Winter 2010

Check This Out

Do you know someone who has done something wonderful for animals in our community? Nominate that person for the PAWS Champion for Animals award. The award will be presented at PAWS Wild Night on March 27, 2010. Download the guidelines and nomination form. The last day to send in nominations is February 19, 2010, so don't wait!
Cool Caring Carnival

Young friends Lilly, Gracie and Grace (not pictured) came up with a creative and fun way to raise money to help the animals at PAWS by organizing a neighborhood carnival. They sold tickets to neighbors, and with the help of family and friends (including brothers Max and Benjamin) they created games and rides. Their hard work brought a lot of care to the animals at PAWS and fun to the neighborhood!

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

My family really wants to adopt a dog but we want a purebred German Shepherd. Do animal shelters have German Shepherd dogs?


Hello Alice,

I am happy to hear that your family wants to adopt your new pet and that you are taking your time to find the right dog. Most people think you cannot find a purebred dog at the shelter when in fact, 25 percent of the dogs at shelters are purebred. If you can't find the particular breed you are looking for at your animal shelter, try researching local organizations that rescue purebred dogs. These organizations specialize in helping specific breeds find good homes. Good luck adopting your next best furry friend!

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
Magical Merlin's Happy Homecoming

A Merlin in flight, what a magical sight! Last summer a pair of adult Merlins, types of small falcons, nested in a Seattle neighborhood and hatched five chicks. Unfortunately, when one of the chicks attempted to fly, she crashed into a cedar tree and plummeted to the ground. Fearing that she might be hurt, concerned citizens quickly gathered the bird up and brought her to PAWS.

Photo of the Merlin The Merlin was a little shaken, but after giving her a checkup, PAWS' wildlife rehabilitators didn't find any injuries. They knew the best thing to do was to return the Merlin to her family. A neighbor reported that the other young fledglings had flown from the nest and their parents were now delivering food to them all around the neighborhood. The neighbor identified a fir tree where the Merlin's siblings and parents had been spending a lot of time.

When PAWS' naturalist got to the Seattle neighborhood, he placed the Merlin on the roof of a garage next to the fir tree. At first, the young falcon seemed confused, but soon she walked up to the peak of the roof and began to call out. Would her family welcome her back?

Suddenly, her siblings vocalized in return from a nearby tree. As they chattered back and forth, one of their parents called out and landed in the nearby tree. The youngster on the roof began to run back and forth excitedly, periodically opening her wings as though preparing to fly, but not quite sure if she would make it to her family safely.

After much consideration, the little Merlin gathered the courage to fly from the roof. Whoosh! She landed in a nearby tree. She then made a series of shorter flights, working her way up higher and higher until finally, the young Merlin was joyfully reunited with her family. A happy homecoming for all!
Photo of the Merlin
The young Merlin calling to her family

If a baby bird has fallen from her nest ask your parent or guardian for help. They can call PAWS for advice. If the baby bird is not hurt, your parent or guardian may be able return the baby to her nest and family.

Go Home! The True Story of James the Cat by Libby Phillips Meggs

Photo of Go Home! The True Story of James the Cat Based on a true story, this book is about a little black cat named James who is lost and cannot remember where he lives. As he searches for a warm place to stay at the many houses he comes to, the people send him away because of the collar around his neck. Little do these people know, that even with his collar, James does not know his own way home. Will James find his family or will he be stuck wandering the neighborhood streets alone? Read Go Home! The True Story of James the Cat to find out today!

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

Fun Facts: Ferrets
  • Baby ferrets are called kits.
  • A newborn ferret is so small that she can fit into a teaspoon.
  • All ferret kits have white fur at birth.
  • Ferrets like to crawl into small dark spaces to sleep and often snooze for 18 hours a day.
  • A small ferret may be able to squeeze through a hole just over an inch in diameter—the size of a large button.
Learn more about animals at!
Photo of a ferret
Career Spotlight: Creativity Central! Presenting the Graphic Designer

Color, light, letters, photos, action! Like a movie director, a graphic designer brings different elements together to grab people's attention and bring words and stories to life. If you love to create posters or arrange photos in a fun way; if you enjoy working on artistic projects and on a computer, you might consider an animal career as a graphic designer.

This is such an important job in helping animals. Why? People read and learn about animals and how to help them through all sorts of materials: magazines, posters, logos, newsletters, brochures and cards to name a few. A graphic designer uses her talents to make this information easy to read, and to bring energy, emotion and excitement using colors, photos, different typeface and designs.
Photo of Edwina, Graphic Designer for PAWS
Edwina is the graphic designer at PAWS, working on the next Kids Helping Animals newsletter.

Photo of Edwina, Graphic Designer for PAWS Do you also love to solve puzzles? Graphic design projects can be like brainteasers. Not only must each project look awesome, but it must deliver the right feeling and message which can get tricky. A graphic designer needs to be able to solve problems in an imaginative way.

The next time you visit an animal shelter or learn about helping animals, take a minute to admire the way photos and designs are used in posters, magazines and brochures. As a graphic designer, you can create an image and message for animals that will get people's attention, encourage feelings of compassion and a desire to help. By using your creative skills, talents and passion you can make a difference in the lives of animals!

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.

Fledgling: A young bird learning to fly.
Naturalist: An expert on plants and animals in their natural surroundings.
Nested: Built a nest and raised a family.
Plummeted: Fell straight down, sharply.
Typeface: A set of characters of the same design. These characters include letters, numbers, punctuation marks, and symbols.
Vocalized: Made sounds.
Wildlife Rehabilitator: A person who cares for wild animals who are sick, injured or orphaned for the purpose of returning them to the wild.
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. ©2010 Progressive Animal Welfare Society.
PAWS, P.O. Box 1037, Lynnwood, WA 98046