By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

On a single day here at PAWS, we experience a wide variety of moving and heart warming human and animal interactions and their corresponding stories.

From concerned citizens delivering a wounded wild animal to PAWS’ Wildlife Hospital, to families reuniting with a lost pet at the shelter, to people visiting Cat City and discovering the perfect feline fit for their lives, we celebrate these stories knowing that the opportunity for a second chance is what inspires us every day.

Recently, we were visited by two people who didn’t come to PAWS to adopt a new family member, or drop off an injured wild animal. No. This week, Gary and Jerry came by to deliver 10 pickle jars filled to the brim with coins just for PAWS.

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They’ve been collecting these coins throughout the year and, in fact, this is the third year of their donation. What’s remarkable about Gary and Jerry isn’t just their generosity; it’s that they are homeless.

As you can imagine, Gary and Jerry know a thing or two about second chances. When neither men had anything, they both thought often about what they would do if and when they had food and shelter again.

Now residents of St. Martin Des Porres in Seattle, Gary and Jerry met and found common ground in their wish to give something to homeless animals.

Rolling their brooms across the floors in St. Martin, they both noted how many coins they were collecting along the way. Determined to keep their promise to return the favor of second chances, Gary and Jerry began collecting the random coins.

In 2010, the duo had collected enough coins that they felt they could make a donation. Immediately they knew it had to be to PAWS. Perhaps understandably, Gary and Jerry felt a kinship with the animals that PAWS cares for.

To this day, some three years later, Gary and Jerry, and all of their friends at St. Martin Des Porres are still collecting spare change and donating it to PAWS.

In gratitude, and due to the amount of money raised, a Kennel has been dedicated in honor of the facility's unique and moving gift.

 

 

Next time you visit PAWS, take a look around for St. Martin Des Porres’ name on a kennel door. 

We’re proud to know you Gary and Jerry, and all the men at St. Martin Des Porres. We thank you and honor you because you remind us of the good that’s inside each and every one of us.

Find out how you can help animals at PAWS.

Story update: Since taking his photo on Friday afternoon, 1 year old Scamp has found his new forever family! Goodbye Scamp, we really loved meeting you.


By Kellie Benz, PAWS Staff

Teenagers and pizza are a very common pairing in today’s world. When that teenager is a young American Black Bear, however, it can be a first strike toward impending doom.

Recently, PAWS took in a teenage American Black Bear who gambled on human food and got very close to losing. We don’t name wild animals here, our Wildlife Hospital’s goal is to get our patients healthy and return them to the habitat that they play a vital role in. Instead, staff identified this young cub as #2014-1317 while she is in our care.

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From all signs, we think American Black Bear #2014-1317 is about a year old, a cub probably born last spring in the wilderness outside Redmond, WA. Mother Black bears typically wean their cubs around 6 months, some as late as 8 months, but the cubs can often forage with the mom for up to a year. For #2014-1317 she appeared to be alone, trying to survive in an area dense with other bigger, tougher, older bears, none of them were her mother.

Neighbors noticed her digging through garbage bins, seeking scraps of food and breaking into bird feeders in search of the nuts and seeds she would normally forage for in the wild. In light of her ‘criminal acts’, garbage bins were better secured and bird feeders were moved out of reach. Still, she tried to look for food until neighbors reported her to authorities.

Failure To Thrive
The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officer who placed her status as ‘failure to thrive’ and brought her to PAWS estimates that she hadn’t eaten for more than 2 days. As PAWS medical staff prepared to sedate her (for a full exam), her low growls and lunging proved she still had a lot of wild in her. But her energy was low. She was spent and she arrived to PAWS just in time.

When PAWS veterinarian, Dr. Groves, was able to examine her (pictured right), it was verified just how underweight she really was.

A few weeks ago, PAWS released an American Black Bear back to the wild in Oregon. That bear was just over a year old and 112 lbs.

American Black Bear #2014-1317 weighed in at a dangerous 66 lbs. The rest of her exam yielded no other concerns, save for her frayed claws from digging in metal garbage bins for the meager scraps of human food she could find.

