PAWS Magazine

 

Issue 53, Winter 2002

 

PAWS Notes

Acclaimed wildlife photographer to speak at 2003 gala event

PAWS' 2003 gala event will be held on Thursday evening, March 13, in downtown Seattle. Art Wolfe, acclaimed wildlife photographer and Seattle resident, is the featured speaker. Join us for a distinctive and delightful evening featuring an inspiring talk and slide show presentation by Art Wolfe, a delicious animal-friendly meal, and other surprises that promise to make this a wonderful event, all to benefit the animals. For more info, please call 425.787.2500, Ext 262.

Home for the Holidays 2002 adoption campaign will save animals' lives

PAWS' third annual “Home for the Holidays” adoption campaign begins Tuesday, November 12, and continues through Sunday, January 5, 2003. More families get new companion animals during the holiday season than at any other time of the year, and PAWS believes that there is no better gift than saving the life of a homeless animal. Last year, PAWS adopted 500 cats and kittens into new homes during the Home for the Holidays campaign, which encourages people to adopt from a shelter rather than purchase an animal from a puppy mill or pet store.

The holidays may pose some interesting challenges, but PAWS believes that with some simple preparation and care, a dog or cat can spend the holiday season in the comfort of his or her new home (and not at the shelter).

To ensure the human-companion animal matches are good ones, PAWS will not adopt animals out as gifts. However, PAWS staff will work closely with people who are considering adopting an animal. You will be treated to the helpful knowledge of our staff as they work with you to select a companion who is the right match for your home.

PAWS also encourages customers to consider giving gift certificates and pet supply gift packs so that the recipient can select his or her own companion and one that is a truly good match. Come visit the shelter in Lynnwood or Cat City in Greenwood and meet some of the amazing animals that are waiting to find the perfect home for the holidays.

PAWS back with a bill to ban possession of exotic animals

As the 2003 Washington State legislative session approaches, PAWS advocates are continuing their work on a bill that would ban the private possession of dangerous wild and exotic animals. PAWS and the Animal Protection Institute (API) have been coordinating on this effort for several years and have worked with the Washington Association of Animal Control Agencies (WAACA), the Federation of Animal Control Agencies, and the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife to strengthen the language of the bill.

“We believe that we have a really strong bill and we will be seeking a hearing before the House Judiciary committee,” said Jennifer Hillman, PAWS Advocate. “We're confident that this bill is going to move a lot faster through the process this year.”

Currently, the State of Washington has a patchwork of city and county ordinances with varying degrees of restrictions and bans. The PAWS bill would make it illegal to possess dangerous wild animals such as tigers, lions, bears, monkeys, and other non-human primates, as well as many reptiles and venomous snakes. When passed, this bill would make Washington one of 13 states that ban private possession of most dangerous wild animals. PAWS opposes the private possession of these animals because of the cruelty involved in keeping such animals in unnatural environments and the inherent risks to human health and safety.

“Team Depot” weekend provides a fresh start for animals at PAWS

During the weekend of August 24th and 25th, the PAWS Companion Animal Shelter and Wildlife Center underwent much-needed renovation, thanks to the generosity of Home Depot's Everett-based store. More than 100 volunteers donated their time and talent to the “Team Depot” weekend. Vendors, contractors, family, friends, and PAWS volunteers joined associates from the south Everett Home Depot in this community-wide effort to improve the facilities.

Wildlife Caging Project

Over the course of the weekend, two large cage sites were cleared and leveled, and the cage bases were constructed of gravel, railroad ties, and treated lumber. Built to meet special standards for wildlife rehabilitation and using plans well proven for housing several kinds of species, the cages were constructed with a predator-proof floor using gravel and wire mesh. The cages will be used for rehabilitating songbirds, squirrels, flying squirrels, and other small mammals. A small loader was used to move 60 tons of gravel up the hillside while volunteers prepared the cage sites. The new cages are located on a wooded portion of the PAWS property, but no trees were cut down for the installation of these new outdoor enclosures.

Cat Room Renovation Project

PAWS' main cat room is used to showcase adoptable cats and help reunite lost felines with their families. During this busy weekend, new heavy-duty flooring was installed, the room was painted, and the walls of two existing visiting areas were resurfaced. A neighboring room was remodeled to create a larger cat visiting area to accommodate whole families, or visitors in wheelchairs who want to visit with the cats. The area will also be used for kitty playtime and exercise. The remodeling also resulted in a more functional and user-friendly area for the 200 volunteers and staff who care for the cats and dogs in the PAWS shelter every week.

