This spring PAWS welcomed two new members to our Board of Directors: Tonjia Borland and Robert Cundall. Tonjia is currently a Sr. Finance Manager/Program Manager at Microsoft and is passionate about ensuring animals get the second chance they deserve. Robert Cundall is the Chief Operating Officer at the Seattle Art Museum and brings a great suite of skills to the Board. Both members have been active supporters of PAWS, and we couldn't be happier to welcome them to the Board!
2010 was a big year for bears at the PAWS Wildlife Center with a total of twelve individuals coming through our doors. All but one were orphaned cubs, and six of these cubs have spent the fall and winter in our care eating, playing and growing while awaiting their release in the spring.
One of the challenges with raising bear cubs is finding ways to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. They are intelligent, curious animals who may become bored and/or depressed while in captivity. Throughout their stay at PAWS, the six cubs have been provided with enrichment to pique their curiosity and encourage natural behaviors. Hollow logs filled with mealworms, pools of water containing fish or other food, branches hanging from the ceiling and dozens of leftover Christmas trees are just a few examples of the enrichment items the bears have enjoyed.
Most of all, the cubs have kept each other occupied with constant wrestling matches and impromptu games of "king of the hill" on climbing structures in their enclosure. The two largest bears now weigh more than 150 pounds, and the smallest weighs about 60 pounds. All six cubs will be impressive, capable subadult bears when they return to the wild in May or June.
PAWS Kids Workshops, our interactive on-campus program for 8-11 year-olds is gaining popularity with both Girl Scout and Cub Scout Troops. The workshops include Crazy About Cats and Canines and Wild Wonders. Both workshops provide hands-on learning and service activities, while helping scouts earn their merit badges in pet care, and wildlife. Any group can book a workshop for a half-day of learning fun. For more information about scheduling a workshop, call 425.412.4026, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
On February 17 the Washington State National Humane Lobby Day had its most successful event to date with 52 attendees. PAWS co-sponsored the day, offering a lobby day primer with representatives and advocates, and sessions describing the animal bills. After a morning of prep, attendees then had the chance to meet their legislators in person. A great experience for PAWS volunteer Haley Anderson, "I could use my own voice to represent all the two-legged, four-legged, feathered, and furry creatures who also call Washington home."
As a result of the day’s activities, HB 1226, (creating a spay/neuter assistance program) received a much deserved public hearing. (More than 49 citizens were prompted to testify on hearing day.) Attendees also voiced strong opposition for HB 1124 & SB 5356, bills allowing sport hunting of cougars using hounds. At the time of publication, SSB 5065, strengthening animal cruelty enforcement, and SB 5649, anti-tethering protection for dogs, were gaining momentum through the legislative process.
Outcomes for animal legislation remain to be seen in 2011—some bills may require a multi-session effort. Regardless, your input is important to members of the legislature. Sign up for PAWS' Actionline e-newsletter to receive critical updates on how you can speak up for animals all year long—every voice does make a difference.
March 17 marked the one-year anniversary of the redesigned paws.org! Over the past twelve months, the exposure of our website has grown dramatically. Each month now, more than 50,000 visitors join us online for news, information, and adoption and wildlife services.
The PAWS Blog continues to gain popularity, with more than 200 postings as of this publication. And on the social media side, PAWS has grown our fan base on Facebook from 2,000 just one year ago, to more than 7,000 today.
Donations to the animals on paws.org continue to grow as well, with a more convenient and efficient way to help the animals via our “Donate Now” button on every page.
The new paws.org also received a warm welcome this year from the Seattle media, winning three categories in Seattle Weekly’s “Best of the Web Awards”: best presence for Activism, Non-Profit, and Pets. But even without the press and the growth, the site itself has become a simple and friendly way to learn about the PAWS mission and the animals we currently have available for adoption.
It’s almost that time of year again for everybody’s favorite canine confab, PAWSwalk!
This is our largest community fundraiser of the year, and 2011 will be even bigger as we celebrate our 20th anniversary of PAWSwalk. This year the event returns to Seattle’s Magnuson Park on Saturday, September 10th. In addition to the 5k walk, there’ll be lots of other activities including the Kids Zone, shopping, a canine agility course and flyball demonstrations, plus lots of free samples. So mark your calendar and we’ll keep you posted at paws.org.
A national event, PAWS worked locally with 40 clinics from four Western Washington counties this year. Together, our army of private and shelter clinics altered 330 dogs and cats during Spay Day USA!
Those 330 dogs and cats could easily have produced thousands of unwanted litters if they had been left unaltered, adding even more stress to shelters across the area. Thank you to all of the loving guardians who made the wonderful decision to get their beloved animals spayed or neutered. Your pets will live happier lives because of it!
We also want to thank the clinics who partnered with us this year in providing low-cost surgeries to these animals. We couldn’t have done it without each of you!
You can donate your car, truck, motorcycle, RV, or boat to PAWS and save the lives of animals in our community.
Contact Northwest Charity Donation Service at 1.800.961.6119 or nwcds.com to donate your vehicle. Just let them know you’d like your
donation to go to PAWS. They’ll help you with the DMV paperwork, pick up your vehicle and furnish you with a tax receipt.
Above: Six black bear cubs have spent the winter growing and playing in care at PAWS. Here, two orphaned brothers from Oregon engage in an impromptu wrestling match over who gets to stand on a Dogloo.
Above: Lobby Day participants take a photo opportunity with Representative Hans Dunshee on the Capital grounds.
Seattle Weekly presents PAWSwalk!
20 years of walking for animals
Saturday, September 10 at Magnuson Park
Register at pawswalk.net.