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.

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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).

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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.

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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!

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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.

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

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

 


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

This month, in Washington, wildlife is on the move – which makes it prime time for wildlife viewing!

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Some wildlife species are coming out of hibernation while others are migrating, competing for breeding territories, and starting to attract mates.

To highlight just a few:

  • Grey Whales are passing through heading north to their feeding grounds in the Arctic
  • Seabirds are moving to their breeding grounds
  • Sandhill Cranes are stopping over in the Columbia Basin on their way to Alaska

PAWS may not treat all of the species listed above here in our dedicated wildlife rehabilitation facilities, but this is the time of year we receive other species who are on the move as well.

We recently cared for a Silver Haired Bat who was seeking warmth in someone’s living room—pictured below, being measured to identify which species it is—and two adult Anna’s Hummingbirds and a Red-breasted Sapsucker, who were all found on the ground unable to fly.

Silver Haired Bat, March 2015 JM

When wildlife moves through an urban environment species can often come into contact with hazards they wouldn’t normally experience in a more natural setting. They may run into a window, get struck by a vehicle, or get attacked by a domestic animal.

When incidents like these happen, they may need our help.

So, while you're out enjoying the fresh air and warmer temperatures this spring, keep an eye out for wildlife who may need a helping hand.

Found a wild animal in need? 
If you're near Lynnwood in Washington, find out how PAWS can help. If you're outside Washington State, we would recommend you reaching out to your local wildlife rehabilitation facility or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for advice. 

This month, there are also plenty of opportunities for us to celebrate and learn about the wildlife moving through the state. Check out some of these fun festivals:

The “Wings Over Water” Northwest Birding Festival (March 13-15) is an annual event that features wildlife viewing field trips in the NW corner of Washington.

Make a date with the Tundra Swan Festival, an annual event commemorating the return of the tundra swans to NE Washington. It happens March 21 in Usk, Washington. 

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The Othello Sandhill Crane Festival takes place in Othello, Washington (March 27-29) and highlights the spring return of Sandhill Cranes to the greater Othello area and Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.

If you're looking for something a little closer to home, keep the last week in March in mind and head down to Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (between Tacoma and Olympia).

You can view hundreds of migrating waterfowl and other wading birds, like the Great Blue Heron pictured right who was photographed there last year.

For recent whale sightings, you can check out the Orca Network.

And, as if all these fantastic events weren't enough to keep you busy, did you know we're right in the middle of National Wildlife Week

This year's event, organized by the National Wildlife Federation and running through March 15, celebrates the joys and challenges of living with wildlife

Happy wildlife viewing, and peaceful co-existing with our wild neighbors!

Want to get involved with wildlife rehabilitation at PAWS? Become a volunteer or consider our internship opportunities.

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

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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.

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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 Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

With daylight savings just around the corner, it's that invigorating time of year when the weather starts to feel warmer and the days are getting longer.Spring is upon us, and with it comes baby season at PAWS Wildlife Center.

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Our dedicated team of wildlife volunteers are very busy right now, preparing our facility for the arrival of our first mammal babies of the year.

Did you know that, every year, PAWS cares for more than 800 baby mammals in our tailor-made mammal nurseries?

The kinds of babies we see brought into our wildlife hospital include flying squirrels (pictured, right), Townsend’s chipmunks and raccoons; just to name a few.

We couldn't care for so many wild animals in need without our volunteers—and, well before the arrival of the first babies, their involvement kicks off with the less cute but just as crucial business of DIY.

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From repairing old wooden hide boxes and building new ones (see Jodi, pictured right, measuring up a new box), to sewing mini hammocks and preparing the deer pen, there's a lot to get ready.

Volunteers also help with setting up and stocking all of the nurseries, building haul outs for the seals, and giving our nursery a fresh coat of paint.

So, who do we expect to be the first patients this year?

Squirrels are typically the first baby mammals to arrive, in the early spring. 

When they arrive they're small and still very reliant on mom. Put on a strict feeding schedule they're monitored by our rehabilitation staff, and volunteers are responsible for their feedings and for cleaning their enclosures. 

Everyone works together to keep these babies healthy as they grow, and prepare them for their return to the wild.

If you're inspired by all this activity and would like to get involved, there's still time to sign up and help this baby season! Find out more about volunteering at PAWS and how you can help raise baby mammals this summer.


Inspired by this story? Make a gift and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife in need.
Found a wild animal? Find out what to do and how PAWS can help.


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!

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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.

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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.
Donate now and help us continue providing a safe place for companion animals in need.


By Jen Mannas, PAWS Naturalist

What one of our newest patients at PAWS Wildlife Center lacks in size, he more than makes up for in personality! 

