PAWS Magazine

Issue 55, Summer 2003

PAWS Notes

Everett passes long-awaited spay/neuter law!

On April 23, the Everett City Council unanimously passed a mandatory, citywide spay/neuter policy. Now, all animals adopted from the Everett Animal Shelter will be spayed or neutered before going home with their new families. PAWS has worked hard in collaboration with Everett city officials, volunteers, shelter staff, and residents to make this law a reality. This legislation is yet another victory for the animals in Snohomish County.

The Everett Council also unanimously voted in favor of increased adoption fees which will cover the spay/neuter surgery, microchipping, vaccinations, and a certificate for a free veterinary exam. Everett's new law makes the Puget Sound region one of the largest metropolitan areas in the country that alters all of its shelter animals prior to adoption!

Council members also unanimously voted to participate in Snohomish County's regional licensing plan, which will help reduce the number of stray animals in communities throughout the county and ultimately reduce the number of animals euthanized each year.

PAWS' true heroes

Usually events around PAWS involve animals, but Monday, May 5, was a special day for the PAWS flora. Three alder saplings were planted on the PAWS property during Volunteer Appreciation Week to honor the 700 volunteers that work as our partners and help us take care of thousands of animals each year. One tree was planted in honor of the Wildlife Department volunteers, one for the Companion Animal Services Department volunteers, and one for the Advocacy, Outreach, and Development Department volunteers. In 2002, PAWS volunteers worked more than 50,000 hours! The high quality of care that we give to each animal is due in large measure to our amazing, dedicated and reliable volunteers. We couldn't do this work without them.

Thank you to all the PAWS volunteers for making the quality of our work exceptional and the breadth of our work possible. You are true heroes.

Volunteers needed at the Wildlife Center

A wildlife rehabilitation center is a unique place where you will find rare opportunities to interact with injured or orphaned wild animals that are getting ready to go back out to the wild. Volunteers at the PAWS Wildlife Center perform hands-on duties, such as feeding baby squirrels and ducklings, weighing animals, and answering questions from the public, as well as housekeeping tasks, such as sweeping, mopping, taking the trash out, and doing laundry. No experience is necessary to volunteer at the wildlife center— all training is provided. If you are interested, call 425.787.2500, x808, or click here.

Volunteers must be 18 years of ageor older.

PAWS documentary shown at local film festival

On Sunday, March 30, PAWS: People Helping Animals, a documentary by Annette Rivlin-Gutman, was shown at the Fifth Annual Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival in Leavenworth, Washington. Ms. Rivlin-Gutman, an award-winning producer/writer who has worked in video production for more than 16 years, won an American Film and Video Blue Ribbon for her video for the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. A former teacher, her passion is now children's and educational programming.

The 22-minute documentary was made to educate the public about the significance of PAWS and the work we do for animals. PAWS: People Helping Animals, follows animals from the time they are brought into the Wildlife Center, through their period of rehabilitation at the center, to their release back to the wild. The documentary also focuses on the people at the PAWS Wildlife Center, their work and their thoughts and philosophies on the treatment of wildlife.

PAWS wishes to thank Ms. Rivlin-Gutman and all the people who donated their equipment, time, and skills to complete this wonderful tribute.

PAWS wraps up another session in Olympia

For PAWS advocates, the 2003-04 Washington State legislative session was both exciting and productive. House Bill 1151, our legislation to ban the private possession of wild and exotic animals, made huge strides toward passage this year. After a unanimous vote (9-0) for passage out of the House Judiciary Committee, HB 1151 went on to pass on the House floor by a two-thirds majority vote of 60-34.

“We've been working on this important legislation for several years and passage in the House is a huge victory for us,” said Jennifer Hillman, PAWS advocate and legislative coordinator. “We're confident that HB 1151 will move quickly toward full passage next year.”

