Here at PAWS, we like to celebrate victories for the animals, be they big or small. So we're ready to put on our party shoes and pop the bubbly, because this year's World Spay Day 2014 event was a record-breaking success!

Happy Spay Day clients leaving PAWSDuring the month of February, as part of the international World Spay Day campaign, PAWS and other local shelter partners performed an incredible 1,333 low-cost spay and neuter surgeries here in Washington State—breaking last year's amazing record by 310 surgeries!

With 46 clinics and 14 shelter partners participating in World Spay Day last month, pet owners all across the region were able to take advantage of these affordable surgery options for their companion animals.

In total, 892 cats, 425 dogs and 16 rabbits were altered during the month-long event!

This year’s collaborative efforts also helped reach animals in communities with restricted access to low-cost spay/neuter surgery. This was especially true in rural counties, where 100 percent of the World Spay Day surgeries were completed by private clinics. 

"After 19 years of spearheading World Spay Day efforts in the Puget Sound, we're proud to see the continued growth and success of this event each year," says Kay Joubert, Director of Companion Animal Services at PAWS.

"We're excited to collaborate with the veterinary community and our animal welfare colleagues for World Spay Day 2015 next year!" 

Missed Spay Day 2014? Please refer to a list of clinics that offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries year-round. Please spay and neuter your pets, and encourage friends and family to do the same for their animals!

Thank you for participating in Spay Day 2014!

 

 

The first time Merina Burda held a baby squirrel in her hand, she knew that volunteering would always be an important part of her life. Merina first began working with animals as a volunteer in the baby animal nursery at a wildlife rehabilitation center in Minnesota. She quickly found that she enjoyed caring for these small, defenseless animals, and when she moved to Seattle she put finding a place to volunteer at the top of her to-do list.

Merina_schlu_webWhen Merina discovered PAWS, she originally planned to volunteer as a Cat Room Attendant at PAWS Cat City. But when a staff member found out that Merina worked as a photographer and Creative Director, they suggested she join the web team—a group of volunteers who photograph the animals and write biographies to help show off the animals' personalities. The web team was a perfect way for Merina to combine her love of photography with her compassion for animals.

As a PAWS volunteer, Merina has photographed many different cats, each unique in their own way. One of her favorites was Samantha, a long-term resident at Cat City who could be selective with her friends, but playful and full of personality with people she trusted. Merina loved that Samantha was able to connect with people when they took the time to get to know her.

In the shelter environment, cats like Samantha don't always share the best parts of their personalities with potential adopters. So having someone like Merina, who takes the time to get to know them and share their stories, helps these cats find their forever homes. We're happy to report that Samantha found her perfect match, and is enjoying life with her new family.

Thank you Merina for your time and dedication to PAWS!

To learn more about volunteering at PAWS, visit paws.org

 

 

Sylvester has been waiting patiently since October 25, 2013. That's 132 days, to be exact. For more than three months, this handsome feline has been waiting for his new family to walk through the door. But for a cat as affectionate and playful as Sylvester, why is it taking so long to find his forever home?  

Sylvester needs a home!By nature, cats have a difficult time adapting to new situations, such as moving homes or the addition of new pet or family member. So it comes as no surprise that cats often have trouble adjusting to the shelter lifestyle, and can be shy upon meeting new people.

Since it takes some cats longer than others to come out of their shell, many potential adopters often misjudge these cats as “grumpy” or “anti-social." But that's not necessarily the case! Sometimes they just haven’t had the opportunity to show you their true colors. Like Sylvester.

When he first came to PAWS, Sylvester was timid and shy. PAWS volunteers and staff noticed that he seemed agitated by the other cats, and by all of the visitors. Seeing his distress, one volunteer offered to give Sylvester a "kennel break" and bring him home to stay with her.

The change in Sylvester was extraordinary.

Out of the stressful shelter environment, this once-timid cat blossomed. He's no longer shy, but a confident, affectionate and playful feline.

In his foster home, Sylvester has flourished and shown us what a wonderful companion he truly is. His foster mom is so fond of him, she's compiled an entire flickr full of cute photos and video!

Foster parents like Sylvester’s allow us to give these animals the kind of environment and attention they need to feel safe and secure, which allows them to show us their true personalities. It just goes to show that sometimes, all they really need is a little bit of rest, relaxation and TLC.

If you're interested in learning more about this handsome boy, you can view his full profile here.

Help us find a home for Sylvester!

 

 

Spring is nearly around the corner, and that means one thing here at PAWS—the babies are coming! April through September is considered "baby season" at the PAWS Wildlife Center, when our staff and volunteers have their hands full caring for adorable (and hungry!) baby birds, squirrels, Raccoons, chipmunks, opossums and many more.

