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PAWS Kids Helping Animals E-newsletter

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Need some holiday gift ideas? Check out the PAWS Store for cool Riley the Raccoon t-shirts in new colors and other fun gifts to give or receive!


Educator Extraordinaire: Lauren

Lauren's family adopted their dog, Cooper, from PAWS two years ago. Inspired by Cooper, Lauren decided to not only provide one dog a wonderful forever home, but to become a true Animal Ambassador for all. When selecting her sixth grade final project, Lauren decided to tackle overpopulation in shelters. Educating her classmates, friends, teachers and family about tough topics such as puppy mills, surrenders, and illegal dog fighting was only part of her project.

Lauren also included ways everyone can help by adopting from a shelter, donating funds and supplies, and raising awareness. Thank you Lauren for making a difference in the lives of animals by educating and inspiring others!

Know some cool kids helping animals? Tell Riley Raccoon, our Humane Education mascot!



Learn Before You Look:

Ask Riley

Dear Riley,

I love animals and would like a dog. What would be the best kind of dog for me?


Chase – Age 10

Have a question for Riley? Send him your question at Riley@paws.org

Hello Chase,

There are many wonderful dogs of all shapes and sizes. Since every dog has their own personality, it’s always best for you and your family to visit the dogs in person at the shelter. Remember, before you look for your forever friend, learn as much as you can about caring for a dog. This way you and your family will know how much work, time and costs are involved in caring for your pet.

Your friend,

Riley Raccoon


Maggie's Happy New Life

Photo from Kids Helping Animals
Maggie, happy in her new home

FizzGig, Maggie and Cooper

Dark eyes sparkling with mischief, Maggie peered around the corner. Her furry brother, FizzGig, was coming her way. As soon as she caught sight of his scruffy terrier ears, she jumped out and tackled him! The playful chase began around the house. Cooper, the senior member of the canine trio, watched in calm amusement.

After her romp with FizzGig, Maggie danced around giving doggie kisses to both Cooper and FizzGig. All three dogs paused momentarily with heads up, noses twitching, sniffing the delicious aroma of vegan banana muffins baking in the oven. Though they didnít get to sample the muffins, all were quite happy with the doggie treats they received instead.

Happy and playful amid her new family, itís hard to imagine that just a few years ago Maggie was a scared, nameless dog arriving at PAWS. As one of almost 400 American Eskimo dogs rescued from a puppy mill, Maggie had been forced to have puppies, while living in squalid conditions. Undernourished, filthy and having almost no human contact, most people would have given up on her. Thankfully, she was brought to PAWS where she received medical attention, food and shelter. It was also where she met her foster mom, PAWSí Donor Relations Coordinator, Vicki Nelson.

As an expert foster care mom, Vicki knew that Maggie needed patience, understanding and a lot of love. Slowly, Maggie transformed from a scared and cowering dog to a bright and rascally personality. She also won Vickiís heart, who decided to adopt Maggie and make her a permanent member of the family.

As they all settled in for the night, Maggie sighed with contentment. Not only did she have a home for the holidays, she had a loving home forever!

Enjoy a Tasty Treat

Bake up a batch of Vicki's vegan banana muffins (recipe provided below) and share them with family and friends! You'll introduce them to a yummy, animal friendly snack.


  • Deer have a great sense of hearing.
  • They are able to run 40 miles per hour and jump 10 feet high.
  • Fawns are protected by a lack of scent. Predators cannot smell them.
  • Their brown coat provides great camouflage in the woods.

Learn more about wild animals at PAWS.org!

Kids Helping Animals Photo
A doe and her fawn

Vicki's World Famous Vegan Banana Muffins

Kids Helping Animals

1/3 cup Earth Balance margarine (or other non-dairy margarine)
½ cup sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
2 ripe bananas, mashed
½ cup soy milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)

For topping, mix together:
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Pinch of ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the margarine and sugar, then stir in the flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add the remaining muffin ingredients and mix to blend well. Pour into muffin pan lined with paper muffin cups. Sprinkle with topping mixture. Bake approximately 15 minutes. (Oven temperatures vary).




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

Animal Ambassador: A person who speaks for animals and acts on their behalf since animals can’t speak for themselves. Animal ambassadors understand that animals have feelings and emotions, and that they deserve respect and compassion.
Cowering: To crouch or cringe in fear.
Fawns: Baby deer, easily identified by their spotted fur.
Predators: Animals that eat other animals to survive, such as a bear eating fish.
Puppy Mills: A business that breeds dogs to produce a lot of puppies to sell for profit. These places keep dogs or puppies in small, dirty cages, with no veterinary care or exercise.
Squalid: Filthy and miserable.
Surrenders: A pet who is given up for adoption by his or her owner.
Vegan: A person who doesnít eat meat or other animal products such as eggs and dairy, and avoids the use of all animal products such as gelatin, leather, fur and feathers.

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