Winter 2008

What's New

Don't forget to tell PAWS who you think should get the 2008 Youth Helping Animals Award! PAWS is looking for local youth heroes, 18 years old or younger, who have done something wonderful for animals in our community. The last day to send in nominations is February 28, 2008. Download the nomination form to learn more.
Photo of Tim Rhoades' fifth grade class at Crystal Springs Elementary School.
Youth Spotlight

Tim Rhoades' fifth grade class at Crystal Springs Elementary decided that their annual service project would be dedicated to the animals at PAWS. Led by their classmate Rebekah, the students researched and came up with a plan to raise money to donate to the animals. The students organized a bake sale at their fall dance where the slogan was "Eat a Sweet, Save a Life." Together, they raised $120.00 just for PAWS. That is enough money to microchip 24 cats or dogs before they leave the shelter so they can return home if they are lost! Thank you Mr. Rhoades' class!

Know some cool kids helping animals? Tell us about them at!
Dear Riley,

We have a question: how do veterinarians know how old stray animals are??? How do they make their guess?

First Graders at Spruce Elementary

Hey Class,

There is no way to tell for sure exactly what a stray dog or cat's age is. Most veterinarians make a good guess looking at a lot of different things about the animal. One way a vet will guess is by looking at the animal's teeth. Younger animals often still have their baby teeth and not very much tartar build up (the teeth look whiter) compared to older animals. As animals get older, their age can be harder to guess, so a veterinarian may also look at the amount of gray hairs an animal has--just like with humans!

Your friend,
Riley Raccoon

Have a question for Riley? Send him your question and he will try to answer it. You can e-mail him at

Photo of Seal Journey book by Richard and Jonah Sobol.

Seal Journey by Richard and Jonah Sobol

This book is a true story of a photographer and his eight-year old son who follow and watch adorable, newborn Harp Seal pups in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Through fun descriptions and beautiful photos, this book shares amazing tales of how Harp Seals live in the wild and the history of people's work to keep them safe. Read Seal Journey and you'll discover how neat and special Harp Seals are.

Got a favorite animal book?
Tell Riley all about it. We may review it in the Kids Helping Animals newsletter.

Photo of 1 of the 15 Harbor Seals cared for at PAWS in 2007.
This is 1 of the 15 sick and hurt Harbor Seals cared for at PAWS in 2007.

Fun Facts: Seals

  • Harbor Seals are the most commonly found seals around Washington State.
  • Some seals can hold their breath under water for up to 20 minutes.
  • A seal's heart rate can slow from 75 to 120 beats per minute (bpm) to under 10 bpm to help them adapt to deep water when they dive.
  • Mother seals often leave their babies on shore alone for several hours, while they go look for food in the water. The babies rest and warm up in the sun.
Learn more about wildlife at!
Carmelita's Story
Photo of Carmelita, a momma cat in foster care at PAWS.

On July 21st, a young cat and her two-week old kittens were rescued and safely brought to PAWS by a kind person. The momma cat, named Carmelita, was sweet and shy, but very unsure about her new surroundings. Luckily, on that very same day, the Clayton family just finished their PAWS' foster care orientation so successfully that they were given Carmelita and her kittens to take home for foster care.

After the Clayton family gave them extra love and gentle care for a few weeks, Carmelita and her kittens returned to PAWS ready to be adopted to new, separate families. Once Carmelita's kittens were all spayed and neutered, each one was adopted out to a forever home. Unfortunately, shortly after her return to the shelter Carmelita came down with upper respiratory infection (URI) - a common shelter "kitty cold" that can be very contagious to other cats. Due to her illness, the Clayton family decided to take her back to their home for another round of foster care until she had gotten better. Now that Carmelita is not sick anymore, she is once again at PAWS waiting for that special forever home.

Despite her rough beginning, Carmelita has become a true favorite at the shelter. She was selected to be featured by the first graders at Spruce Primary as a Pet of the Week on, and each time the Clayton family comes to PAWS to pick up new foster animals, they always stop in to say hello to their first foster kitty.

With such limited space, a cat and her kittens can take a lot extra care at a place like PAWS. Foster care is what saved Carmelita and her kittens. In October 2007 alone, 100 lives of cats, kittens, dogs and puppies were saved through PAWS' Foster Care Program.

Have some extra kisses and cuddles at your house? Become a foster care volunteer! Not only can you help save an animal's life, but this is also a fun way that you and your family can volunteer together for PAWS! And you can earn community service credit, too! You must have a parent or guardian come with you to the orientation. To learn more visit the How to Help section on or e-mail and ask him to mail you an Action Guide that contains lots good ideas for helping animals (remember to first ask your parent or guardian if it's okay to give out your mailing address).

Did you notice the green words in this newsletter? These are vocabulary words that may be new to you. Below you can find each word with its definition.

Adapt: To get used to a new environment or situation.
Contagious: When one animal can catch a sickness from another animal.
Foster: The care of very young puppies and kittens until they are strong enough to be at the shelter to find forever homes.
Microchip: A tiny computerized chip the size of a grain of rice that is inserted under the skin of the animal. It's another form of identification.
Orientation: A meeting to learn new information when new people join a program or club.
Spayed and Neutered: A safe surgery done on animals so they cannot have babies. Sometimes called "fixed" or "altered."
Veterinarian: An animal doctor.
Want more ideas? Check out!

Kids Helping Animals is published by the Humane Education Program of the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS). A Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967, PAWS shelters homeless animals, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.

All Rights Reserved. 2008 Progressive Animal Welfare Society.