American Black Bears (Ursus Americanus) once roamed all of the wooded areas of North America. Human growth and development has pushed them into smaller and smaller forests, our most remote areas. In the United States, current population statistics report about 300,000 individual black bears across 40 states. Sub-species of the American Black Bear are the Louisiana Black Bear (Ursus americanus luteolu) and Florida Black Bear (Ursus americanus floridanus). The Louisiana Black Bear remains on the Federal threatened species list. Washington State’s American Black Bear populations are being edged further and further out of the habitat they have always roamed, and the transition hasn’t been easy.

Bear #2014-1317 is one of the lucky ones. A fed bear is a dead bear is a reality for American Black Bears today when people encroach on their habitat, and create easy and unnatural food opportunities for wild animals.

She’ll have a chance now at PAWS to regain her strength and be introduced to the type of native foods she will encounter upon her release.

After she recovered from her sedation, American Black Bear #2014-1317 took a few sips of fresh water, possibly her first in days. In the PAWS Wildlife Hospital kitchen, volunteers prepared a meal more befitting a bear, tastes and textures she’s probably never experienced before. On the menu tonight will be a small combination of natural foods such as fish, berries and an assortment of other items nutritionally suitable for a half-starved bear.

Next Month's Update: Rehabilitating an American Black Bear

Find out what it takes to become a Wildlife Rehabilitator.

Follow our PAWS Wildlife blog.

By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

If asked whether a dog or cat would be more likely to play fetch, most people would be forgiven for immediately choosing dog as their answer. But don’t be fooled… cats play their cards close to their chests, and we have proof to show they’re just as talented as their canine counterparts.

Take Nora for instance – a grey tabby from New Jersey who began her rise to fame back in 2007. At the tender age of one year old, and after months spent listening to her pet parent playing the piano, Nora jumped up on the piano stool one day when no one was looking and started making her own music.

Nora’s since become an internet sensation with her own website, Facebook page and YouTube channel, where Nora the Piano Cat: The Sequel has been viewed over 8.7 million times.

Today, Nora is the official mascot of the National Music Festival – all in all, a definite contender for the ‘Hidden Talents of Cats Hall of Fame’!

Then there’s laidback Australian feline Didga the Skateboarding Cat, who loves nothing more than accompanying her cat dad about town on four wheels. According to web sources she mastered her moves in just 18 months and, like Nora, has become an overnight internet sensation with over 2.5 million views of one YouTube video alone.

Another classic move is The Door Opener, mastered by many a kitty with escape artistry in their blood. In stealth mode at PAWS Cat City one day, we captured resident feline Nala giving other cat colony members a demonstration of her exemplary technique:

We’ve had many happy adopters report back that their kitties play fetch, tag, and hide go seek, proving that purr pals love learning new tricks from their human companions.

Looks like it might be time to move over doggie daredevils, cats are the new talents in town!

Clicker train your cat
Understand your cat's behavior
Find your 'partner in crime'

Jun 23

PAWS Near You

By Amy Webster, Community Education Coordinator

PAWS is always so thrilled to join community functions large and small. Did you know, we were built from the need our founders noticed in the community?

Since 1967, PAWS in the community has been a focus of our organization and this year has been a particularly exciting one. June brought us many opportunities to be a part of the local conversation.

PAWS armed local veterans with ideas on helping animals at the Veterans Hospital Community Resource Fair on June 3rd. Visitors to our booth learned about our large foster care program and volunteer opportunities.

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We rolled up our sleeves and pitched in at the Seal Sitters Beach Clean Up at Alki Beach on June 14th (pictured, right). The trash left behind by beach-goers all too often ends up in the ocean and worse—marine animals find themselves entangled in debris and frequently ingest plastics after mistaking it for food. Through awareness and hands-on clean up efforts, we can make a positive impact for sea life!

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This week, PAWS welcomes local cat enthusiasts to our Cat City shelter in Seattle's University District for Cat Behavior 101: What Your Cat Wants You To Know, led by PAWS Cat City Supervisor Steph Renaud (pictured right, with Blaze).

