PAWS Wildlife Center Cares for Oil Spill Victim
In the last year, the PAWS Wildlife Center has provided oiled wildlife
response services for four spills around the Puget Sound. The latest, a
seemingly minor spill of approximately 50 gallons near Ferndale, harmed
at least one animal--a Horned Grebe. Others were likely affected, but
this one was sick enough to be caught and delivered to PAWS for
The thick oil and diesel mixture was far from insignificant to the
Grebe. He was covered in the toxic gunk, about 90 percent of his body,
and suffered chemical burns on his legs, around his mouth and under his
As soon as he arrived at PAWS, he was examined then tube-fed a
concoction of re-hydrating solution and a substance called Toxiban,
which absorbs any oil the bird may have ingested.
In the following days, PAWS' trained rehabilitation team intensively
washed the Grebe three times (watch him being washed in the video) and
treated his wing and leg burns with aloe. Although the oil was
successfully removed, it had already taken its toll on the little bird
who died on February 18th.
This is the heartbreaking reality of our work in the PAWS Wildlife
Center. Not every patient can be saved, but every life is important.
Our goal is not only to try to heal the individual animals that come
into PAWS, but to encourage people to be mindful of the impact of their
daily choices on animals. We hope for a day when compassion toward
animals prevails and there is no longer a need for the services PAWS
provides. Today you can help wild animals in need.
A Vegetarian Festival Anyone Would Enjoy
Are you curious about the benefits of a vegetarian diet or, as a
veteran vegetarian, are you looking for new foods to satisfy your
palate? Then check out this year's Vegfest presented by Vegetarians of
Washington, sponsored in part by PAWS, on March 12th and 13th at the
Seattle Center Fisher Pavilion.
The festival celebrates and promotes a healthy, animal and
environmentally friendly lifestyle with speakers, cooking
demonstrations, books for sale, a kids' corner and thousands of
different free vegetarian food samples.
Organizers also need volunteers to help put on the festival. For a
four-hour shift you'll receive free admission and a Vegfest t-shirt.
Positions include setting up, cleaning up, handing out samples, taking
tickets and more, and they particularly need help in the afternoons.
There are opportunities for families as well.
Vegfest is from 10 am to 6 pm both days. Admission for adults is $5 at
the door and kids, 12 and under, are free. For more information or to
volunteer, visit www.vegfest2005.org.
Think Before You Cut
The Puget Sound area is home to a wide array of wildlife species, many
of whom make their homes in the region's forests and individual trees.
These trees provide critical habitat, cover and nesting sites for
animals such as cavity-nesting owls, woodpeckers,
and native squirrels, as well as bats who den in tree hollows and a
multitude of birds whose amazing nests grace thick limbs and tiny
February through September are the most active nesting months for
Washington wildlife, when trees are teaming with life. Be aware that
cutting down or even pruning trees during these months can and does
displace, harm, or even kill a variety of wildlife. PAWS Wildlife
Center receives hundreds of baby wild animals each year, many of whom
are displaced when their nest tree is cut down or their nest site
Before cutting down any tree, whether it is alive or dead, please
consider the following to prevent unnecessary loss of life or habitat.
PAWS thanks you for helping to preserve Washington's incredible wildlife and their crucial habitats.
- Plan tree-cutting projects well after nesting season (nesting season is February through September).
- Inspect the tree for active nests before beginning work, even after nesting season.
- Cut the bare minimum of branches, leaving the nest section alone.
- Consider leaving snags (standing dead trees) alone. They provide
great wildlife habitats, often housing several different species.
- If the tree does not present a hazard, please let it be, as all trees provide some form of habitat for wild creatures.
- Many wildlife species are federally protected and the law prohibits destroying and/ or disturbing their nests.
- If a tree absolutely must be cut down, and it contains one or more
nests, call the PAWS Wildlife Center at 425/787-2500, ext. 817 for
suggestions on what to do with the nests.
- Share this information with your friends, family and neighbors.
Guided by Love
Young and playful BJ, a nine-month-old Malamute/Shepherd mix, still has
some basic skills to learn before he can become a guide dog for his new
companion, Christen Williams. Because she is legally blind, Christen
needs extra assistance when navigating over curbs and cracks in the
Coco, Christen's previous rescued dog and helper for 15 years, died
just two weeks earlier and Christen couldn't stand another day in an
empty house. So in February, she and her partner Valerie Ayers,
searched online for dogs looking for new homes then decided to drop by
PAWS. The adoption staff led them straight to BJ, a surprisingly
well-mannered pup for his age. Christen knew right away that he was
perfect for the job and would make a wonderful companion. "He ran right
to me, just like my dog Coco did," she recalled.
At home, BJ enjoys the nearly constant company of his two humans and
has interacted beautifully with the family cat, Maya. "I'm not sure if
he knows yet what she is, said Christen. "But, it's interesting to see
how BJ understands things. He looks at me as if he really gets what I'm
telling him. It's been a joy having him around." After living together
for a year and completing a couple of basic obedience classes, both
Christen and BJ will enter into specialized guide dog training.
See many other wonderful companion animals looking for new homes.
A Gorilla of a Celebration
This month, PAWS will celebrate the 10th anniversary of the release of
Ivan (an endangered western lowland gorilla) from 27 years of solitary
confinement in a Tacoma shopping mall. March 16th marks the date that
Ivan first set foot outside in his new home at Zoo Atlanta - his first
time outdoors in over 30 years.
Starting on March 11th, the PAWS shelter lobby and hallways will be decorated with old news
reports, posters and flyers in addition to colorful pictures and notes
to Ivan created by local third-graders participating in the PAWS' Kids
Who Care Humane Education Program. In the classroom, they study Ivan's
story and through it, learn they truly can make a difference in the
lives of animals.
Ivan is an intelligent, inspirational, gentle giant who greatly enjoys
his life at Zoo Atlanta. He has become one of the zoo's "star"
attractions after successfully overcoming the emotional and physical
damage caused by his years of confinement. Ivan delights visitors with
his paternal antics and tendencies to cover his head with a burlap sack
to express his disapproval of rain.
Ivan's case is a shining example of the amazing change a caring
community can create and ten years later, the story of this great ape
continues to touch and inspire us all.
Preliminary Results for Spay Day 2005
On February 22nd, as part of the national Spay Day campaign, PAWS and
42 local veterinary clinics and animal welfare organizations in
Snohomish, Island, and Skagit counties offered low cost spay and neuter
surgeries. This annual collaborative effort is more than just an event.
It is an important step in helping end the overpopulation of unwanted
and homeless animals in our community.
As of March 2nd, 19 of the 42 clinics reported they had performed 274
surgeries. With clinics still finishing some surgeries this week, we'll
have the final results tallied by the next e-newsletter. Thank you to
all the clinics and organizations who participated and helped get one
step closer to ending companion animal overpopulation!
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All rights reserved. ©2005 Progressive Animal Welfare Society