PAWS extends a special thank you to Rep. Tom Campbell (R-2nd District) for his tireless support, advice, and guidance in getting HB 1151 through the process of many amendments and onto final House passage. We would also like to thank our prime sponsor, Rep. John Lovick (D-44th District), for his help and guidance. And a special thank you to Ann Plunkett (Rep. Lovick's legislative aide) and Liz Merrick (Rep. Campbell's legislative aide)—we could not have done this without them!

The second half of the 2003-04 session will begin in January 2004, and PAWS advocates will be working in the interim to ensure that HB 1151 moves further toward a law that will protect exotic animals from being kept inappropriately and cruelly as pets.

In addition to our work to protect exotic wild animals, PAWS also helped to support the grassroots and legislative lobbying efforts of The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and their fight to save Citizen's Initiative 713, the ban on the use of cruel and indiscriminate body-gripping traps to kill animals for recreation and fur commerce in Washington State. On May 20, Governor Locke vetoed SB 5179! This was a huge victory for wildlife in Washington State!

PAWS also provided valuable input and testimony on five companion animal bills. HB 1895 would have prohibited insurance companies from denying people homeowner's insurance and/or from modifying existing policies based solely on the breed of their dog. HB 1257 creates penalties for individuals who sell or purchase any dog for fighting purposes. HB 2053 amends the state cruelty statute by including objective standards by which to determine the care that is provided to an animal. HB 2043 amends the state dangerous dog statute with the addition of wolf-hybrids, banning breed profiling, and prohibiting the labeling of dogs as “potentially dangerous” if they were teased, tormented, or abused prior to performing “dangerous” actions. SB 5724 requires anti-freeze products containing 10% or more ethylene glycol to also contain an aversive agent rendering the product unpalatable to animals.

Seattle's Dangerous Dog Laws

Two years ago, Seattle City Councilmember, Jan Drago, assembled an expert panel to examine and recommend changes to Seattle's animal control code. This review panel was established in response to public opposition to amendments made to the code, mostly regarding dangerous dog laws. PAWS has served as a member of the review panel, ensuring recommendations that balance animal welfare with public safety.

The panel's proposal included changes, such as clearer definitions to better distinguish between dogs that are truly aggressive and those that are just behaving like normal dogs, as well as due process provisions for dog guardians who receive notices that their dogs are “potentially dangerous.” The panel also recommended prohibiting the auctioning of companion animals as prizes or gifts at fundraising events. This spring the City Council held public hearings to allow citizen testimony on the review panel's recommendations. Hundreds spoke in support of these proposed changes.

Councilmember Drago then drafted legislation that included some of the panel's recommendations, but ignored many others, including the companion animal auction ban. By a unanimous vote, the full council passed the City's proposed legislation on June 9. For a copy of the ordinance, please contact Barbara Clemons, Legislative Aide to Councilmember Drago, (206) 684-8801 or To view the panel's recommendations, visit the Dangerous Ordinance Group (D.O.G.) Web site at

Seattle Parks promises no goose kill next year.

Once again, the City of Seattle allowed the USDA to come into Seattle area parks and round up and gas to death Canada geese as part of a “population management” program. PAWS advocates took a lead role to speak out against this inhumane and ineffective method and offer alternatives. Along with The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), PAWS organized an effective media event in downtown Seattle which received a lot of good coverage and heightened the public's awareness. Hundreds of signatures were gathered on petitions during the event and were then sent to Mayor Nickel's office. PAWS also gathered signatures from 53 businesses around Green Lake that were in opposition of the kill. PAWS was instrumental in arranging a meeting with Seattle Parks Superintendent Ken Bounds and members of his staff to discuss the humane and effective alternatives to killing. Attending the meeting were Jennifer Hillman, PAWS advocate and Dr. John Huckabee, PAWS Wildlife veterinarian, Dr. John Hadidian, wildlife biologist from HSUS and members of HSUS staff. While the meeting did not result in a moratorium on the killing of geese this year, Mr. Bounds did state his willingness to implement a moratorium and humane alternatives for 2004, and the kill in Seattle parks for this year officially ended on July 1st.

