February 2007
A message of great news about people and animals.

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PAWS Mailing Address:
PO Box 1037
Lynnwood WA, 98046

PAWS Street Address:
15305 44th Ave W
Lynnwood, WA 98087

Breaking News: Bear Cub gets second chance for survival
Watch KOMO 4 News’ coverage of this touching story of a newly-orphaned Black Bear cub —now safe in PAWS’ care—whose mother is deemed a hero.

Know a superhero?
Don’t miss this great opportunity to recognize a special young person who has shown incredible compassion for animals. Know someone who has helped a grandparent care for a pet? Or has led a wildlife habitat restoration project, or who volunteers with abused horses or rescued pigs? Help us celebrate kids and teens working hard to make a more humane world, by nominating your favorite young superhero for the PAWS Youth Helping Animals Award. The recipient will be presented with the award at PAWS’ Wild Night gala on March 17, and also recognized on PAWSkids.org and in PAWS magazine. Nominations must be received by February 16, 2007. Download guidelines and nomination form.

Do it for Love! Discounted spay/neuter surgeries available on Spay Day
On Spay Day, February 27, 2007, PAWS is partnering with the N.O.A.H. Center, WAIF, the Humane Society of Skagit Valley, Everett Animal Services, and dozens of local veterinary clinics to offer low-cost spay and neuter surgeries in Snohomish, Island and Skagit counties. As a bonus, the City of Lynnwood will waive pet license fees for city residents whose pets are altered on Spay Day. The goal of this annual, national effort is to help end the overpopulation and suffering of homeless animals.

Consider this: every time a person is born in the U.S., so are 15 dogs and 45 cats—far too many for the number of available homes. Altering just one animal makes a difference. Spaying and neutering is also a great way help our own animal friends live longer, healthier lives. Even if your own companion animal is already fixed (thank you!), you can help by encouraging your friends and family to do the same for their animals.

Surgeries on Spay Day are just $30 for male or female cats or kittens, and $40 for male or female dogs or puppies—far below the actual cost of the surgery. Please note that additional charges may apply for animals who require vaccinations, are overweight, geriatric, in heat or have other medical conditions. Learn more about Spay Day and make an appointment with a participating shelter or vet clinic.

Animal news just for kids (and parents and teachers)
Be sure to sign up for the new Kids Helping Animals e-newsletter—a fun and easy way for young people to keep posted on PAWS’ events for kids, read about farm animals, pets and wildlife, and help animals in their community. Its kid-friendly content, delightful photos and fun facts make it easy and enjoyable for youth to learn about animals. Sign up now for this quarterly e-newsletter.

Looking for a way your child can experience animal-related, hands-on activities? Join animal-loving kids and their parents for Kid’s Day on February 10 at PAWS. This fun half-day of service and learning all about animals takes place at PAWS in Lynnwood, for kids aged 9 through 12 and their parents/guardians. A limited number of spaces are available. Learn more, including how to reserve your place.

Meet the Pileated Woodpecker
With their bright red top notches and wild laugh-like calls, Pileated Woodpeckers are some of the coolest birds around. Western Washingtonians can find these powerful woodpeckers mostly in mature and old-growth forests, but also in places like city parks with heavily wooded areas and large trees.

Other interesting facts:

  • Pileated Woodpeckers chip out large, rectangular nesting cavities in dead trees or branches every year. These roosts are quite large, sometimes breaking small trees in half.
  • Their work is an important part of the larger ecosystem, as their old nesting sites are then used by other birds, reptiles, mammals and insects.
  • About the size of crows, they are the largest woodpecker in North America (except for the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, whose existence in the U.S. is under debate).
  • Males and females maintain long relationships and both share the duty of raising their young.
Unfortunately, this splendid bird is currently a candidate for endangered species status by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife due to clear-cutting of old–growth forests and the removal of large snags (dead trees) by property owners. Some people who are frustrated by their loud drumming might also choose inhumane methods of dealing with these woodpeckers. How can you help? Advocate for protecting old-growth forests and seek to solve conflicts with Pileated Woodpeckers (and other animals) humanely. For tips on peacefully coexisting with woodpeckers, read PAWS’ woodpecker fact sheet or call PAWS Wildlife Center at 425.787.2500 x817.

Calling all food-lovers!
Prepare your taste buds for a trip to vegetarian paradise. Vegfest 2007 is March 24 and 25, at the Seattle Center Exhibition Hall. This annual vegetarian festival is presented by Vegetarians of Washington, sponsored in part by PAWS, to celebrate and promote a healthy, animal- and environmentally-friendly lifestyle. There will be nutrition presentations, cooking demonstrations, books for sale and author signings, kids' activities, and thousands of free vegetarian food samples.

Vegfest organizers also need hundreds of volunteers to run the event. You don’t have to be a vegetarian to volunteer! Volunteers will receive a free t-shirt and free admission to the event. For details visit Vegfest2007.com or call 206.706.2635.

Cat got your—couch?
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, but it can be both frustrating to their guardians and destructive. Like their wild ancestors, domestic cats use their claws for a variety of reasons. In some cases, scratching is a territorial behavior. Cats also use their claws to defend themselves. Mostly, cats scratch because it feels good. While kneading and stretching, they both strengthen and relax the muscles around their feet, forelegs, backbone and shoulders.

So how do you humanely stop a feline from scratching unacceptable places? First of all, declawing is not a good option as it is a very painful procedure that can lead to many other serious behavior and health problems. Read more about the problems with declawing.

Contrary to popular thinking, cats can be taught new behaviors. They can learn to use a scratching post through positive reinforcement, and some deterrence, if necessary. Try these pointers:
  • Make the post irresistible by sprinkling or spraying catnip on it.
  • Tie a favorite toy to the post. Center the cat’s playtime around the post, and make time spent there fun.
  • Do not do anything that may startle the cat when she is in the vicinity of the post.
  • Praise your cat lavishly each time she uses the post.
  • If you see the cat eyeing furniture or carpet, calmly take her to the post, and praise her when she begins to scratch there.
  • If you catch your cat in the act of scratching on the wrong place, do not punish her. Instead, distract her with a loud noise or water from a squirt bottle. This will stop her mid-scratch so you can take her to the post immediately. Again, praise her for using the post instead.
It may take a while before you can trust the cat not to claw furniture, so be persistent and patient. To reinforce your lessons, deny the cat access to forbidden surfaces and make them less attractive. Cover furniture with unpleasant materials such as foil, heavy plastic, or with double-sided tape. Put the cat in a secure area of the house with no furniture or carpet. If you do confine the cat, even for short periods, be sure to provide a litter box, water, toys and a scratching post so she will be accustomed to using it in your absence.

For more tips, read Helping Your Cats Claw Their Way to Success or call the PAWS free Behavior Helpline at 425.787.2500 x860.

Help animals in Washington State
As you may know, the 2007 Washington State legislative session is currently underway. PAWS is monitoring activity on public policy affecting animals and will provide alerts through our Actionline e-newsletter for any urgent action needed to ensure protection for animals in our state. Read more about the animal-related bills that have been introduced and how you can contact your representatives concerning them in the latest Actionline.

All rights reserved. ©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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