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May 28, 2008  
Last chance to comment on WDFW's wildlife management plan

This Friday, May 30, marks your last chance to tell the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) how you feel about the future of "hunted wildlife" in Washington State. Last September, PAWS announced a great opportunity for the public to respond to WDFW's 2007 wildlife management survey. Sadly, even though Photo of Black Bear 062708 at release.King and Snohomish County residents were the top survey participants last fall, 92% of those surveyed held hunting licenses! If you are a non-hunting citizen in Washington State who also cares about wildlife management, please take the time to share your opinion today!

Take the WDFW survey before this Friday! Don't let the 17 pages discourage you---you can comment on just a few sections (such as page 8 for Black Bears, page 9 for Cougars or page 17 for general comments on wildlife management). Urge the WDFW to seek more humane ways to manage wildlife populations on lands already stressed by human encroachment:

  • Ask the WDFW to create strong educational outreach campaigns as their primary method for wildlife management, above hunting as management.
  • Under the Cougars section, explain that recent studies have shown that Cougar populations are actually in decline. Cite the latest Washington State cougar population research, which reports that a rise in cougar hunting on a fragile population has not solved cougar-human conflicts.
  • For the Black Bears section, cite the WDFW's own 2009-2015 Game Management Plan, which states on page 81 that, "Hunting is the largest source of mortality for hunted bear populations… Coupled with the low reproductive potential of bears, this makes bear populations especially sensitive to over-exploitation."

For more information check out:
WDFW’s Management Page
WDFW’s 2007 Survey Results

Ask the Whidbey Island Eagles Club to cancel next month's donkey ball event

Whidbey Island's local Eagles Club is sponsoring a donkey ball fundraising event June 21, at Maxwelton Park. Donkey ball is in its essence an inhumane version of basketball or baseball, where human players move around an arena on the backs of helpless donkeys. In Defense of Animals reports donkeys used in these games are shipped around the country in cramped conditions, routinely denied food and water to reduce "soiling," and are forced into as many as 300 games a year. Often stereotyped as goofy and stubborn, these intelligent and sensitive animals actually freeze up when they are mistreated and overstressed, which often leads to further mishandling by inexperienced riders---such as pulling, hitting or kicking the donkey to urge them to move.

Photo of donkey being used in donkey basketball.An animal in duress can also pose a serious potential risk to the handler---participants have broken bones after being thrown from a stressed-out donkey. Contrary to what owners of these donkey ball companies claim, these donkeys are not rescued---if the animals' welfare was truly of interest, these donkeys would be living in one of the many rescue facilities across the nation. Games like donkey ball send the wrong message to our community, especially our kids, that exploiting animals for amusement and charity is okay.

Please contact the Whidbey Island Eagles at 360.321.5636 and respectfully request they end this inhumane fundraising tradition. You will get a representative when you call. Politely ask the person to tell the Eagles board of trustees that you would like them to cancel this year's donkey ball event. Ask that they support their community with fundraisers that don't use animals. Emphasize that humane events not only raise money, but also raise awareness of their group while bringing the community together.

You can also write the Whidbey Island Eagles at:

Fraternal Order of Eagles - Aerie 3418
PO Box 925
Freeland, WA 98249

Read about other donkey ball events that citizen involvement helped to end:
A government-sanctioned donkey baseball game is canceled
Schools across the nation ceasing to host donkey basketball fundraisers

Join PAWS in celebrating National Adopt-A-Shelter-Cat Month in June

You can help PAWS observe this month in several ways:

Got Love? June is adopt a shelter cat month.
  • Adopt a shelter cat: The number of cats who end up homeless in shelters around the country is often twice as high as the number of dogs. Consider visiting PAWS, or a shelter near you, to see the wonderful variety of sweet, friendly, playful, sophisticated or silly kittens and cats just waiting for their forever homes. Not in the Seattle area and wish to search online? That's easy with Petfinder.org. Wherever you plan to adopt your next feline friend, be sure to visit PAWS' cat fact sheet page for information on caring for your cat and understanding cat behavior.
  • Become a PAWS Foster Care Volunteer: The more foster parents PAWS has the more lives we are able to save---especially during busy spring and summer months when the shelter is packed with kittens and cats who need a little extra TLC. By offering your time, energy, and home to animals in need, you help prepare them for adoption into permanent, loving homes. For more information on becoming a foster parent, contact Sheri LaVigne, PAWS' Foster Care Coordinator at 425.787.2500 x822, or visit PAWS Foster Care page.
  • Spay or neuter your feline friend: Cats can get pregnant as early as five months old. An unaltered pair of cats could exponentially produce thousands of cats over several years. Spaying and neutering not only helps prevent unwanted and unplanned litters, but also reduces undesirable behavior---spayed or neutered cats are less likely to roam, mark their territory with urine and fight with other animals. Read PAWS' Spay and Neuter page for more benefits and local services on spay and neuter.
  • Turn your cat into an indoor cat: A critical part in caring for a healthy, happy, long-living cat is making a choice to keep your cat or kitten indoors. By keeping feline companions indoors we protect both them and wildlife, and we are better neighbors in our community. For more information, refer to these pages on PAWS' website:

Thank you for your actions to help animals in need!

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A Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelters homeless animals, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.

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