PAWS would like to give special thanks to the south Everett Home Depot store (No. 4713) and its associates, Carpets to Go in Lynnwood, Benchmark Construction, Hertz Equipment Rentals in Lynnwood, McFarland Cascade Lumber, Rinkers Materials, Bitter Lake Home Depot, Safeway Supermarkets, Suntuff Roofing, Troop 7 Scouts, Mitzvah Day group, and the PAWS staff and volunteers for a job well done.

A bald eagle survives shooting and fractured bones

On September 28th, the door to a large animal carrier was opened near the Carbon River, just west of Mount Rainier National Park. The eagle that was contained within took two quick hops out of the carrier and launched himself into the air. He quickly gained both speed and altitude, putting distance between himself and the five human spectators that watched in breathless silence below. There is good reason for any wild animal to want to distance itself from humans, but this bird in particular had a strong motivating factor for his haste. Although the majority of the wild animals that PAWS receives are harmed directly or indirectly by human activity, the injuries they suffer are generally not the result of malicious intent. This eagle, however, had survived an encounter with people who had made a deliberate attempt to end his life.

Arriving at the PAWS Wildlife Center on July 6, patient 02-2587 brought with him evidence of an amazing survival story. This male bald eagle was found weak and disoriented in a field near Wilkeson, Washington. Radiographs of the bird revealed that, at some point in his past, he had been shot multiple times and suffered severe injuries as a result. His right humerus, right tibiotarsus, and several ribs had been fractured. It was clear that, for a period of time, the injuries the eagle suffered both prevented him from flying and compromised or prevented the use of one leg. Somehow he had managed to survive for a long enough period of time to allow the injuries to heal. How he avoided starvation or predation during that time is a mystery.

Although the eagle had miraculously survived the physical damage caused by the bullets, they eventually caught up to him in the form of lead poisoning. This was ultimately found to be the cause of his weakened condition when he was admitted to the wildlife center. After a course of treatment to remove the lead from his bloodstream, the eagle was ready to fly free once again.

Circus education continues

Once again, PAWS advocates and volunteers were out in full force to educate the public about the inherent cruelty involved in having wild and exotic animals in circuses. After experiencing very poor attendance at last year's shows, the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus avoided Seattle this year, but scheduled seven shows at the Tacoma Dome between September 12 and 15. At all seven shows, PAWS staff and dozens of dedicated volunteers dressed as clowns and animals to get PAWS' message out to circus-goers that wild animals belong in the wild. In addition to the brochure with information detailing the USDA violations against the Ringling Brothers circus, PAWS' famous spinner toys containing an educational message for kids were also distributed.

As a result of the growing concern over the use of wild and exotic animals in circuses, the attendance numbers in Tacoma were also extremely low. For all seven shows combined, attendance was less than 20,000 people - a much lower turnout than the Tacoma Dome expected.

“Our message about keeping wild animals wild definitely has an impact,” said Sheridan Thomas, PAWS Wildlife Advocate. “People are beginning to realize that circuses with animals are not where they want to take their children anymore.”

In October, PAWS advocates and volunteers were also on hand to educate the public when the Sterling and Reid Brothers Circus performed in Seattle.

Protect Edmonds Pets Campaign edges closer to success

The Protect Edmonds Pets Campaign (created by PAWS and Edmonds City Councilman, Michael Plunkett) has gathered 5,000 signatures from Edmonds voters in support of legislation requiring Edmonds shelter animals to be spayed and neutered prior to adoption.

“We're very excited about this campaign,” says Tamar Puckett, PAWS Companion Animal Advocate. “We know that the citizens of Edmonds recognize spay/neuter programs as the most humane and effective way to deal with the tragedy of companion animal overpopulation.”

Spay/neuter programs also save taxpayers money. States and local jurisdictions that have implemented such programs have experienced dramatic reductions not only in the number of animals coming into shelters, but also in the costs associated with animal control. Every year, City of Edmonds staff members pick up about 100 dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies from the shelter provider and drive them to the public safety building in downtown Edmonds to be killed. The proposed legislation would ensure that Edmonds staff members are driving cats and dogs to a veterinarian to be spayed or neutered instead.