Volunteer-feeding-baby-squirrelAccording to volunteer coordinator Frances Boyens, baby robins and sparrows are usually the first to arrive at the PAWS Wildlife Center, and baby season officially ends when the final baby raccoon is strong enough to scamper out the door. Last baby season, the PAWS team even cared for several bear cubs and baby Harbor Seals.

The first few months of life are a tenuous time for newborns in the wild, and most of these young ones come to us injured, orphaned and unable to care for themselves. A great number of babies coming through our doors are the survivors of attacks from cats and dogs, or the unfortunate victims of human interference.

PAWS staff and volunteers spend months meticulously and lovingly rehabilitating them so they can make a successful transition back to their natural habitats. It’s a busy and exciting time, and one of the best times to be a volunteer at PAWS. Volunteers work hands-on with the animals, feeding them and helping nurse them back to health.

“It’s a rewarding and life changing experience,” says one volunteer. “There’s nothing quite like feeding a tiny squirrel, and knowing you’re making the difference between life and death.”

Baby season is only a month away, and we need all the help we can get to ensure that we have the resources to care for these small, defenseless creatures.

“Our volunteers go through orientation and training, ensuring they are able to act with minimal supervision and really take ownership in their work with the animals,” says Boyens.

Help PAWS get baby-season-ready and sign up today!

 

 

Question: A Robin keeps attacking my windows. I'm afraid he will hurt himself. What can I do, and why is he doing that?

American Robins exhibit bizarre window-pecking behaviorThat's a great question! This curious behavior happens every spring. American Robins are very territorial, and once a pair has established their nest site, they will fiercely defend it.

The PAWS Wildlife Center receives many calls from people concerned about Robins attacking or pecking repetitively on their windows—we’ve even heard of Robins attacking the rear-view mirrors of vehicles.

The bizarre behavior occurs when birds see their reflection in windows or mirrors and think it’s another bird trying to take over their territory.  This activity usually continues through the nest-building, hatching and nestling stages.

The window-pecking can last several months, but don’t worry; unlike window strikes, this behavior is rarely dangerous for the birds.

There are several things you can do to deter birds from attacking windows. The main idea is to make window glass non-reflective. Sometimes the whole window needs covering, but primarily near the window sill where the bird will sit and continuously hit the glass. 

  • Cover the window on the outside with screening or netting at least two to three inches from the glass. Make it taut enough to bounce the bird off before they hit the glass.
  • Install external shutters, awnings or sun shades.
  • Apply one-way transparent film.  You can see out and the bird cannot see a reflection (CollidEscape).
  • Wipe a bar of soap on the window.
  • Cover the window with a sheet, newspaper or clear plastic.
  • Hang  Mylar tape, an eye balloon or pinwheels  in front of windows.
  • Apply decals or stickers (only effective when spaced very closely to each other)
  • String up old cd’s.
  • For new home construction, install windows so the glass angles downward and doesn’t reflect the surroundings. 

Having a wildlife problem? PAWS can help

 

 

The Golden Eagle is a fairly rare sight in Western Washington, and is a very rare patient for us to have in care. Although we are occasionally contacted by members of the public who believe they have found an injured Golden Eagle, most turn out to be juvenile Bald Eagles.

The two species can be confusing to the untrained eye, especially when viewed individually, or at a distance. Placing the two side by side makes identifying them a bit easier. Below you can see a juvenile Bald Eagle on the left, and an adult Golden Eagle on the right. Note the slightly smaller beak on the Golden Eagle as well as the lighter, golden feathers on the back of the head and nape of the neck.

Bald Eagle and Golden Eagle

Continue reading "Which Eagle Is It?" »

 

February 7 started off as a good day for this Golden Eagle. She spent the morning feasting on an all-you-can-eat buffet of elk meat from a carcass she had found, and she was about to fly off to find a comfortable perch on which she could sit and digest her meal. Unfortunately, she never made it there.

As the eagle took flight, she passed over the same strip of pavement on which the elk had met his end. Possibly weighed down by a full stomach, the eagle nearly became roadkill herself—she was struck by a truck and instantly grounded. She was retrieved from the roadside by a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife enforcement officer who delivered her to PAWS the next day.

Golden Eagle 140078

Continue reading "A Good Day Turns Bad for a Golden Eagle" »

 

Can you believe it’s February already? The first month of 2014 flew by fast! By now, most of us have recovered from the holiday frenzy, kept or broken a resolution or two, and are thinking ahead to spring and the promise of more daylight hours.

But for a few animals, it’s as if the New Year hasn’t come at all. PAWS still has a few loving cats who’ve been with us since 2013 and just haven’t found their right person yet. But they’re all eager and ready to head to their forever homes. Take a look at our remaining buddies from 2013, and see if one of them is your new best friend!