Fluffy Cat Friday

June was “Adopt-a-Shelter-Cat Month,” and this year, thanks to the help of the new volunteer Marketing Team, the month was filled with fun and creative efforts to place our feline friends into new homes. Targeted promotions such as “Tabby Tuesday” and “Fluffy Cat Friday” were intermixed with “Petite and Plus-Size sales days.” These clever marketing efforts helped remind people of the uniqueness of each cat and encouraged adopters to consider adult cats who are competing for homes with the kittens who fill the Cat City colonies during the warmer months. Watch for special promotions in October as we celebrate “Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month,” and be sure to visit PAWS any time this summer to find that new best friend!

Raccoon caging project

After 22 years of service, PAWS hillside raccoon caging had to be decommissioned.The raccoon caging project involves replacing our decommissioned raccoon pen with four round, custom-built, galvanized wire cages (16 feet high with a diameter of 13 feet), which will be set on concrete pads that can be fully drained. New drains and a sewer line have already been completed for the project.

This year, Wildlife Department staff and volunteers have been actively raising funds for this project; and more than half of the $16,800 goal has been raised through individual donations, the pub nights, the PAWS Web site, and a garage sale. The new cages will minimize disease risks, while providing an easily cleaned environment for rehabilitating the many orphaned raccoons PAWS Wildlife receives each year.

A benefit held in April at Mulleady's Irish Pub in Seattle was a huge success raising approximately $2,600 for the PAWS Wildlife Department's new raccoon caging project. Special thanks to wildlife volunteer Anne Morency and her husband for hosting the evening of good cheer, music, and dancing.

If you are interested in further details about this project, please click here.

Workplaces help employees make a difference

This September marks the annual kickoff of employee workplace-giving campaigns. These campaigns are charitable-giving programs conducted at businesses, which provide employees with a convenient vehicle for giving to their favorite charities, such as PAWS.

Many local companies participate in workplace giving campaigns. You can designate a donation to PAWS through your employer's workplace-giving campaign. Look for PAWS' listing in your campaign handbook. You will also find that gifts to the PAWS Wildlife Rehabilitation Center are listed under Earth Share of Washington in some campaign handbooks.

Do you like cars?

The PAWS Vehicle Donation Program, which raises more than $20,000 a year to help the animals, is looking for volunteers who love cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs. Requirements include availability during business hours (M-F); current WA driver's license and clean driving record; knowledge of cars (e.g., makes and models since 1970, whether a repair would be minor or costly); and ability to drive vehicles with manual transmissions. If interested, please contact Bonnie at 425.787.2500 x833, or

Puppies and kittens and you!

Last year, the PAWS Foster Care Program placed more than 1,000 high-risk and delicate puppies and kittens into temporary homes where they grew and matured into companion animals ready for a new start. Please open your heart and your home to a tiny animal in need. If you'd like to foster a puppy or kitten, please contact Liz at 425.787.2500 x822, or

Hot weather alert

A hot car is no place for a pet. Leaving a dog or cat in a parked car during the warmer months can cause serious injury or death as temperatures inside a car can reach 120° in a matter of minutes—even with the windows partially open. Shade and water will do little to help in these circumstances.

If you see a companion animal inside a parked car during hot weather and the animal appears to be in distress, call animal control or the police immediately. Signs of distress include heavy panting, glazed eyes, unsteadiness, vomiting, and a red or purple tongue.

Please take note of the following safety guidelines regarding companion animals and hot summer weather:
  • The safest place for your companion animal is in the coolest part of the house with plenty of fresh water to drink. Don't force your companion animal to exercise after a meal in hot, humid weather. Instead, bring your pet out for exercise in the early morning or evening when the temperature is cooler.
  • Hot pavement can burn a dog's paws. Be careful not to make your dog stand on hot pavement for long periods of time and keep walks on hot asphalt to a minimum.
  • Be sensitive to old and overweight animals in hot weather. Snub-nosed dogs (like Pekingese, Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers) and those with heart or lung disease should be kept indoors and in air conditioning, if possible.
  • If you and your dog go to the beach, be sure you can find shade and plenty of fresh water. Rinse your dog off after she has been in salt water to prevent irritation to the pads of her feet and skin.

