that can help you determine whether a baby mammal or baby bird needs to be rescued or not. If you’re still unsure and would like advice from our experts at PAWS Wildlife Center, please call us on 425.412.4040 before approaching the animal or taking any action.

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I’m being dive-bombed by crows. What’s that about?
This is common in spring and summer during nesting season. The birds are upset because they have young they’re trying to protect (see picture above). The good news is this situation is temporary and will stop when the young have fledged.

If you have to go outdoors, try wearing a hat, using an umbrella or modifying your behavior by using a different exit/entrance. In some cases, crows will eventually realize that you’re not a threat and discontinue the dive-bombing.

If you have a burning question about the behavior of wildlife in your neighborhood, email us for guidance and we may just include the details in a future blog like this one!

Interested in learning more about peacefully coexisting with your wild neighbors? Join us for our free Wildlife-Friendly Homes & Yards event at Shoreline Library on Wednesday, April 22.

Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS.


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

At PAWS Wildlife Center we receive hundreds of birds each year, but you may not know that one of the biggest dangers they face is plate glass windows. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that windows in homes and offices kill as many as one billion birds each year. This year PAWS has already received 30 birds who were victims of window strikes, and we continue to receive more every week.

There are many reasons birds fly into windows. Raptors such as Peregrine Falcons or Cooper’s Hawks, who forage on birds, may accidentally fly into a window when perusing prey. Other birds see the reflection of the sky in the glass and mistake it for a clear path.

DSC_0539-Crossbill-web-resize-and-crop

Window strikes can happen day or night and cause a variety of injuries. Some birds become stunned for a short period of time and fly away, only to succumb to internal injuries later. Others may have broken bones making them more vulnerable to predators.

A male Red Crossbill (pictured right) was recently brought to PAWS after he struck a window.

You may think by just looking at him that something is wrong with his bill. But this is how his bill grows naturally and is not the result of any injuries. 

Crossbills are seed specialists and their unique bill type allows them to manipulate cones and retrieve seeds easily.

Our Crossbill patient was found on the ground, unresponsive; he had a bruised chest and was very weak. After just two days of supportive care, sadly he succumb to his injuries. 

However, not all impacts are fatal and with the proper care some birds do recover from window strikes. A recent success story involved a Pileated Woodpecker we received on March 29.

After flying into a window, he was found trying to hide in ivy unable to fly. The result of his impact was bilateral paresis (partial paralysis prohibiting him from being able to walk or fly) and a spinal lesion.

It was touch and go for this woodpecker throughout his treatment. But, after just 15 days—during which time, as you'll see from the video below, he got to work drilling lots of holes on the special woodpecker boards in his enclosure—he was deemed healthy enough for release.

On April 13 he was released into a small forested area near where he was found and, within seconds, he was on top of a snag riddled with woodpecker holes, looking for his mate.

Can't see the video above? Try watching it on our Vimeo channel instead.

You may be wondering how you can prevent window strikes at your home or office. Well you’re in luck; there are many ways to help our bird neighbors and make windows more visible.

  • Use decals, tinting or other methods to reduce reflection such as a liquid UV marker.
  • Hang wind socks, chimes, mobiles, or other objects in front of windows to obstruct birds’ view of reflection.
  • Do not place bird feeders near windows.
  • Cover the glass with one way transparent film.

For more information about window strikes and how to prevent them, check out the helpful resources on our website and AllAboutBirds.org.

Want to learn more about peaceful coexistence with wildlife? Join us for our free Wildlife-friendly Homes and Yards event, April 22!

Volunteer at PAWS and help make a difference to the lives of our wild neighbors.

Inspired by our work? Make a gift and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife in need.


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

What better day to talk about beavers than International Beaver Day? PAWS Wildlife Center has rehabilitated and released several beavers over the years, and has been fortunate to be involved in beaver research taking place right here in Washington.

Beavers at PAWS

Beavers sometimes get a bad rap when in fact they're actually a very important species and vital to the health of watersheds

Given their nocturnal habits you may never have seen a beaver in the wild, but I'm sure you will have seen their handy work! 

Beavers are environmental engineers, meaning they can alter the environment they live in – creating better habitat for plants and other animals.

This engineering capability is shown through their very precise and strategic way of building dams and lodges.

These dams trap and hold water, creating a complex of deep and shallow ponds and braided stream channels. These waterways are then used by fish, birds, mammals, and amphibians for nesting, foraging, and protection from predators. 

Beaver dams also slow down erosive flood waters, improve water quality, and recharge groundwater.

Although beavers are important for a healthy ecosystem, we'll admit they can sometimes be hard to live with. There is research currently being conducted to figure out ways people can coexist better with them, and at the same time use their natural talents to restore habitat and ecosystem processes that have been destroyed.

We've been fortunate to work with The Sky Beaver Project—a collaboration between Beavers Northwest and the Tulalip tribe—on just this kind of research in Washington.