The 5,000 signatures collected by Protect Edmonds Pets Campaign volunteers will be turned over to the Edmonds City Clerk, who will tally the signatures. The petitions will then be handed over to the Snohomish County Auditor's office so that signatures may be checked for validity. Once this process is completed, the Edmonds City Council will have the option of passing the ordinance into law. If the council fails to pass the ordinance into law, the measure will go on the Edmonds ballot for a special election.

“This citizens' initiative will allow Edmonds to join all the other municipal and private shelters in the Puget Sound region (excluding the Everett Animal Shelter) that already spay and neuter their animals before they are adopted out into the community,” said Puckett.

Volunteers and donations are still needed to make this campaign succeed. If you would like to help, please contact Tamar Puckett at 425.787.2500, ext. 257 or tamarp@paws.org.

An extraordinary gift

A few months ago, the washing machine located in PAWS Spay/Neuter Clinic started making screeching noises and smelled like something was burning. It needed serious repairs, and as this was the third time it broke down since being donated to us just over a year ago, we decided to put it out of its misery. PAWS was in a dilemma - the washer is a necessity and in constant use, and yet we couldn't afford a new one. After noticing the “broken - do not use” sign on the washer when she came in the next day for her volunteer shift, Vivian Bennett, one of PAWS many wonderful volunteers and friends, graciously offered to buy us a new washer! When the delivery truck arrived a few weeks later, we were stunned. After doing some research and knowing our needs, Vivian had decided to make a gift of a brand new front-loading, extremely efficient washer/dryer set. When she came in that evening to demonstrate its features, she was given the honor of starting the first load! The washer uses less water, bleach, soap and electricity than regular washers. Vivian even brought us some special soap (high efficiency, low suds) to use until we could figure out if our regular laundry soap was okay to use. The clinic laundry is done in 1/2 the time now!

A gracious and heartfelt thank you to Vivian, and her husband, Tommy Fong, for this and the many gifts they have made to PAWS over the years.

Dining out for PAWS

The first annual PAWS for a Bite event was held in October. Five of PAWS' Board members' favorite restaurants each donated about 25% of the dinner proceeds on a given night to help support the animals. PAWS supporters packed the restaurants and regular diners got the chance to learn about PAWS. A good time was had by all, and best of all, about $2,500 was raised. Thanks to Circa, Teapot Vegetarian House, Café Ambrosia, and Serafina in Seattle, Amici Bistro in Mukilteo, and all of their patrons for making this event such a success.

Long-awaited spay and neuter postage stamps now available

After years of hard work, led by the American Partnership for Pets and coordinated by the Prevent a Litter Coalition, the U.S. Postal Service is finally offering “Neuter or Spay” stamps. Featuring Kirby, a male puppy, and Samantha, a female kitten, the stamps help raise awareness about the plight of millions of homeless animals that have to be euthanized in shelters across the country each year. The stamps reinforce the message that PAWS has promoted for years, and encourage people to recognize spaying and neutering as the only effective way to combat companion animal overpopulation. PAWS encourages you to buy these stamps today and help spread the word!

Volunteer celebrates 15 years of service at PAWS

This month marks a remarkable achievement for PAWS Shelter volunteer Susan Bocek. Susan is celebrating her 15th anniversary as a volunteer Cat Room Cleaner.

Susan came to PAWS in 1987 with the intention of spending more time with cats, and cat room cleaning was right up her alley because it allowed her to arrive at 8 am and leave at 11 am, before the shelter even opened to the public.

Cat room cleaning is not among the most “glamorous” positions at the shelter, but Susan has been there every week since she started (with the exception of her annual vacations, which, this year, included a trip along the Silk Road in Central Asia). Over the years, Susan has witnessed many changes at PAWS, the most recent being the cat room renovation (see Team Depot story, pg. 4).

“When you see something every day for 15 years, you start to forget what it really looks like. This new cat room is amazing! It's easier to clean, [and it's] brighter and more welcoming,” said Susan.

Thank you, Susan, for your 15 years of dedication and hard work. We look forward to seeing you around for another 15 years!

PAWS wildlife staff visit Japan In September, PAWS Wildlife Center staff veterinarian Dr. John Huckabee and director Kip Parker visited Japan as guests of the Japan Society for Zoo and Wildlife Medicine (JSVZM). The Wildlife Center staff members addressed the Eighth Annual Symposium of the JSZWM, north of Tokyo in the city of Nihonmatsu. The symposium was hosted by Japan's oldest and largest wildlife rehabilitation center, Fukushima Prefecture Wildlife Rehabilitation Center. The center is about 21 years old (the same age as the PAWS Wildlife Center) and handles approximately 250 animals a year, including serow (endangered goat-antelope), snow monkeys, badgers, civet cats, black bears, raccoon dogs, and martens.