These tips are courtesy of the ASPCA, HSUS, and PAWS.

Wildlife babies learning about their world

It's that time of year when many wildlife youngsters leave their nests and dens and venture out into the world. Most of them should be left alone.

Many young mammals are just learning about their world. These youngsters, especially squirrels and opossums, have not yet learned that people and dogs are to be avoided. If you find one of these babies in an unsafe place, you can do the following: Young squirrels can be gently placed in a tree away from cats and dogs, and young opossums can be placed in shelter under bushes and away from roads.

Very young birds that have fallen from the nest can be gently picked up and returned to the nest. If the nest is out of reach, you can rig an alternative by securely attaching a small box with the babies inside onto the highest branch possible. Nests that have blown down can also be put back in a tree. Contrary to popular opinion, parents will not reject babies that have been touched by humans.

Fledglings are young birds that are just learning to fly, and they spend a lot of time on the ground. These birds are still protected and fed by their parents and do not need rescuing unless they are injured. If you find a healthy fledgling in your yard, safeguard the environment by keeping cats and dogs indoors until the bird is able to fly and escape danger.

Dine out for PAWS

PAWS For A Bite returns this October as area restaurants donate 25% or more of their night's receipts to support the animals at PAWS. Back by popular demand, we anticipate twice as many restaurants to participate this year. Confirmed at press time: Circa (W. Seattle) on October 8; Teapot Vegetarian Restaurant (Capitol Hill) on October 20; Serafina's (Eastlake) Sunday TBD; and Amici Bistro (Mukilteo) on October 27. Dine out for the animals and say thank you to the restaurants that support PAWS.

Local media helps PAWS

Trying to reach a community as large as the greater Puget Sound is no easy task so the PAWS Companion Animal Shelter depends on help from members of the local print media and broadcasting community.

While reading the Everett Herald, you may have seen a picture of a PAWS dog that needs a new family or a close-up of an eager puppy's face in The Journal. You may have noticed a story about one of PAWS' friendly felines while browsing the King 5 or NorthWest Cable News Web sites or heard about a PAWS cat's special qualities while listening to KWJZ Smooth Jazz.

Thanks to these businesses who are taking an active role in helping the animals by partnering with PAWS, we have been able to reach more citizens in the state than ever before. Our gratitude goes out to these dedicated community partners!

Paddlin' for a good PAWS

On Sunday, April 27, Bob Donovan and Paul Zimmerman amazed their family, friends, and park-goers when they swam the cold waters of Puget Sound, crossing the 3.5-mile-wide channel between Vashon Island and Fauntleroy. Their fourth annual "Paddle for PAWS" fundraising event garnered more than $4,000 as of press time, and contributions in their name are still coming in! "We feel great! Hey, Paul, let's swim back across!" said Bob as he took off his flippers moments after hitting the Lincoln Park beach. Paul laughed as he stood amidst the three wiggling, barking dogs waiting for them.

"This is always such fun for us," said Paul, "and it's even better knowing that we're helping PAWS help all those homeless cats and dogs."

Next year, these two crazy and wonderful animal lovers will be paddling for PAWS once again. A heartfelt thank you to Bob, Paul, and their supporters for helping to make a difference in the lives of animals.

Looking for a greeting card?

Did you know that the PAWS website will let you send an e-greeting card to someone? Whether it's a birthday, a get-well message or you just want to say howdy, you can let someone know you care with a special e-greeting card from PAWS! All of the cards feature animals that have stayed at the shelter and were adopted to new loving homes. Click here to send one.


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