One of the goals of the project is to relocate nuisance beavers from the Puget Sound lowlands into headwater streams in the Skykomish River watershed (where beavers are scarce).

By doing so, it's possible to restore habitat in areas where the sediment has been disturbed, to alter the hydrology, and to help reduce the impacts of climate change.

Beaver-in-trap-KS-edit

In relocating nuisance beavers, The Sky Beaver Project first works closely with landowners to try and manage them, using non-lethal controls such as installing pond leveling and exclusion devices. If that doesn’t work, beavers are trapped and relocated for the study.

Beavers are captured at night and transported to a husbandry facility where they are held for a short period of time before being released in the Skykomish watershed. This gives ample time for the researchers to catch an entire family, or play match maker with any individuals they catch alone!

Before the beavers can be transported to their new home, researchers spend lots of time scouting out the best possible release sites. They try to find an area that has:

  • Ample food available
  • Potential for the beavers to convert the site into a pond
  • A site away from people and infrastructure

When the perfect site is located, researchers build a makeshift lodge out of sticks to release the beavers into. Watch footage of two beavers being released into their new home last year:

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

This lodge provides protection while the beavers settle into their new territory. The researchers then monitor the beavers after their release using wildlife cameras.

With the success of research projects like this one, it is possible to restore upland waterways to historic levels and, as a result, increase the habitat quality for animals and humans alike.

For more information on this project—and other research being conducted by Beavers Northwest—visit their website at www.beaversnw.org.

Volunteer at PAWS and help make a difference to the lives of our wild neighbors.

Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS.

Inspired by our work? Make a gift and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife in need.


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

The hustle and bustle of the spring season has begun at PAWS Wildlife Center, and with it comes a need for more people to help with the daily care of our wild patients. In fact, the number of people we need during spring and summer more than doubles compared with the rest of the year!

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Right now we're caring for twice as many baby mammals as last week, our outdoor enclosures are starting to fill up, and we're putting the finishing touches to our baby bird nursery which will open in May.

Our first veterinarian extern of the season has arrived (pictured right, palpating an eagle patient's wing for a break in between x-rays); she’ll spend the next four weeks working closely with our veterinary team and animal care staff. 

Each year PAWS welcomes veterinarian externs from across the U.S. to participate in and learn valuable wildlife care techniques in our wildlife hospital.

As well as assisting with surgeries, externs receive hands on experience in wildlife ethics, capture and restraint, parasitology, and radiology.

It's a great environment for gaining skills, experience and an insight into caring for a variety of species they may encounter again as their careers develop. 

As things have picked up, our permanent rehabilitation staff have been kept increasingly busy – caring not only for current patients but also for the new patients arriving on a daily basis.

From bobcats and bears who've spent the winter here, to opossum and squirrel babies who are some of our newest patients, there are all manner of feeding, cleaning, and care schedules to oversee.

WL-blog-collage,-April-1-2015

Looks like our seasonal wildlife staff have arrived just in time! Having joined us from wildlife rehabilitation centers across the country, they've begun their training and are quickly getting up to speed on animal care so they can help lighten the load.

In addition to our externs and seasonal staff, the number of volunteers working at the center has also started to increase. Newly-recruited volunteers are being trained every week and shifts are filling up fast. By the end of May we'll have roughly 200 volunteers working at the center on a weekly basis!

We're very fortunate that so many generous, kind people want to spend their free time helping to care for our wild patients. Volunteers are a vital part of animal care here at PAWS, and we couldn’t do what we do without them!

We're excited to bring you more stories about our volunteers and wildlife center patients as the season progresses. In the meantime, if you're interested in getting involved, follow the links below for information on how.

Volunteer at PAWS and help make a difference to the lives of our wild neighbors.

Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS.

Inspired by our work? Make a gift and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife 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.

 


With spring upon us, now’s the perfect time to breathe new life into your backyard. 
Whether you’re attacking the ever-emerging weeds, trimming back your shrubs, manicuring that lawn, or going for a top-to-toe landscaping makeover, there’s lots to be done.

And, this year, why not spare a thought for the wild neighbors who might stop by and enjoy the fruits of your labor, as well as the friends and family who will kick back and relax there this summer?

There are lots of reasons why having a wildlife-friendly yard is a good idea.

It makes the whole space more vibrant, more engaging, more beautiful – and at the same time helps preserve plant and animal species, increase natural diversity, control insect populations, and educate others on the wonders of the natural world!

Bee on flower

Here are some of our top tips for creating an outdoor space that’s as much fun for humans as it is for wild animals:

Think native.
It’s like eating locally-sourced food – not only does it make you feel good, keeping things native is good for our ecosystem and for conservation efforts.

Native plants such as lupines, vine maple, cascade Oregon grape and butterfly bushes are all great options for attracting a variety of wild species, from butterflies and bees to birds and small mammals.