Even experienced cat guardians will learn new tricks and get lots of helpful advice on common cat conundrums.

Coming Up: Do you want to find PAWS near you?
Look for the PAWS outreach team on June 28 at Whole Foods Market Bellevue in honor of their 10th anniversary and community partnerships at the Bellevue location. We’ll be there from noon to 2pm, please join us!

We’re gearing up for the Mill Creek Festival in July. This fun community event will be held in downtown Mill Creek on Saturday and Sunday, July 19 and July 20. PAWS will be there both days under our familiar orange and white tent so please stop by to see us!

Find out more about PAWS events in the community.


By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

Tis the season for crows here at PAWS Wildlife Center.

This is the time of year when baby American crows are leaving their nests for the first time and learning to fly. At first, these fledglings cannot fly very well and can spend up to 2 weeks on the ground while their parents continue to feed and protect them.These fledglings are about the same size as adults, can appear awkward and clumsy, and can be mistaken for injured adult birds.

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If you find a crow on the ground, with no obvious injury, and are unsure if he is an injured adult or fledgling there are a few things to look for before scooping him up and bringing him to PAWS.

First, look at the bird’s eyes and beak. If the bird has light blue eyes and pink along the corner of his mouth then he is a juvenile. Look and listen for adult crows nearby calling or dive bombing you as you approach the bird. Those crows are the juvenile’s parents trying to protect their baby.

If the juvenile is not in imminent danger or in the middle of a road, leave the baby alone so his parents can care for him. 

If you are still unsure if the bird needs help call PAWS Wildlife Center at 425-412-4040 to speak to a staff member. 

Want to help care for baby birds at PAWS? Become a Wildlife Bird Nursery Caretaker.

Found a baby bird you think might need help? Read our guide on what to do.

 

Stop! Before you upload your latest kitty hilarity to YouTube, you might want to know that you could win an award for that cat video of yours.

It’s true. If your quality time Introducing Cat to Cat or Introducing Cat to Dog has turned into a video library that’s inspiring its own channel, consider submitting to your first festival instead.

Today around the world, the fastest growing type of film festival is the Cat Video Film Festival. With new festivals in Minneapolis, Oakland, Toronto and online, there’s really no reason for you not to take advantage of the opportunity to show off your skills! 

The concept for a Cat Video Festival began with the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis in 2012. Starting as a lark, the festival drew 10,000 fans and was profiled in New York Times. Today, it continues on. Across the United States, the Walker Art Center Cat Video Festival re-plays in almost every city, while in Canada, their cross country tour Just For Cats (an initiative of Canadian Federation of Humane Societies) takes cat film joy from coast to coast too.

Looking back at the Walker Arts Center 2013 Internet Cat Video Festival

Cat videos help people to understand cats, their behavior and can also answer some questions about Understanding Cat Aggression Toward People. The more we know about fabulous felines, the more likely we are to help the many homeless cats surrendered to shelters every year to find their forever homes.

The Walker festival – free to the public in Minneapolis but open to everyone to vote – kicks off on August 14th this year. Categories for prizes are: Comedy, Drama, Musical Documentary, Animation, Action/Adventure, Vine Video, Cute.

Have you captured your PAWS cat's talents on camera? Share your videos and pics with us on Facebook or send them via email.

Curious about being a cat guardian? Visit PAWS’ adoptable pets page to find out how you can meet the perfect fit for you.

Got a Cat Behavior Question? Ask us!

 

Step quietly into the PAWS baby bird nursery and you’ll be overwhelmed by song. The tweet tweets come courtesy of one of our amazing PAWS volunteers.

American Robin nestling, 050511 KM

When Noeleen Stewart first came to PAWS as a volunteer, she heard something in the baby bird nursery that she knew she had a special affinity for. Babies like this American Robin (pictured right) were listening to faint sounds of adult species recordings in the wild, and Noeleen had a little insight into how to improve the accuracy of those sounds.

Her husband, Martyn Stewart, just happens to be a professional audio recordist for nature broadcasters like the BBC, National Geographic and many more. His career has taken him around the world and back and today he lives right here in Washington state.

