By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

On June 30th we received a small surprise at the Wildlife Center; a fluffy baby barn owl.


When he arrived he was small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, weighed just over 2 ounces, and his eyes were still closed.

The finder brought him to us after repeatedly trying to reunite him with his mother, who was sitting in a nest box made of steel beams 14 feet up in the top of a horse arena.

After the third fall from the nest, she decided to bring him to PAWS for help.

We typically try to reunite young raptors with their parents as quickly as possible, as it's always better for them to be raised by their parents. But, in some circumstances, this isn’t possible.

After talking to the finder about the nest site, it was clear that putting the owlet back again would not help his survival. The nest was not in a great location and another owlet had already fallen from the nest but did not survive.


So, we decided to care for this owlet with the intention to release him back into the wild as a sub-adult.

Raising a baby raptor is no easy task. Staff members became his surrogate parents, feeding him several times a day.

He spent the first few weeks of his life in our bird nursery allowing us to monitor his progress and growth.

When he was feeding on his own and big enough to walk around, he was moved outside to his own enclosure.

His care and feeding was then the responsibility of our volunteers who wore a sheet when they entered his enclosure to keep him from becoming habituated.

Habituated animals become gradually used to situations they would normally steer away from. This type of behavior is dangerous for both humans and the animal.

If an animal becomes too used to people or depends on them for food they could become nuisances or dangerous to humans and in turn jeopardizing the animal itself.

It is very important that the animals at our Wildlife Center do not become habituated, so they can return to the wild and be active members of their population.

Our staff and volunteers did a great job with this little owl. He acted just like a wild barn owl should by showing threat displays and flying around when people entered his enclosure.

After 87 days in our care and weighing in at 1.2 pounds, he was deemed ready for release.

Just after sunset on September 25th, he was returned to an area near the horse arena where he hatched. When we left him he was perched in a small tree waiting to hunt under the shadow of night.

Watch his first few moments of freedom:

Follow us on Instagram for more great behind the scenes moments.

Join us on the frontline of wildlife care and rehabilitation - volunteer at PAWS.

Make a donation and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife at PAWS.

Found a wild animal? Find out what to do and how PAWS can help.

By Amy Webster, Community Education Coordinator

So long summer, hello fall!

Summer had an amazing finish with PAWSwalk on September 6, a spectacular, fun, sunny day filled with passionate animal lovers and dogs of every shape and size.


Thank you again to the generous sponsors, dedicated walkers, volunteers and event goers who made this such a successful event and memorable day.

We also enjoyed seeing you at the Puget Sound Birdfest and the Monroe Swift Night Out. Both were wonderful celebrations for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers.


Our Service Learning Workshops continue to be a great way for youth to volunteer their time to help the animals at PAWS.

We’re also starting a club for teens and will be holding an information meeting for those interested in learning about PAWS and how they can make a difference for animals. 

Sign-up to learn more about all our youth volunteer opportunities.

With the start of the new school year, our educators will be delivering lessons of compassion and responsible care for animals in classrooms and the community.


October will include visits to Picnic Point Elementary in Edmonds and South Shore K-8 in Seattle. 

Interested in having PAWS visit your child’s school? Here’s the complete list of presentations we offer.

We look forward to seeing you in your community soon!

Help educate others in animal welfare and humane education—volunteer.

Help us continue inspiring the humane educators of the future—make a donation to PAWS.

Keep up to date with all our event news—follow our Events blog.

By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

This week’s Adorable Adoptables arrived at PAWS around the same time, Helen as a stray and Winston as a transfer all the way from Palm Springs California! Now they’re both settled in (and Winston’s jet lag has worn off) it’s full steam ahead finding their forever families. 

As a temporary hangout, our colony lifestyle at PAWS Cat City suits most cats down to the ground. Lounging around in comfy beds, watching the world go by, being visited by lots of lovely humans offering cuddles, catnip and playtime… what could be better?! But for some, like Helen, it takes a little getting used to.


Helen was found by a member of the public and brought to PAWS in late August. A beautiful girl, we knew she was approximately six years old but didn’t have much more to go on in terms of her history.

Like all new arrivals we quickly set to work getting to know Helen, with staff and volunteers spending one-on-one time with her every day.