This patient is Ruddy Duck #15-0135. Weighing in at just under one pound, he was found in a parking lot with wounds on his head, wings, and feet.

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Ruddy Ducks are very common in Washington; they breed in the eastern region and winter in the coastal region of the state.

Their unique breeding plumage and strange behavior has fascinated naturalists and birders alike since the early 1920’s.

During the breeding season the males sport a bright sky blue colored bill, white cheek patches on their black head and their body is a striking cinnamon color.

They are the only stiff tailed duck in Washington and the only duck that habitually holds its long black tail upright when surface swimming.

Ruddy Ducks also have very unique breeding behavior; the male will beat his bill against his chest creating vibrations in the water. These vibrations cause ripples and bubbles making his presence known to other ducks in the area.

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Despite being one of the smallest species of diving ducks in the United States, Ruddy Ducks are also one of the feistiest.

They are very aggressive toward other ducks and wildlife species. They have even been known to chase wildlife away that are feeding along shorelines.

We have definitely noticed some of that spunk in this Ruddy Duck patient!

When staff approach his pool for feedings he pulls back his neck, opens his bill and hisses (pictured, right); sometimes he even tries to charge us in his pool when we directly care for him.

After an initial round of wound management by our veterinary team this Ruddy Duck patient is doing well and spends his days swimming, diving, and preening in his pool (see the video below). 

The rehabilitation team have been working hard to keep him nutritionally and behaviorally healthy while his wounds heal and his waterproofing improves—both of which are vital for his release.

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

Patient update, February 19: with wounds fully healed and waterproofing assessed, our feisty Ruddy Duck patient was deemed ready for release and happily reintroduced to his natural habitat.

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Inspired by this story? Make a gift and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife in need.
Found a wild animal? Find out what to do and how PAWS can help.


By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

If you’ve ever spent an hour in an animal shelter, you can attest that the smiling, happy faces eager to greet you are the ones you notice first. It’s all so very human of us to be drawn to the strangers who are just happy to meet us. Who can blame anyone? We all just want to be liked.

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But not every personality is excited for new people.

It happens, from time to time, that a companion animal in our care just needs some get-to-know you time before their true personality comes shining through. Right now, Rambo is that guy.

Rambo holds a lot of magic that he just won’t reveal to strangers. We’ve talked to him about holding back his magnificence, but being Rambo, he refuses to listen.

What we’ve now learned about Rambo—since he began his stay with PAWS back in July of last year—is that he’s an enigma and he likes it that way.

He pretends like he’s content, but we know he wants his own home and his own special someone who can see his awesome.

We know this because every day we watch Rambo begrudgingly suffer through the many curious cat adopters who are drawn to PAWS Cat City.

Some meet him with cooing enthusiasm, a decidedly unpleasant greeting for our Rambo. He prefers to set the tone of interactions, and he usually chooses the 'off' button.

He loves to play, but he prefers to decide when, what toy and for how long the play will last. He doesn’t take kindly to strangers making suggestions.

We know that he wants his own home because we end each night at PAWS Cat City watching him lumber his fluffy black and white-ness from his own private cat condo to his overnight room.

There, he settles in for yet another night of his over 6 months stay knowing that, tomorrow, he starts it all again.

You can see in his eyes that he finds the task of pretending to be interested in strangers a burden of his current circumstance. We here at PAWS have tried to take the burden off of Rambo.

We’ve highlighted him on Warm 106.9’s Wet Nose Wednesday (watch his moment in the spotlight below), we’ve made him a featured pet, and we’ve created #RescueRambo then splashed his hashtag and pictures across our social media.

Can't see the video embedded above? Click here to watch it on YouTube.

Still, his perfect match eludes us.

So we thought it was time to reveal a secret. Like most grumbly grumplepants, Rambo’s mysteries aren’t that mysterious at all. “My favorite thing about Rambo is how his eyes light up when he sees me coming and he runs to the door to greet me,” explained Steph Renaud, our resident cat aficionado and PAWS Cat City Supervisor. “What he lacks in first impressions, he makes up for in his ability to bond, and his intelligence.”

Rambo-2-for-blog-Feb-13

It seems fitting that, on the eve of Valentine’s Day, we reveal the truth about our biggest-hearted lovebug. 

Forgive us, Rambo, for telling the world what we know to be true about you. He may have a big coat of the fluffiest of fluffy black and white fur, but we think his heart is twice that size.

Interested in Rambo? A little warning, he’s a slow slow get-to-know, so only those with high levels of delayed gratification need apply.

We can promise you this—the big payoff of Rambo’s heart leaping at your arrival home is worth every second of patience.

Could you #RescueRambo and be his one and only? Check out his official profile here and come on down to PAWS Cat City today!

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