Martyn is most noted for several wildlife documentary series and for his work with the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He joined the refuge team in 2006 as a member of the Wild Sanctuary researcher group as they recorded the Arctic SoundScape Project at the refuge and Alaska’s Katmai National Park Project.

Martyn has recorded the sound of many types of wild animals from cetaceans in Japan to Alaskan Black Bears to Pacific Chorus Frogs to Peregrine Falcons. Back home in Washington, Martyn recorded the only full length CD of Pacific Northwest songbird calls, and when he did, Noeleen brought it to PAWS for our use in rehabilitating wild baby birds.

PAWS Wildlife Director Jennifer Convy knew the sounds would compliment the work we do in our PAWS wild bird nursery.

Last week, we asked Martyn to come visit the wild bird nursery where his songbird calls help to comfort the baby birds in our care. During the visit, Martyn did what Martyn does best – he recorded the experience for everyone to see!

Here’s Martyn’s short film of his recent visit to PAWS to see his work changing the lives of the birds in our care.

You can take a piece of Martyn’s work home with you AND support the care we provide wild animals.

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A limited number of Martyn’s Pacific Northwest Songbird CDs are for sale at the PAWS Wildlife Center right now. Martyn has kindly donated 100% of the profit from each $15 CD to PAWS. To purchase yours, call 426-787-2500, ext 817.

To learn more about Martyn Stewart and the work that he does around the world, visit his website.

Want to get involved in caring for baby birds at PAWS? Become a Wildlife Bird Nursery Caretaker.

Found a baby bird you think might need help? Read our guide on what to do.

 

Fathers come in many varieties and Father’s Day is that one time during the year that we get to celebrate what fatherhood means.

 

This Father’s Day, we wanted to share with you an adoption story - or a Pet-Papa story - that warmed our hearts here at PAWS. Every year, we help around 3,000 Washington residents find their fur-family members, but this recent adoption success had us all particularly watery-eyed.

When animals in our care find their forever homes, it’s an emotional moment for us. It means that the work we’ve done to nurture and shelter that animal has allowed a potential adopter to see the wonderfulness that we see in that animal, and choose them as part of their family.

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Just shy of 14 years old, tabby cat Cindy Lou was having a truly hard time finding long-term love and security. She was a PAWS regular, meaning that she has stayed with us three times since 2011.

On two separate occasions she came to us because her guardians let her outside without proper supervision and she was left to fend for herself. A highly social kitty, Cindy Lou was roaming an apartment complex for at least a couple of years before she arrived at PAWS the first time. We were happy then to reunite her with her guardians, but she returned again to PAWS as a lost cat. Again, she was reunited with her family, and PAWS counseled the family on how to keep her safely confined and wear proper identification. When she came to us once more at the beginning of this year, her guardians had vanished.

Now, she had no one at all.

In another part of Seattle, William was looking at life as a widower and wondering what his future would hold without his beloved wife. He had recently lost his elderly cat – whom he had adopted from PAWS – to old age, and the halls of his home felt emptier than ever before.

Curious, William strolled over to Cat City in Seattle’s U-District and immediately noticed Cindy Lou. PAWS’ unique Cat City layout of colony rooms allowed William to interact with all the cats in their familiar surroundings. Cindy Lou was especially drawn to William and it didn’t take much for her to make her choice known. Cindy Lou wanted William.

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William felt the exact same way.

We snapped this pic of the two of them knowing full well that this was a Cat City match like no other.

Happy Pet-Papa Day to William, and to all the other pet-papas caring for their fur-families this weekend.

Do you have an adoption story to share? Email us!

Is your happy ending waiting at PAWS? 

Learn about our Seniors for Seniors program 

Meet other Long Term Loveables on Pinterest

 

Whether your cat helps you run your daily errands, or joins you on longer journeys at holiday time, making sure they’re happy travelers is crucial. Here are some handy tips to help make journeys run smoothly for the both of you!