Meet Yo-Yo!
Yo-YoYo-Yo is a lovely gal who is looking for a home to live out her well-deserved golden years!
She is used to being Queen of her castle, and would prefer to be the only kitty - or maybe with a mellow boy cat who doesn't mind being ignored. Yo-yo is a mellow and easy-going gal, and loves to gaze out a window and dream of her early years. She may be a senior, but she still enjoys some playtime (when the mood strikes her, of course), and she does a great job with keeping her scratching to her own post. Yo-Yo likes to relax and lounge around, with an occasional cat nap as well!

She is an independent gal as all Queens are, and is perfectly happy keeping herself entertained throughout the day. She will come and seek out attention when she feels it is deserved! Yo-Yo would like to live in an adult-only castle, where her people can really understand her. If you are looking for a new Matriarch for your kingdom, look no further than Queen Yo-Yo! She’s currently holding court at our PAWS Cat City location.

 

PepperMeet Pepper!
Will you be the salt to her Pepper? This beautiful eight-year-old gal is looking for her other half, and maybe that's you!

One of her favorite activities is playing with her feather toy. Pepper recently got a hair cut, and loves to have her fuzzy back rubbed. She would appreciate a home with children over the age of six, and would love to be your only cat. Come meet Pepper at PAWS Cat City today!

 

SqueakerMeet Squeaker!
Squeaker is a spunky little gal who would love a new home to call her own. She is very sweet, loves pets, and will climb right up onto your shoulder to make sure she doesn't miss out on any fun!

Squeaker loves to play, chase and pounce on toys and will keep you entertained with her delightful kitty antics. Come by PAWS in Lynnwood to meet this fun girl!

 

 

 

Millions of people will attend a “big football party” this Sunday, ready to watch their hometown heroes battle in the world’s biggest championship game. While these events can be a fun-fest for humans, large game-day gatherings can be hazardous for pets. Help make your pet safe and happy this year with these game-day guidelines.

1.  RallyPeople food is off limits! Always place trays of food out of reach of your beloved pets and keep your cooking and food preparation areas clean. Don’t leave pieces of food on the counter (pits from fruit and bones can be choking hazards), and be sure to bag and secure garbage where it’s out of reach of your pets. Know what human foods are dangerous to your pets (see our list below) and never leave those foods unattended while animals are around. Be sure to politely let your guests know that people food – and alcohol – is off limits to your pets. 

2.  Play it smart while playing dress up. It can be fun to deck your pet out in Seahawks gear for the big game, just be sure you let your beloved friend unleash their 12th Man spirit without constricting their inner animal spirit. Dogs are excitable (especially during large gatherings) and prone to jumping around. Be aware of this and make sure their game gear isn’t too hot or constrictive.

3.  Be aware of your pet’s sensitive nature. Many pets are skittish around crowds and loud noises (like cheering if you’re attending a Seahawks party, or wailing if you’re heading to a Broncos gathering). If you're attending a tailgating party, leave pets at home. If you're hosting the party at your house, ensure your pet has a quiet place to get away from the commotion in case they need a break.

4.  Your pets may want to join in the fun by cheering with or yelling at the TV too. Help them expend their excess energy by taking dogs for a walk around the block during half time. If your dog jumps up and down or runs in circles, incorporate that into a touchdown dance you do together.  It’ll help them work out their energy and feel like they’re part of the gathering

5.  Reward your pet for putting up with all the extra people and noise by thanking them with some extra cuddling or toy time.

6.  Familiarize yourself with the list of foods that pose a danger to pets (listed below) and get help right away if you think they’ve ingested harmful food. Before the game, be sure to post the number for your veterinarian or local animal emergency clinic to your fridge so you have it on hand should an emergency arise.

Below is a list of common people foods that can be harmful, or even deadly, to animals.

Continue reading "Big Football Sunday: Keep Pets Safe on the Big Day" »

 

February is spay and neuter awareness month, and PAWS is proud to partner with local veterinary clinics and 14 animal welfare groups to offer free or low-cost spay and neuter services to pet guardians across Western Washington. 

Spay-catRecognizing that animals are happier and healthier when they’re spayed or neutered, PAWS and the veterinary community have come together to make it even easier for families to get their cats and dogs “altered”. Thanks to local veterinary hospitals and clinics, pet guardians can take advantage of substantial savings throughout the month of February, while also helping increase the quality of life of their beloved companion. 

Not only does spaying and neutering prevent unwanted litters that pet guardians must find homes for, but the procedure has proven to increase the longevity of the lives of cats, dogs, and rabbits by 2 to 3 years.

Spaying or neutering your animal also decreases behavior issues (aggression, spraying or urinating, and biting) and significantly lowers your beloved pet’s chance of cancers associated with reproductive organs. Weigh the one-time cost of spaying or neutering against the long-term cost and suffering associated with cancer, and the choice is clear! 

You can spay or neuter your pet year-round, but why not take advantage of the special savings offered this month as part of World Spay Day! Check out our list of participating clinics and give yourself the peace of mind of knowing you’ve taken an important step in caring for your pet today.