Kip Parker's presentation focused on public involvement in rehabilitation, from the roles of board members to the roles of animal care volunteers. Dr. Huckabee's presentation focused on principles of veterinary care for rehabilitation. Both presentations were followed by panel discussions that included audience participation. About 400 people attended the symposium. Because non-profit organizations and volunteering are relatively new to Japan, and wildlife rehabilitation is not extensive, there was intense interest in how to develop support for rehabilitation activities.

Dr. Huckabee also addressed students at Osaka Prefectural University in Osaka, and a group of wildlife rescue veterinarians and government officials in Yokohama. Several discussions were held with interested parties about bear and eagle rehabilitation, principles of rehabilitation and volunteer support, and providing training in wildlife rehabilitation veterinary medicine for graduate veterinary students, as well as starting a national Japanese wildlife rehabilitation organization.

Planned giving provides options for helping animals

A gift of money isn't your only option for supporting the animals at PAWS. Planned giving is another way to provide for their care.

What is planned giving? It's giving you plan for. A planned gift can be made through your will or a living trust. It can be a donation of stock, property, or an insurance policy. Or it can be a “life income” gift such as a charitable gift annuity, deferred payment gift annuity, or charitable remainder trust.

Planning is important. Want to learn more about planned giving and our Lifetime Care Program for companion animals? Call 425.787.2500 x807 for an informational booklet.

A barking success for PAWSwalkSM

Three days before PAWSwalkSM, Rosie Wong, a longtime PAWS supporter, called PAWS to say, “I didn't make my goal, but I'm close!” When she showed up the day of the event with a huge stack of pledge sheets and a wide grin on her face, we knew she had done something wonderful. Rosie had raised $4,701 in pledges—enough to make her the first place winner for PAWSwalkSM 2002 and earning her the grand prize trip to Las Vegas. It's the dedication and compassion of folks like Rosie that make Bark in the ParkSM and PAWSwalkSM so successful year after year. Thank you Rosie and all our PAWSwalkers for your support of the animals! For pictures and the story, please see page 14.

Companion Animal Shelter holiday wish list

What would a holiday be without a wish list? Each item donated will save precious financial resources that can be used for other important services and programs. Thank you!

  • Holiday themed toys–cat and dog toys that are washable (no rawhide toys please)
  • Non-clumping type cat litter
  • High quality canned dog and cat food
  • Dog biscuits–small and large sizes
  • Digital camera that uses floppy disks (not mini disks) such as the Sony Mavica—we take pictures of the stray and available animals everyday to put on our website
  • Gift certificates to Home Depot so we can buy items like outside motion sensor lights for walking the shelter dogs in the evenings
  • Standard light switches and a small bench vise so we can repair equipment
  • A 35 mm camera along with film to help us document cruelty cases and take pictures of happy adopters
  • Digital scale to weigh the tiny foster kittens
  • Plumbing services to help us with a drain that is chronically clogged

Please view a more complete list here.

Annual General Meeting

The PAWS Annual General Meeting will be held at 7 p.m. December 17 in Seattle. Please join us as we reflect on the year and recognize volunteers, staff and other important individuals. For location and other details call 425.787.2500 x262.

Send your car to the dogs! Help the animals by donating your vehicle

You can avoid the hassle of selling your well-maintained but unwanted vehicles by donating them to PAWS and in so doing, help the animals! Donate any car, truck, van, RV, boat, or motorcycle that's in good running condition and good body shape and receive the maximum charitable valuation for it. The vehicle should not require much repair work because proceeds from its resale will go to support the animals at PAWS and its advocacy programs.

If your vehicle is located in the Seattle/King County/Everett, Washington, areas, you can call PAWS' Vehicle Donation Hotline at (425) 787-2500, ext. 879. Staff will schedule a pick-up if the vehicle is a good resale candidate. Please have the vehicle's title and keys ready on the pick-up date. PAWS will provide a receipt for you based on the value of the donation. It's that easy! You can also visit Amigos Auto Sales at 16101 Highway 99 in Lynnwood, or call (425) 741-1846, if you would like to see and purchase one of the PAWS vehicles that are available for resale.

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