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1.  Always use a pet travel carrier

It should be large enough for your cat to stand up, turn around, and lie down comfortably in. We recommend hard sided or sturdy fabric carriers for adequate support and protection. Also be sure that the carrier has proper ventilation. It should be fixed securely in your car so any movement whilst driving is kept to a minimum; in the back seat, away from airbags. 

2.  Associate carrier and car with all things good

Cats are very sensitive to their environment and territory is important. Take time to familiarize your cat with the carrier, starting with using it in your house.  Place his bedding, some of his favorite cat toys (see opposite), or maybe some catnip or kibble in the carrier. Keep the door open and let your cat go in and out as he pleases until he seems comfortable with it.

Your car will become part of your cat’s territory too. For familiarity and comfort, place a towel or blanket that has his scent on it inside the car. Safely put him in the car with you and close the doors. Give him a few minutes to explore, rub around and spread scent. Commit to doing this every day at least a week before your trip, increasing the time he spends in the car. Then move on to feeding or playing with him in the car, whatever motivates him more!

Once you’ve mastered the carrier and the car, it’s time to combine the two! Secure the carrier and turn on your engine to let your cat get used to the sounds and vibration. Do this several times a day until your cat seems comfortable with it, and remember to reward him as soon as you take him out of his carrier.

3.  Start moving

Now you’re ready to move! Ideally, start by backing up and down your driveway or going around the block a few times. Then take your cat into the house for rewards and play time. Gradually extend the length and duration of your journeys, with rewards after each to positively reinforce the experience for him.

4. Rest breaks 

If you’re traveling long distances at a time, you’ll need to consider stopping for potty breaks. When stopped and the car windows and doors are closed, let your cat out of the carrier and provide him with a litter box in the car. Some cat parents have harness trained their cats so they can walk them at rest areas to use up some energy and stretch their legs. If this isn’t for you, we recommend keeping your drive to 8 hours at the most for maximum comfort.

5. Stay calm

Perhaps the most important tip of all! Your cat is very sensitive to your energy, so throughout the entire travel-training process, it’s important for you to be patient with him and remain calm. We know – easy to say, not always so easy to do – but if you’re stressed and frustrated, your cat will be too!

Share your traveling tales with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Help your cat adjust to other life challenges.

Got a Cat Behavior Question? Ask us!

 

You could blame Garfield for starting it all, but you’d be missing a few details. Society as we know it got its first introduction to the personality of cats through Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. The Cheshire Cat of Alice’s dark fairytale was a know-it-all troublemaker who could disappear like a mist but always leave his smirk behind.

We have been fascinated by cats ever since.

Composite-for-FB-and-TwitterMany names have made it into our pop culture, among them; Felix The Cat, Abraham Lincoln’s First Cat Tabby, Sylvester and his longtime foe Tweety-bird, Morris - a shelter rescue who went on to represent the cat food brand 9Lives throughout the 70’s - and finally, Garfield.

Perhaps the most famous of animated cats for an entire generation of cat lovers, Garfield’s persnickety observations and cool reserve earned his creator - Jim Davis - a healthy retirement plan and spawned every cartoon cat that came after him. Bloom County’s Bill the Cat was every political activist’s dream feline with his pre-Jackass style willingness to try just about anything. Today, The Oatmeal’s irreverent online comics make you think twice about that long stare your beloved cat is bestowing on you.

To cat devotees the wonders of their beloved companions is no surprise. It’s why our resource pages about Keeping Your Cat Happy Indoors and Outdoor Enclosures for Cats are so popular with our readers. Understanding cat behavior is precisely what inspired all of these famous cats to become the pop icons that they are.

Tipping the interest in cats over the edge was the recent news of the Hero Cat, a California cat who saw its human companion in trouble and sprung to action. This behavior in cats caught many people off guard but is no surprise to cat behavior specialists.

Hear Jackson Galaxy, host of Animal Planet’s MY CAT FROM HELL talk about the Hero Cat

If you’re a feline fanatic and you’ve got some cats in your care, remember that the best way to protect your loved one is to spay or neuter. Why Spay & Neuter?

Curious about being a cat guardian? Visit PAWS’ adoptable pets page to find out how you can meet the perfect fit for you.