Ever find yourself feeling bored? Chances are your feline companion might be feeling the same way! Cats are natural born hunters and enjoy stalking, pouncing, climbing and being active. And just like humans, they benefit from a challenge! Here at PAWS, we create an interesting and stimulating environment for the animals by giving them plenty of opportunities to "hunt" through interactive playtime with our volunteers and staff.

Keeping Your Cats Active and HealthyTaking time to play with your cat can help build their confidence, improve behavior problems, and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. Playtime encourages your cat to stay active, and helps them maintain a healthy weight. Here are a couple of things we do at PAWS that you can do at home with your own furry friend.

Make interactive playtime part of your daily routine. While it’s great to have toys available for your cat while you’re gone during the day, it’s also important to take time on a daily basis to play with them. Cats are often most active in the morning and evening, so the beginning and end of the day are great times for play sessions. Feather fishing pole toys are a favorite with PAWS cats, and are a great way to simulate hunting. However, it’s important that these toys are never left unattended as they can be choking hazards.

Rotate your cat's toys. In the same way that people often enjoy new things, cats enjoy the novelty of new toys. Try rotating your cat’s toys to make play time more enticing. You can add variety by including different shapes, textures and sounds, such as stuffed mice, balls with bells, fabric balls that crinkle, etc. You can also include catnip toys to make play time even more appealing.

Introduce Puzzle Feeders. Puzzle feeders are toys with strategically placed holes that release food when moved. These are great toys for kitties because they encourage cats to play by offering food as a reward. You can fill the feeder with a couple of treats or pieces of food to provide your cat with a challenging and rewarding activity while you’re away. As long as you’re able to ensure that your cat gets proper nutrition, you can even use puzzle feeders to deliver their daily serving of dry food. Many felines enjoy the challenge of working for their food, and it can also help prevent pet obesity.

For more information about companion animal enrichment, visit our Resources page. Or, if you would like to donate to the animals at PAWS, check out our Wish List!

 

 

There's no better time to give a gift to the animals at PAWS than during The Seattle Foundation's fourth annual GiveBIG event on Tuesday, May 6! Why? Because your gift will go even further!

GiveBig to PAWS on May 6!GiveBIG, a one-day, online giving event, is a great way for people to give generously to the non-profit organizations that make our region a better place to live.

Make your gift for the animals stretch even further by donating online on Tuesday, May 6!

Here’s how it works:

  1. On Tuesday, May 6, visit PAWS’ page on The Seattle Foundation’s website
  2. Click on Donate Now, and then click Make a credit card donation

Every donation made to the non-profit organizations profiled on The Seattle Foundation’s website between midnight and midnight (Pacific Time) will receive a pro-rated portion of a pool of matching funds (or “stretch pool”). The amount of the “stretch” will depend on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBIG day.

Gifts made to PAWS through GiveBIG are fully tax-deductible. Please note, only gifts made on The Seattle Foundation’s website on May 6 are eligible for GiveBIG matching funds.

If you have any questions about GiveBIG, please do not hesitate to e-mail donations@paws.org or call 425.412.4024. Current Fundholders at The Seattle Foundation are encouraged to participate in GiveBIG, yet only donations made on the The Seattle Foundation's website on May 6, 2014 will be eligible for the stretch pool.

GiveBIG to the animals on Tuesday, May 6!

 

 

Flowers are blooming, the days are getting longer and a warm breeze has replaced the winter chill. And for many of us, that means one thing—spring cleaning is around the corner! But before you bring out the heavy-duty dirt removers and weed killers, make sure you’re not putting your family pet in danger.

Spring Cleaning Caution - Toxic Pet PoisonsThousands of pet parents called the ASPCA’s 24-hour poison control hotline last year. Read on to find out what products could harm your furry friends, and some tips for keeping Fido and Fluffy safe during your spring cleaning!

Keep Pets Away While Cleaning
While you’re cleaning, keep your pets safely in another area of the house until the room is well ventilated and all cleaning products have dried. Also be sure to place used rags and other cleaning tools out of reach.

Go Green!
Household cleaning products are generally safe in small doses, but strong acidic or alkaline cleaners can cause corrosive injury or chemical burns. These include rust removers, toilet bowel cleaners, lye, drain cleaners and calcium/lime removers.

Try using more natural, “green” cleaning products to further reduce risk of your pet ingesting a poisonous product.

Avoid Insecticides
Insecticides are used in the yard, home and on our animals, and nearly 16% of all calls to the ASPCA’s poison hotline in 2013 were related to insecticides. Remember to always read the label before using any insecticide on your pet, in your home or in your yard!

Care For Your Garden—Carefully
Fertilizers, which can be made of poultry manure and bone meal, are very attractive to pets, but not good for them to eat! The ASPCA received more than 5,000 calls in 2013 about pet illness and injury relating to lawn and garden items. Always store poisonous products in out-of-the-way places and follow label instructions carefully.

If you suspect your pet may have come in contact with or ingested a potentially poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. 

Find more pet safety resources at paws.org

 

 

In just a few short days, hundreds of Seattle's most compassionate community leaders will gather for a fun evening of sipping cocktails, fine dining, and raising funds to help save animals' lives. The annual PAWS Wild Night Gala is almost here!

On Saturday, April 5, 2014, guests will be welcomed to the Fremont Studios in Seattle by PAWS' own canine ambassadors before enjoying an elegant cocktail hour, exciting live and silent auctions with incredible packages and items to bid on, a Kitten Kissin' Booth and a gourmet animal-friendly dinner catered by Wild Ginger!