It’s fast become apparent that, although a little shy in her new surroundings, Helen is a play fiend – our Cat Charmer wand toy being a particular favorite. In fact, it’s hard to get it back once she’s caught it!

Helen likes her humans to be respectful and let her decide when it’s time for pets, paws on legs or rubbing your shins being the usual cues. When she’s given the go ahead, talk sweet to her and she'll often soft blink and even roll over onto her side.

In just a few weeks of coaxing her out of her shell, we know Helen will make the perfect companion for someone who has the time to help her adjust to their home life and the patience to cuddle at her own pace while she adjusts. If you’re that person or you know someone that is, contact our Cat City adoption team and arrange to meet Helen today!


Five year old Chihuahua mix Winston is an all-round champion companion in the making! Whether it’s curling up on the couch, hitting the trail, hanging out at the office or driving round town, he’s ready for any adventures you have in mind.

Rescued from an uncertain future in California, Winston arrived within days of Helen and quickly established himself as a staff favorite due to his unlimited capacity for cuddling.

He had some time out recently with foster mom Kara and, away from the kennel environment, proved himself to be a mellow well-mannered little guy – definitely a fan of the ladies and small dogs, though the jury’s still out on cats!

If you’re looking for a canine companion who’s already housetrained, is great on the leash, makes new friends easily and has lots of energy, Winston’s your man. Call us today at PAWS in Lynnwood, WA and arrange an adventure with him!

Meet all our current companions patiently waiting for forever homes.
Read about the adoption process at PAWS.
Found a pet? See how PAWS can help.
Help us continue providing a safe haven for companion animals in need. Donate now.

By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

We've received quite a few patients at the Wildlife Center this summer who've been injured by being struck by vehicles. One such case was a bald eagle brought to us back in July.

Since bald eagles are opportunistic foragers they take advantage of whatever prey species are available. In most regions of the country fish is their main source of food but they will prey on small mammals and birds.


They're also scavengers who sometimes feed on carrion on the side of the road, making them susceptible to being hit by vehicles.

That is what landed this eagle in our wildlife hospital, the only wildlife rehabilitation center in Washington State equipped with immediate and continual veterinary expertise and services. 

He was found on the side of the road and brought to us at PAWS. He was mildly dehydrated, anemic, weak, and had a mild wing droop. But unlike other patients hit by vehicles, he did not have any broken bones.

Luckily for him this meant his road to recovery would not be as difficult.

He was kept in our ward under observation for four days, where he proved he could eat on his own, before moving outside to a small raptor enclosure.

As his anemia improved and he regained strength he was ready to move to our large flight pen. He spent the remainder of his time in the flight pen, flying between perches and gaining the strength he'd need to catch prey when he became wild once again.


Well, his day finally came on September 12th when he was transported to the south side of Lake Sammamish and released with the help of the Washington State Parks Department.

After leaving his carrier he did a victory circle above our heads before flying off into the distance. Another inspiring and happy day in the life of PAWS Wildlife Center!

Join us on the frontline of wildlife care and rehabilitation - volunteer at PAWS.

Make a donation and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife at PAWS.

Found a wild animal? Find out what to do and how PAWS can help.

By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

Sweet seniors Eve and Columbo were transferred to us from other shelters in Washington State and are patiently hanging out at PAWS waiting to meet their forever families. They just need a little help getting the word out that they’re here and ready to go! How could we refuse?


Ten year old Eve has been living the cat colony lifestyle at our Cat City location since April, when she was transferred to us from the Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service (SCRAPS). This is a longer stay than most cats experience at PAWS, and a little surprising given her irresistible penchant for people snuggling.

Her relaxed, chilled out state (see in action, right) is infectious, which makes Eve the perfect antidote to a stressful work schedule – or the perfect partner to enjoy a laidback retirement with.

When Eve took a break from Cat City and headed off to spend a while with one of our fantastic foster caregivers, she adjusted immediately to her strange new environment and proved to be an exemplary house guest – mellow and well-mannered, a true lady.

If you’re looking for a feline friend who’s quiet (apart from a super cute, low volume meow) and well-versed in the indoor lifestyle, Eve’s the one for you. And, if you’re quick, you can adopt her while her fee is waived as part of our senior cat adoption special. Contact Cat City and arrange to meet Exceptional Eve today!


Like the TV detective he’s named after, Miniature Poodle Columbo is ready for his next case – finding a new forever home!

