Who is PAWS?

PAWS is people helping animals. We are the kind of people who delight in the company of an animal friend, who are awed by a majestic eagle in flight. Like you, we understand that animals enrich our lives. We also know they cannot speak for themselves and need protection. That is why PAWS brings together people like you to ensure animals are respected, safe and have a voice.

Since 1967, PAWS has united more than 130,000 companion animals with loving families, cared for 115,000 injured and orphaned wild animals, and made the world a better place for countless others through advocacy and education. 

PAWS' Mission

PAWS is a champion for animals—rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, sheltering and adopting homeless cats and dogs, and educating people to make a better world for animals and people.

PAWS' Vision

PAWS envisions a world where all people recognize the intrinsic value of animals and consistently make choices that demonstrate compassion and respect.

Where is PAWS?

We are located in Lynnwood, Washington, approximately 20 miles north of Seattle, with a satellite adoption center called PAWS Cat City in Seattle’s University District. A regional organization, PAWS focuses our work in Washington State and the Northwest. PAWS is a private, non-profit organization that relies on generous donations from individuals and corporations. Are we the PAWS you’re looking for?

Core Beliefs

PAWS Values:

  • The recognition and respect of the intrinsic value of animal life.
  • The capability of animals to express their natural and innate behaviors in appropriate ways, and experience the highest quality of life possible.
  • The right of animals to be free from cruelty, neglect, and abuse.
  • The importance of ending companion animal overpopulation.
  • The caring guardianship of companion animals.
  • The preservation of wild species and their habitats.
  • The role that all humans play in the active stewardship of maintaining the environmental and ecological balance of the earth.
  • The consideration of the animals' best interest when making decisions, along with consideration of the long-term consequences and the impact of our work when determining how best to allocate PAWS' resources.
  • The trust that the public places in us with regard to animal care and the management of our resources.

PAWS' core organizational positions on animal issues

  • People and animals are well-served when everyone gives thoughtful consideration to how their attitudes, actions, and behaviors impact the animals with whom we share the earth.
  • Public outreach and education efforts are most effective when presented using legal and non-confrontational methods. PAWS advocates for animals by leading issue campaigns, working with elected officials, proposing animal-friendly legislation, and providing education to the public; and through the compassionate and appropriate way we treat the animals in our care.
  • Wild animals are best served by being allowed to live undisturbed in their natural environment. Wild animals should not be owned as household pets or property. Wild animals of any kind should not be used for commercial exploitation.
  • Companion animals should be spayed or neutered because this is the most humane and effective way to end the suffering, killing, and need for euthanasia of animals caused by companion animal over-population. Breeding that is not managed or is irresponsible contributes to companion animal over-population and is therefore opposed.
  • Farm animals have the right to physically move about freely, to engage in their natural behaviors, and to live without imposed stress and fear. Animal-friendly diets and lifestyles are promoted because they alleviate the suffering of farm animals as well as positively impact the health of people and the environment.
  • Cruel and inhumane research and product testing on animals promotes animal suffering. Non-animal methods for research and product testing should always be explored and used.
  • Companion animals are euthanized only when all reasonable courses of treatment and determination of adoptability have been exhausted. Wild animals are euthanized only when there is no reasonable chance of release and survival in their natural habitats.
  • In our role of upholding the rights of animals, we believe it is our responsibility to educate the public about the positions PAWS holds and values.