The Washington Native Plant Society has a handy list of native plants by county, which you can browse and download here.

Natural is best.
Where possible, consider all the natural sources of food, water and shelter your yard has to offer, and maximize these.

Whether you have bushes bursting with tasty berries, tree trunks with snags that make great nesting spots, or a place where water naturally collects – these are all fantastic, low-maintenance, natural options for your wild visitors.

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Take hummingbirds as an example. While we’re not suggesting the plastic feeders you can buy from your local garden store are a bad idea, you might consider planting a species of red flowering currant instead. Hummingbirds love plants with tubular flowers – and planting like this will bring a wonderful burst of natural color to your yard!

(One word of advice with hummingbirds – if you do choose a shop-bought feeder, don’t hang lots of them close together. Hummingbirds are very territorial, and we’ve seen patients brought into PAWS Wildlife Center who’ve sustained injuries from these feisty encounters! Also, avoid using red dye to attract them as this is toxic.)

Nutrient-rich fallen tree trunks, known as “nurse logs”, are also a hive of activity. They provide food and hydration for a variety of insects and plants, not to mention a luxury home for a variety of insects, beetles and fungi.

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Fancy a weekend off from mowing your lawn?
Your wild neighbors say no problem! Species like voles and rabbits (pictured, right top) actually prefer it this way as it gives them more ground cover while they’re moving around, making them less visible to predators.

Likewise with fallen leaves – don’t feel you have to rush out with the rake every day (or, if you do, leave some piled up in a discreet corner).

Frogs, salamanders and other small creatures use them in a variety of ways, from nest materials to that perfect hiding spot.

Look out for creative nesters!
With nest-building already underway for many species here in the Pacific Northwest, be careful to check for nests in unusual places.

Here at PAWS, we’ve found them in among hose pipes, electrical boxes (pictured, right center) and even light fixtures!

Considering providing a nesting box? Click here for some tips on nesting box success from the National Wildlife Federation.

Equipment that's been out of action over the winter can also bring surprises when uncovered for the warmer weather.

Raccoons, for example, love setting up home in boats – they’ve even been known to take a shine to hot tubs as nesting spots of choice!

If you come across an animal’s home that’s in a seemingly hazardous location, please don’t disturb it before seeking advice.

You can call us here at PAWS on 425.412.4040 or—if you’re outside Washington State—contact the National Wildlife Rehabilitator’s Association or the International Wildlife Rehabilitation Council for guidance on rehabilitation centers in your area that can help.

I live in an apartment and my “yard” is a balcony. What can I do?
You don’t have to live on a multi-acre property in the middle of nowhere to encourage and enjoy wildlife.

In an apartment setting, native flowers and plants in containers and small water features (see an innovative wall-mounted design, pictured right) are both great ideas. 

Feeders that are regularly emptied/not overfilled will also attract local birds – without encouraging less desirable visitors such as rats looking for an easy feed!

Want to learn more about peaceful coexistence with our wild neighbors? Join our in-house expert, Wildlife Admissions Specialist Cindy Kirkendall, at Shoreline Library on Wednesday, April 22 for Wildlife-friendly Homes & Yards: Living Harmoniously with Wildlife.

In short, making a few wildlife-friendly choices along the way—whatever space you have to work with—will not only result in a beautiful outdoor area you can enjoy with family and friends. More than likely, it will come alive with wild visitors too!

 

More questions about wildlife-friendly living? Email us.

Found an injured or sick wild animal in WA? Call us on 425.412.4040 as soon as possible, or use our online resources to find out how PAWS can help.

Interested in a career in wildlife rehabilitation? Check out internship/externship opportunities at PAWS.


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

Most of the patients at PAWS Wildlife Center are either feathered or furred, but every once in a while we get a patient of the amphibian persuasion.

On March 16, a Northwestern Salamander was brought to PAWS for care. He was found lying on AstroTurf, away from any suitable habitat, and appeared to be limping.

This isn’t surprising considering all of the rain we'd had the weekend before. Although Northwestern Salamanders spend the majority of their time underground, they're most active above ground after heavy rains.

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Northwestern Salamanders are medium sized and dark colored with a short, rounded head. Very common in western Washington and found in moist habitats, they're breeding during this time of year which makes them more active.

They lay clusters of eggs on underwater plants and grass. It can take at least 12 to 14 months for larvae to transform into metamorphosed adults and emerge from the water. However, some never fully transform and spend their entire life in the water.

Larvae and adults are mildly poisonous and can emit a sticky poison to keep predators away. Adults will even lash their tail to spread the poison around.

Lucky for us, our salamander patient never displayed this behavior!

An examination by our expert wildlife rehabilitators determined that he didn't have any injuries and was walking normally. And so, after just two days in our care, he was released in a moist area near where he was found.

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