By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

We are half way through the bustling baby bird season here at PAWS and, similar to the American Crows we talked about a couple weeks ago, we are frequently receiving Dark-eyed Juncos at the Wildlife Center.

Adult Dark-eyed Juncos are small birds that have a dark head with a white belly and white outer tail feathers. When you see one of these birds flittering around your backyard you may think they just look like a typical bird but they are more than that. They have actually had a big impact on ecological research.

Biologists have been studying them since the 1920’s and, thanks to these little birds, we have a better understanding of bird biology and behavior. They are also one of the most common bird species in the United States and can be seen across the entire country.

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The main reason juncos are brought to PAWS, on an almost daily basis, is that they nest on the ground. This makes them and their babies vulnerable to predators, especially cats. This leads to orphaned chicks and injured fledglings, which are what we primarily receive.

When the baby juncos first arrive at PAWS they are housed in the baby bird nursery where volunteers, interns and staff members take the place of their parents; diligently working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to keep them fed and healthy.

Some of them will be in the nursery for several weeks before they are old enough to graduate to a larger enclosure where they then wait for their release.

Without the dedication of our baby bird nursery 'parents' these young juncos, along with the other baby birds that come to PAWS, would not survive and make it back to the wild.

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.

Help us to continue providing a safe haven for rehabilitating wildlife - sponsor a wild animal.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

Continuing our blog series championing overlooked (but no less adorable) adoptables, we profile two very special PAWS characters waiting for their forever families.

Long term loveable Milosh arrived at PAWS in October 2013, surrendered by his pet parents after 12 years of guardianship. He’s currently in our Foster Care Program, where his true character is blossoming – including one particularly irresistible trait…

Milosh loves to snuggle. He’s not necessarily a lap cat, but likes to be snuggled in right beside someone whenever possible. This makes him an excellent buddy to sleep late with on the weekends; he will settle in by your chest and purr all morning. And, if you happen to have a room with a view and a high perch to enjoy it, you’ll have a friend for life!

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Milosh is shy with new people at first but doesn’t take long to warm up if you show him a little love (and treats!). He has a very submissive, relaxed personality when it comes to interacting with other animals. His current foster family reports that he wants nothing more than to interact with their two torbie (tabby/tortoiseshell) girls. Unfortunately they’re rebutting his advances so far, but he’s very good at picking up their signals and respecting their space (pictured right keeping his distance, a true gentleman!). There are also two 50-60lb dogs to contend with, and Milosh doesn’t seem to be fazed by them at all.

And don’t let his advancing years deceive you – Milosh loves to play, a particular favorite being batting feather toys:

As distinguishing features go, the crook at the end of Milosh’s tail gives him a certain added charm, and his sleek black fur (with just a dash of white on his chest and belly) is simply beautiful. If sleek and snuggly is your thing, get in touch with our adoption advisors at PAWS and arrange to meet this stunning gent today.

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In our canine corner this week is one year old Hugo – a super smart, energetic boy who learns quickly and has a strong desire to please his people.

It’ll be no surprise then when we tell you that Hugo’s part Australian Cattle Dog, part Pit Bull Terrier; breeds known for their intelligence, loyalty, and proficiency for canine sports including agility, obedience and flyball.

Originally brought up to Washington State all the way from California and then surrendered at Everett Animal Shelter, Hugo was transferred to PAWS through our Placement Partner Program in March 2014. After a few weeks of brushing up on his obedience and manners, we waved a happy goodbye as Hugo left with what we thought was his forever family. Sadly he was returned to us in early June.

Hugo’s athleticism and full contact play style mean his perfect home would be with active adult pet parents who get a kick out of physical exercise and setting mental challenges on a daily basis – rain or shine. You’ll also win brownie points if you don’t mind retrieving the balls he loves to chase!

Watch Hugo in non-stop play mode with his PAWS pal Mattie

Hugo would enjoy having doggy friend play dates to burn some energy. His preferred method of greeting other dogs currently is by jumping on them, but with a little help mastering his ‘hello’ he’ll be an off-leash dog park etiquette expert in no time.

Next time you’re visiting PAWS in Lynnwood, ask to meet Hugo and get ready for an exuberant four-legged hello guaranteed to brighten your day!

Find out if your perfect match is patiently waiting at PAWS.

Help us continue to provide care for all our adorable adoptablesvolunteer, foster or make a donation.

Check out our Senior Cat adoption special – adoption fees waived for cats like Milosh this summer.