At first glance, you may think only having one eye could be a hindrance. Not for Columbo, it hasn’t affected his confidence or his zest for life in the slightest. In fact, just the other day he was playing with some of our other residents and approached them all with enthusiasm and excitement – accompanying every hello with a good sniff!

With his love of other dogs apparent, Columbo’s definitely the kind of guy that would enjoy having a four-legged buddy to spend time with. Do you have a suitable sidekick at home right now? If not, and you’re looking for a solo dog, playtime at an off-leash dog park or a dog-filled neighborhood will more than suffice!

When Columbo isn’t rooting around solving mysteries and making new friends, he’s a fan of the snuggles just like Eve. One of our volunteers commented that he climbed right into her lap and curled up when she went to visit him in his kennel.

Come visit this sweet older gentleman at PAWS in Lynnwood today and give him the cuddles and love he craves!

Meet all our current companions patiently waiting for forever homes.
Read about the adoption process at PAWS.
Can’t keep your pet? Find out how PAWS’ re-homing service can help.
Help us continue providing a safe haven for companion animals in need. Donate now.

By Caitlin Soden, Wildlife Volunteer Program Manager

I'm so excited to feature Dale Ripley for the first edition of our new Volunteer Spotlight blog series! A retired oceanographic engineer, Dale has been a volunteer at PAWS Wildlife Center for almost three years and he's an invaluable member of our team.

#1 Wildlife, Dale Ripley Sept 16 2014

Feeding squirrels or building new and improved animals enclosures, you never know where you’ll find Dale but you do know he’ll be hard at work while still managing to keep the wildlife staff and volunteers enthralled and entertained by countless stories of his many trips around the world.

I recently sat down with Dale to talk about his experiences as a Wildlife Center volunteer. Here’s what he had to say:

How did come to volunteer for the PAWS Wildlife Center?
I was initially interested in the PAWS Companion Animal Shelter where I could learn about different breeds of dog before I adopted one of my own. I attended a New Volunteer Orientation, learned about the Wildlife Center and that was that.

What was your first impression when you came to the Wildlife Center?
Abject Fear!! As an engineer, I was used to working with tools and instruments and suddenly I was being asked to work with live animals. I remember being a bit overwhelmed by the complexity of it all but the staff reassured me it would all get easier eventually. And it did!

What’s it like to be a Wildlife Center volunteer?
Very rewarding! It’s cliché but true is true. We all come here to help animals. They can’t do it on their own so someone’s got to do it.

What have you learned as a Wildlife Center volunteer that you wish other people knew?
Not every animal you see on the ground needs help and there are a ton of resources out there to help you know when they do. Bottom line… call us here at the Wildlife Center so we can help.

With so many wonderful organizations to choose from why do you continue to support PAWS?
I got hooked my first day!


Is there anyone specific that has influenced your decision to continue volunteering?
Everyone! The staff and volunteers at the Wildlife Center are fantastic and easy to work with. Everyone is here for the same reason; we want to help animals. That makes it easy to overlook differences.

How does volunteering at the Wildlife Center make you feel?

What is the most fun you’ve had at the PAWS Wildlife Center?
Catching squirrels up for release back into the wild. Four adults, 12 squirrels… it was a battle of wits!

What do you do when you aren’t volunteering?
Woodworking, watersports…I used to be a SCUBA diver and now I love to snorkel in Puget Sound.

What might someone be surprised to learn about you?
How old I am! 66!

Thank you for everything you do! Oh, and Dale, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Inspired by Dale? Become a PAWS volunteer today and help keep Washington State wildlife thriving!
No spare time to volunteer? There's another way you can help us continue helping wild animals in need. Donate now.
Find out more about wildlife rehabilitation at PAWS.

By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

Over the past few weeks we have received some special patients at PAWS Wildlife Center, baby Northern Flying Squirrels.


You may not even be aware that these fuzzy little creatures live in Washington. They are rarely seen due to being strictly nocturnal and arboreal (they live in trees).

There are two species and two subspecies of flying squirrels found in the United States. The species that inhabits Washington is the Northern Flying Squirrel. This species can be found throughout most of the northern part of North America, Canada and as far east as North Carolina.

