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Riley Wants to Hear from You!
Riley Raccoon, the PAWS Humane Education Program ambassador, frequently drops by to answer your e-mails. Got a burning question about what goes on behind the scenes at PAWS? Want to share your animal story? Have an animal question? Then e-mail Riley today!

Look for the green words. These are vocabulary words that may be new to you. At the bottom of each newsletter will be a section that defines the vocabulary words found in the newsletter.
It's Baby Time!

Spring is here again, and at PAWS, that means it's baby season! Every spring, hundreds of baby animals find their way to PAWS. Once at here, our kindhearted and hardworking staff and volunteers raise the babies until they are ready for the next phase of their lives.

Wild Babies
An orphaned River Otter gets special care at PAWS
Many of these babies are wild animals who have lost their parents. The PAWS Wildlife Center cares for wildlife, including raccoons, opossums, squirrels, chipmunks, bears, bobcats, cougars, deer, beavers, otters, foxes, coyotes, skunks, porcupines, rabbits, and hares. These animals need very special care.
Hungry baby birds at PAWS

Though the babies must be hand-fed, the caregivers must limit their direct contact with these animals. The animals need to keep their natural fear of people so that they can survive when they are returned back into the wild. Just before the animals are released, they live in a special enclosure that is similar to the wilderness with branches and logs to climb and claw, space to exercise growing wing muscles by flying, perches to stand on, and hidden places to sleep.

Domestic Babies
Kittens are the most common foster animals at PAWS
Baby season isn't just limited to wildlife, though. Many kittens and puppies are brought to the PAWS Companion Animal Shelter every spring too. Some of the babies are too young to eat on their own, must be hand-fed by our caring team. But unlike the wild animals, the kittens and puppies are handled frequently in order to help them get used to people and get them ready for life in a family. About 30% of the puppies and kittens that come to PAWS in the spring are cared for by foster families, because they are either too small, too sick or too shy to be adopted in homes yet.

Foster puppy playing around
Fostering a pet includes not only feeding and caring for the animal, but also training the animal to get used to family life. For example, kittens learn how to play gently with their claws and puppies learn not to bite when playing with humans. When the puppies and kittens are ready, they are adopted into new families who will continue to care for them throughout the rest of their lives.

Spay and Neuter In addition to keeping unwanted kittens and puppies from being born, spaying and neutering keeps your pets healthier by preventing certain illnesses. More information about spaying and neutering can be found on PAWSkids.org.

Organize a Baby Shower Another way to help all the baby animals at PAWS this spring is to host a baby shower. You can host a party and ask guests to make donations to PAWS. Your guests can also help by bringing items that the baby animals need to your party, or by purchasing some of these items online and have them mailed to PAWS. There is even a PAWS baby shower invitation that you can print out or e-mail to people that includes the items that we need.
2007 Youth Helping Animals Award

Caroleve with one her family’s foster kittens
This year the PAWS Youth Helping Animals Award was given to Caroleve. Even though she is only seven, she has already accomplished so much for animals. Here are just a few examples: Last summer Caroleve raised nearly $400 for the animals at PAWS by selling homemade dog scarves, cat toys and lemonade. Caroleve plays an important role with her family as a PAWS volunteer foster home. She also recently announced to her family that she wanted to become vegetarian because of her love for animals. Caroleve's ability to understand all animals and their needs has impressed her family, everyone at PAWS and the community. Learn about more cool kids helping animals on PAWSkids.org.

Lucky Boy, by Susan Boase
This story tells about a little dog named Boy, who goes from being a lonely dog to being a lucky dog. Boy lives in the backyard of a very busy family. The family is so busy, they don't spend any time with Boy. Boy spends most of his time alone, wishing for more companionship and excitement, until one day he decides to dig his way out. What happens next is very lucky indeed!

Fun Facts: Dogs
Bert waits at the shelter for a new family
  • Dogs were domesticated about 17,000 years ago.
  • Dogs are pack animals, and like to be with their human family or "pack" as much as possible.
  • Egyptians in ancient times were some of the first people to put collars and ID tags on their dogs.
  • Dogs have much more sensitive noses than people. It's possible that they can smell hundreds of times better than humans.
  • Since dogs and people became companions, dogs have helped people with all sorts of things, from helping to find food to guiding the blind.

This is a young Northern Flicker at PAWS. They are a common woodpecker in the Northwest.
Dear Riley
A loud noise keeps waking my family up early in the morning. When we went outside we saw that it was a bird pecking on the side of our house. Why does the bird do that?

Erika, age 8

Dear Erika,
The bird you saw was a species of woodpecker. Woodpeckers' main source of food comes from insects that live in trees and wood. The bird taps on the wood, then listens for insects moving around inside the wood. The woodpecker then pecks holes to reach the insects.

In the spring, woodpeckers also peck to make drumming noises that will attract a mate and proclaim their territory. Once a woodpecker finds a good place to drum, they will come back to the same place each spring.
Priscilla the Pig Saves the Day
Pigs can be heroes too

It was a hot day in Texas. Priscilla, a pot-bellied pig, and her family were spending the day playing at the lake. Anthony, the 11-year-old boy in the family, swam too far from shore and started to go underwater. Priscilla saw that Anthony was in danger, and swam out to save him. When she reached him, he grabbed her harness. Even though Anthony was four times Priscilla's weight, she was able to tow him back to shore, saving his life. The city of Houston honored Priscilla's heroic efforts by making a special Priscilla the Pig Day. Long after she rescued Anthony, she would still get upset when she saw children playing near water.

Be a Fact Finder A lot of people think farm animals are dirty, dumb or lazy. Many of those ideas are just not true. Find out for yourself by doing some investigating. Start at PAWSkids.org. Then tell others what you discovered.

Try a Veggie Burger Eating less meat is a tasty way to help animals. Not only will you help farm animals, you will be helping the environment and your health, too!

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.

Accomplished - gotten a lot done
Companions/Companionship - close friends or friendship
Foster - the care of very young puppies and kittens until they are strong enough to be at the shelter to find forever homes.
Harness - a collar that goes around chest or body of an animal, not just the neck
Proclaim - to announce
Spay and Neuter - A safe surgery done on animals so they cannot have babies. Sometimes called "fixed" or "altered
Vegetarian - someone who does not eat meat
Want more ideas? Check out PAWSkids.org!
2007 Progressive Animal Welfare Society
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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