June 17, 2008 

Discover a cat's hidden talent
After 17 years together, Jim and Mira's feline companion passed away earlier this year. In April, they decided they were ready to open their hearts to another cat. Every weekend they visited PAWS looking for the perfect match. No one seemed just right---until Willard came along.

Photo of a shelter cat.Willard came to PAWS as a stray. At about two years old, with long black hair and bright green eyes, this cat didn't much care for shelter life. He was very shy, and then came down with an upper respiratory infection. But while in our sick cat ward, Willard started to come out of his shell. Eased by continual TLC from staff and volunteers, he became comfortable enough to show everyone that he was actually a very talented cat. His specialty: dancing. To get attention, he would sit on his hind legs, press his front paws together and move his legs up and down.

On June 6, Jim came back to PAWS, just as he had every Friday for the last six weeks. This time, however, at the back of the room, a beautiful black cat with bright green eyes caught his attention. Jim walked over to the cage, and the cat did a little dance. It was love at first sight. With their long search over, Jim and Mira took Willard, the dancing cat, home the very next day.

There are many cats like Willard at PAWS, who have hidden talents just waiting to be discovered---from harmonious purring to speedy cat post climbing. If you've been scouting for a cat companion, make your next stop at PAWS' cat room in Lynnwood or PAWS Cat City in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood. You can also meet some of our gifted felines online. You'll be glad you did!

Paddle for PAWS---Sunday, June 29.
Just a couple of weeks until Bob Donovan and Paul Zimmerman hit the water to raise $10,000 for PAWS. Show your support by donating in honor of their 3.5-mile swim across Puget Sound, from Vashon Island to Lincoln Park. Then, join us in welcoming them at the beach in Lincoln Park in West Seattle. Learn more.

Fourth of July safety
As you plan your Fourth of July festivities this year, remember that loud bangs from fireworks, as well as the hubbub of celebrating crowds, can translate to anxiety for your companion animals. While you make arrangements to celebrate outdoors, the best place for your pets is safe at home.

Photo of a frightened dog.If you already know your pet becomes distressed by loud noises like thunder, consult your veterinarian or professional trainer (find one at apdt.com) for calming techniques to help desensitize your pet long before the celebrating begins. Read more about working with fearful dogs, working with fearful cats, and training with positive reinforcement.

Most importantly, make sure your pet has a collar with an ID tag and a microchip (a permanent form of ID), that has your most up-to-date contact information. (Learn more about microchips.) While microchips won't fall or wear off, a collar with an ID tag is often the fastest and easiest way to reunite with your pet, as anyone who finds your companion can easily read the information on the tag and get in touch.

Other tips:

  • Keep all your pets indoors---never leave animals outside unattended or chained. A fenced yard cannot contain a terrified animal desperate to escape, and chaining can cause serious injury. Even cats that normally spend time outside can become frightened and run into traffic or seek an unsafe hiding place.
  • While your animal is inside, turn on a radio or television to help drown-out the noise from fireworks.
  • Remove inappropriate items your pet may chew if he becomes frightened, and provide him with familiar bedding.
  • Wildlife are also affected by fireworks. If you find a wild animal who you think is injured or needs assistance, contact PAWS Wildlife Center at 425.787.2500 x817.

Wishing you a happy and safe Fourth of July!

PAWSwalk---Saturday, September 6.
It's true that you can win fabulous prizes for raising funds for animals when you join us at PAWSwalk, but the real reward lies in knowing that your support means thousands of dogs and cats will receive expert care and find their forever homes, and injured, sick and orphaned wild animals will receive the medical care they need to recover and be returned to the wild. Help give animals in need a second chance, while enjoying a 5k pledge walk in Seattle's Magnuson Park, a Kid's Zone, canine agility course, free samples galore and more. Register today at PAWSwalk.net.

Bond with your dog
Check out PAWS' dog training schedule and prepare to embark on a new relationship with your dog. Whether you and your pooch have never been to training, or need a refresher, PAWS' dog training classes are a great way to strengthen your bond with your dog while learning some new tricks. PAWS offers a variety of classes year-round, for all ages of dogs and levels of training. We even have classes for those, affectionately dubbed, "challenging" dogs.

Are you being dive-bombed?

That sounds about right for this time of year, when many wild species are busy raising and defending their rapidly-growing young. Encounters with fledglings---young birds making their first attempts at flight---are very common. These younglings may spend several days on the ground before their muscles are strong enough for sustained flight. During this vulnerable state, their parents avidly protect them.

So if you are being dive-bombed by birds in your neighborhood, there's a good chance fledglings are nearby. But don't fret. The parent birds' protective behavior will relax as the young birds develop their ability to fly and fend for themselves. In the meantime, give these birds a little extra space to help reduce their stress level and allow the parents to concentrate on feeding their young.

Photo of an American Crow.
A protective American Crow parent.

Fremont Fair---Saturday and Sunday, June 21-22.
Come celebrate summer with PAWS at the Fremont Fair. Fair hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday. Look for our new gorgeous tan tent with the PAWS logo on the top!

A summer recipe favorite
Planning a summer party? Serve this favorite vegan recipe concocted by PAWS' Foster Care Coordinator Sheri LaVigne. It's very simple, presents beautifully, and is always a crowd-pleaser---even if you normally aren't a fan of eggplant. After your guests have tasted and fallen in love with this dish, let them know it's vegan---it contains no animal products!

Eggplant Caviar
1 medium eggplant
1 medium yellow onion
2-4 Tbsp. olive oil
cup sun-dried tomatoes in oil, or softened with hot water
Juice from one lemon
3-4 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper
Lots of fresh basil

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Slice eggplant in " pieces. Brush both sides with olive oil and place on a cookie sheet or in a shallow baking dish. Roast for 10 minutes on each side, until the eggplant flesh starts to turn brown and is very soft when poked with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. When cooled, peel or scrape skin from the eggplant and discard.

  2. Combine the roasted eggplant, coarsely chopped onion, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a food processor and mix until thoroughly blended. If you don't have a food processor, finely chop all ingredients and combine.

  3. Add salt, pepper and basil to taste.

Served as a dip, this is excellent with crackers or fresh veggies; as a spread it is fantastic on toasted crostini; and it can also be used as a pizza sauce, or whatever else you can think of to slather it on. Bon appetit!

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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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