The Southern Flying Squirrel can be found in the eastern US and Mexico. The two subspecies of flying squirrel live in the Appalachians and are endangered due to habitat loss.

Flying squirrels don’t actually fly like bats or birds do; instead they are specialized gliders. They are able to glide due to a special membrane that connects their front and back legs.

To get from one tree to another the flying squirrel will launch itself off of a high branch, spread out its limbs and use its legs to steer and its tail as a brake. The average distance a flying squirrel can cover in one glide is 65 feet but they can take long glides of over 250 feet. Pretty impressive don’t you think?

Like other squirrel species, flying squirrels live on a diet of acorns, fruit, buds, sap, insects and bird eggs. But what separates them from the other squirrels is a large portion of their diet is lichens and fungi, making them an important disperser of fungal spores.


Flying squirrels like to nest in spruce, fir, hemlock, and beech maple trees. They use their nests for raising young in the spring and summer and as a den in the winter. Unlike other mammals, flying squirrels do not hibernate in the winter and will even share their nests with their extended family to keep warm.

The flying squirrel babies we have at PAWS came to us after falling from their nests, and are being cared for by our staff in the small mammal nursery. They will be cared for here and released in a few weeks, back to where they came from, in hopes they can be reunited with their family groups.

Flying squirrel fun fact: Flying squirrels have the ability to glide across four-lane highways without touching the ground!

Join us on the frontline of wildlife care and rehabilitation - volunteer at PAWS Wildlife Center.

Make a donation and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife at PAWS.

By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

Xena and Mattie have seen their fair share of shelter life and are both more than ready to settle down in their new forever homes. Could you be the perfect fit for this week’s Adorable Adoptables?

Striking tortoiseshell Xena started 2014 on a high, happy to be heading home from Seattle Animal Shelter with her new forever friend. However, just six short months later she found herself at PAWS, surrendered by her guardian because she was moving and unable to take Xena with her.

After this uncertain chapter in her life, we’ve got our fingers crossed it’ll be ‘second time lucky’ for Xena and she’ll find a forever home that will truly last forever.

Having trouble viewing the video? Enjoy it on YouTube instead.

Xena is definitely more princess than warrior, and searching for someone who will be her constant companion. She loves to play but she loves to snuggle even more – sharing a sofa of an evening and recounting the stories of her day is one of her favorite things to do!

If you’re looking for a laidback lovebug, come and meet Xena at PAWS in Lynnwood, WA today.

Wrinkly gal Mattie is a Chinese Shar-Pei mix who’s had an on-off relationship with PAWS staff since arriving last September as a transfer from Canyon County Animal Shelter in Idaho. Returned twice in the past year, first because of issues with her guardian’s landlord and then because of her exuberant behavior, Mattie is hoping she’ll be ‘third time lucky’ very soon.

An ancient breed originally used as a multipurpose farm dog, the Shar-Pei is incredibly devoted to its people. An intelligent and often stubborn breed, they learn quickly and benefit from regular socialization, consistent training and daily exercise. Watch Mattie tearing round our exercise area at PAWS and you’ll see her inner Shar-Pei come out. She has lots of energy to burn!

Having trouble viewing the video? Enjoy it on YouTube instead.

The volunteers and staff have had so much fun with Mattie while she's been at PAWS. One volunteer took her out to Meadowdale Park and said that Mattie absolutely LOVED the water and chasing down waves! She also discovered that Mattie enjoys car rides and has perfect car manners.

Speaking of manners, Mattie is fully house trained and can be trusted to be left free roaming when alone. She’s an absolute doll and so loyal to her people – all she asks for in return is an adult-only family where she’s the only dog and won’t come across any cats!

If there’s room for an exuberant and loyal addition to your family, stop by and say hi to Mattie today at PAWS in Lynnwood, WA.

Meet all our current companions patiently waiting for forever homes.
Read about the adoption process at PAWS.
Can’t keep your pet? Find out how PAWS’ re-homing service can help.
Help us continue providing a safe haven for companion animals in need. Donate now.

By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

“It was the most touching release I have ever done” said Noeleen Stewart, a PAWS staff member. What started out just being a typical hawk release ended up being an event to remember.

At the end of July a rare patient came through the doors at the Wildlife Center; a Cooper’s hawk chick. The chick was found sitting beside a road, estimated to be just a few weeks old and was a female.