PAWS Wild Night 2014This evening of fun is all about the animals, but it wouldn't be possible without the support of our generous sponsors! It's with great appreciation that we thank and acknowledge our PAWS Wild Night 2014 Sponsors:

Defender Sponsor: Lake Union Veterinary Clinic

Protector Sponsors: Radarworks, WBL Services

Guardian Sponsors:  Advisory Services and Investments LLC, Bone-A-Fide Dog Ranch, Clark Nuber P.S., Pacific Continental Bank, Schlemlein Goetz Fick & Scruggs, P.L.L.C.

Your generous support allows us to continue working to save animals' lives, and ensure a better tomorrow for the animals in our community. 

Thank you for supporting PAWS Wild Night 2014!

 

 

The little Northern Saw-whet Owl sitting on the perch box eyed me suspiciously. And he did so with good reason—I am a predator in his eyes, afterall. But due to recent events, the owl had additional cause to be suspicious of anything in his immediate surroundings.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

On March 11, the unsuspecting owl was flying through the Arboretum near the University of Washington toward a branch, a bush, or some other destination, on what appeared to be a clear flight path. However, the path was anything but clear, and the owl was struck from the sky by an invisible object.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Like thousands of birds do every year, the saw-whet owl had flown headlong into a window. When the light hits at just the right angle, a window behaves like a mirror, reflecting the nearby vegetation, sky or landscape. There are very few perfectly reflective vertical surfaces in nature, so birds who are looking at these window reflections have no reason to believe that what they're seeing is not real. Only the traumatic impact of the sudden collision breaks the illusion. If the bird is lucky, the illusion is the only thing that gets broken.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

In the case of this saw-whet owl, the collision resulted in head trauma and bruising, but no apparent broken bones. For the past two weeks he has been steadily recuperating from his injuries at the PAWS Wildlife Center. He was recently moved into an outdoor flight enclosure and is on track to make a full recovery.

Northern Saw-whet Owl

Not all birds who strike windows are as lucky as this owl. If you would like to learn more about preventing window strikes on your property, visit the Common Problems With Wildlife page on the PAWS website.

 Having a wildlife problem? PAWS can help

 

 

It’s that time of year again. Days are getting longer, plants are getting greener, and birds are getting louder. Some of this noise is welcome—who doesn’t like the dawn chorus of singing birds heralding the arrival of spring? But this performance is not limited to just the beautiful singers. They have a full percussion section backing them up, and as far as the percussionists are concerned, the louder they can play, the better.

The percussionists, of course, are woodpeckers. But despite their name, they will peck on pretty much anything that makes noise. The reverberations are intended to attract the attention of potential mates and intimidate potential rivals. The activity is called “drumming,” but when it is done on a metal surface, “hammering” may be a more accurate description. When a woodpecker drums on a chimney or vent cover, the sound resembles a jackhammer.

For several years in a row, a Red-breasted Sapsucker (a very small woodpecker species) on the PAWS campus has been using a metal streetlight cover as his sounding board. If you are standing under the pole when he is putting on his performance, the sound can be downright tooth-rattling.

Red-breasted sapsucker

The most common woodpeckers in Western Washington are the large Northern Flickers. On a recent morning walk, I heard two individuals of this species having a decibel duel. The birds were about two blocks apart, and each was perched on a metal chimney attached to a home. It was very early, but I doubt that anyone in the entire neighborhood was still asleep after the competition began.

Northern Flicker

Woodpeckers can be challenging neighbors at this time of year, but there are many ways to humanely address any conflicts that arise with these beautiful and interesting birds. If you find yourself being rattled awake by an enthusiastic drummer, I encourage you to visit the Woodpecker page on the PAWS website. It contains a wealth of information about woodpecker behavior, as well as information on common conflicts and their solutions.

Having a wildlife problem? PAWS can help

 

 

Question: When is the best time of year to trim or cut down trees in my yard?

Preserve wildlife habitats in your backyardThe Puget Sound region is home to a wide array of wildlife species, many of whom make their homes in the forests, and single trees in the region. Trees and forests provide critical habitat, cover and nesting sites to these many wild species, from cavity nesting owls, woodpeckers, and native squirrels, to bat dens in tree hollows and a multitude of birds whose amazing nests grace thick limbs and tiny branches alike.

February through September are the most active nesting months for Washington wildlife, when trees will be teaming with life. Please be aware that pruning or cutting down trees during these months can and does displace, harm or even kill a variety of wildlife species.

PAWS Wildlife Center receives hundreds of baby wild animals each year, many of which are displaced when their nest tree is cut down or their nest site is destroyed.

Before cutting down any tree, whether alive or dead, please consider the following information to prevent unnecessary loss of habitat. 

  • Plan tree-cutting projects between November and January, well after nesting season is over.
  • Inspect the tree for active nests before beginning any work.
  • Consider cutting just the bare minimum of branches, leaving the nest section alone.
  • Standing dead trees (snags) are great wildlife habitats, often housing several different species.  Please consider leaving them standing. If the tree does not present a hazard, the best course of action may be to leave it alone, as all trees provide some form of habitat for wild creatures.
  • Many wildlife species are federally protected and the law prohibits destroying and/or disturbing their nests.
  • If a nest-bearing tree absolutely must be cut down, first call the PAWS Wildlife Center at 425.412.4040 to find out what steps to take.

Having a wildlife problem? PAWS can help

 

 

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!