By Jen Mannas, Naturalist

The fall/winter season here at PAWS Wildlife Center is generally slower than the bustling spring/summer season. So everyone was a little surprised on December 07, 2013 when an adult American Bald Eagle was brought in to the wildlife center by an officer from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW).

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The eagle was found in a ditch on the side of the road, unable to fly, by a motorist who immediately called WDFW.

Upon the eagle’s examination at PAWS (pictured, right) she was found to be in good body condition but had facial abrasions and lacerations, a swollen right foot, and all of the primary feathers on her right wing were broken, leaving her grounded.

Her injuries and where she was found suggested she was struck by a car while feeding on a carcass on the side of the road, a common cause of injury and even death for scavenging wildlife.

Treatment started immediately to heal her skin wounds and over time her broken primary feathers were removed to stimulate growth of new, healthy, feathers which would allow her to fly once again.

This was all a lengthy process and in June she was deemed healthy enough to be moved to our flight pen (pictured, below right) where she attempted her first flight in 6 months.

Despite her right wing droop and the long wait for her new feathers to grow in, she is recovering quite well.

The staff continues to monitor her progress and, with more time in our largest flight pen, she continues to regain her strength and soon will be able to fly free once again.

Like all of the animals brought to PAWS Wildlife Center this eagle’s treatment and recovery could not have been possible without the dedication of our staff and volunteers as well as generous donations that have provided medical supplies and food for her long recovery.

Find out more about wildlife rehabilitation.

Thinking of a career helping wildlife? PAWS can help.

A regular gift goes a long way towards helping animals like this American Bald Eagle - join our Constant Companions Club.


By Katherine Spink, PAWS Staff

We work so closely with all the adoptable animals here at PAWS, it’s sometimes hard for us to understand why a certain cat or dog in our care is seemingly overlooked by potential adopters.

Each and every one of the companion animals at PAWS tugs at our heartstrings, and we know they all deserve to find the right family. In this new blog series, we reveal the personalities behind some very special companion animals at PAWS who are anxiously waiting for their forever humans to walk through the door.

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Take Tiger Rico, a seven year old bundle of Chihuahua love who arrived at PAWS in February. This wasn’t his first appearance at our doors – after adopting him from PAWS two years previously, his pet parents were moving away and surrendered him to PAWS instead of taking him along.

In those two quick years, the most striking difference in Tiger Rico was his weight. It had tripled since he was last in our care.

PAWS staff immediately enrolled Tiger Rico in a bootcamp-style training program with a new PAWS foster family – not such a popular switch of routine from Tiger Rico’s perspective, but hugely successful.

With a proper diet and moderate exercise, he lost 6 lbs and his energy levels increased dramatically. His once reserved, stoic personality blossomed into the complete Tiger Rico goofball he is today!

Now svelte and eager for the next chapter in his life, Tiger Rico is still most definitely a typical Chi, meaning he can be grumpy and bossy at times (can’t we all?!). He can also be pure love and offer up snuggling under the covers, playtime and doing tricks for treats.

We know from spending time with Tiger Rico that he deserves your notice. Next time you’re at PAWS in Lynnwood, be sure to take an extra moment to meet him.


Watch Tiger Rico in clicker training mode


Then there’s 10 year old Simba who, with his flowing luxurious golden coat, is aptly named.

Currently calling PAWS Cat City his home, Simba is another resident we’ve had a long, glorious relationship with. Brought to us in May 2013, Simba spent time in PAWS Foster Care Program before being adopted in October 2013. Sadly, he was returned to us only a few days later.

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Perhaps one of the reasons Simba’s search for the perfect pet parent has taken longer than most is due to the fact he has feline asthma. Much like the human version, feline asthma is a chronic condition in which airway inflammation leads to coughing, wheezing, and/or exercise intolerance.

Sound scary? It doesn’t have to be. With regular love, attention and the advice of a good veterinarian, this condition can be managed, especially in a home clean of second-hand smoke, dusty cat litters and strong perfumes. 

Aside from his need for a more experienced cat mom or dad, Simba has perfect litter box manners, loves being brushed and is a great fan of treats. Whichever PAWS Cat City visitor is lucky enough to be chosen by this quiet, gentle boy as his forever companion has a wonderful life ahead of them!

Find out if your perfect match is patiently waiting at PAWS.

Check out our Senior Cat adoption special – adoption fees waived for cats like Simba.

A monthly gift goes a long way towards helping companion animals like Tiger Rico and Simba - join our Constant Companions Club.


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!