Cooper's Hawk 142164 Intake 07282014 JM

On initial examination by our rehabilitation and veterinarian teams, the chick was found to be in good condition despite some mild dehydration. She spent the first few days in our ward under observation to determine whether she could eat on her own, which she could.

She was then moved to one of our outside enclosures with another Cooper’s hawk. There she spent time taking short flights and strengthening her wings. After 33 days in our care she was deemed ready for release.

After speaking to a researcher from the Falcon Research Group we decided to try and release her where she was found; but first we needed to scout out the area for any hawk activity.

As Noeleen was departing PAWS with the hawk, the researcher arrived near the hawk’s point of origin. He started searching and listening for other Cooper’s hawks, hoping that some of the other fledglings or the parents of this little hawk were still near the nest site. He was in luck. Finally, he heard some Cooper’s hawks amongst the trees and knew he was in the right place.

Shortly thereafter Noeleen arrived with the young hawk; she was outfitted with research leg bands for identification and was quickly released. Within seconds of her flying away one of her siblings joined her and landed in a tree next to her. A few seconds later another sibling joined them and all three could be seen in the same tree calling to each other. It was definitely an experience to remember, watching these three hawks reunited again.

It is always important that we release wildlife close to their point of origin. The animals we receive may already have an established territory or like in this case have family nearby. Thanks to this collaboration a family of hawks was reunited and the Falcon Research Group will be able to monitor the released hawk in the future and let us know if she has a nest of her own someday.

Join us on the frontline of wildlife care and rehabilitation - volunteer at PAWS Wildlife Center.

Make a donation and help us continue providing a safe haven for wildlife at PAWS.

Walk for the animals and help thousands of wild and companion animals receive the care they need at PAWS in the coming year. Join us at PAWSwalk on September 6, 2014.

By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

It’s always a happy day at PAWS when our dogs and cats head home with their forever families – eyes full of hope, energy and excitement. Sometimes, however, a thorough adoption process and the best intentions of their new guardians don’t always lead to a forever happy ending, and these beautiful companions end up back at PAWS.

This can happen within a few days or weeks but in some cases it can be several months or years down the line. This week’s Adorable Adoptables, Otto and Maggie, both found themselves back at PAWS after a change in circumstances meant their guardians could no longer give them the care they needed.

Otto is just over five years old. Originally adopted from PAWS as a youngster in 2010, he was returned to us in May this year because his companion was moving and couldn’t take him with her.

A super affectionate guy who loves to get cuddles, belly rubs and chin scratches from just about anybody, he’s been waiting patiently at PAWS for 106 days – and, as you’ll see when you watch this short video, it's hard to understand why!

Having trouble viewing the video? Enjoy it on YouTube instead.

Otto loves attention, and isn't afraid to walk right up and let you know he needs some! Just remember to avoid the base of his tail with your grooming brush and you’ll be the best of friends. He appreciates an open hand so he can head butt away and, being a curious cat, would do great with a family that lets him explore every inch of his new home.

Toys are Otto’s hobby and he’s waiting to share that hobby with you – come by and say hello today at our Companion Animal Shelter in Lynnwood, WA.

Maggie (2)

Maggie is a 14 year old smooth-haired Dachshund and Beagle mix whose original pet parent found her as a stray and took her in 12 years ago. Their companionship sadly came to an end last September, when her guardian became homeless and took Maggie to Everett Animal Shelter (EAS).

Transferred from EAS to PAWS, Maggie was with us a matter of weeks before finding her next perfect match, but sadly came back in August this year – her guardian distraught at having to move to a dog free apartment after losing their job.

Maggie has a whole host of wonderful qualities that make her a great family dog. She’s been described as friendly, gentle, affectionate, easy going and quiet by PAWs staff and foster caregivers.

She’s lived with men, women and children, and is fully housetrained. In terms of other furries, cats are a deal breaker but other dogs are just fine!

If this description ticks lots of boxes for you and your family, maybe you’ll be the one to make Maggie’s twilight years her happiest yet. Come and meet her at our shelter in Lynnwood, WA today.

Meet all our current companions patiently waiting for forever homes
Find out how to adopt from PAWS
Interested in providing temporary foster care to animals in need like Maggie? Find out more here
Can’t keep your pet? Find out how PAWS’ re-homing service could help.