PAWS Magazine


Issue 53, Winter 2002


From the Heart

As I approach the completion of my term on the PAWS Board of Directors and the end of my third year as Board president, I want to take a moment to reflect on what PAWS has meant to me. Bob Stagman I don’t mind telling you that I’m immensely proud of what we, collectively—the Board, staff, volunteers, members, and supporters—have been able to accomplish in reaching our primary goal: to promote the welfare of animals—those with whom we share this fragile planet that are, by virtue of our enormous impact on their habitats, increasingly dependent on us for survival, and those we call our best friends.

Above all, I have gained tremendous satisfaction in devoting my time and energies to the nation’s most unique and comprehensive animal welfare organization, now in its 35th year. By taking on the complex, three-part mission of direct care of companion and wild animals, public education, and advocacy, PAWS has assumed a weighty challenge.

I have watched PAWS meet this challenge with skill and dedication. Companion animal adoptions at the shelter continue to climb as this year PAWS found a home for its 100,000th companion animal. All the while, PAWS has maintained its commitment to spaying and neutering every single animal adopted out. PAWS also remains the preeminent agency in the Northwest on the rehabilitation and release of injured and orphaned wildlife. Its skilled staff is at the forefront of wildlife rehabilitation, both nationally and beyond. And PAWS’ public education and advocacy efforts have been far-reaching in their impact and have garnered the wide recognition and respect they deserve. However, my pride and satisfaction are accompanied by pain and frustration as PAWS’ ability to fulfill its lifesaving mission continues to be limited by insufficient financial resources, the lifeblood of any nonprofit organization. The severity of the local recession has left staff and volunteers struggling to serve more animals with fewer resources. It seems to me that when people are hurting, animals are hurting more. It is my greatest hope that at this time of profound need, those of you committed to the PAWS mission will stretch yourselves to help PAWS continue carrying out the work that means so much to us all.

In closing, I want to state my appreciation for everyone committed to PAWS. To fellow Board members, I want to say thank you for your hard work. As you know, there is much left to do and I wish you the best as you continue. To staff and volunteers, I want to say you are amazing and inspiring. Keep up your fine work. And to PAWS members, I want to say thank you for your support of this remarkable organization. Without all of you, none of this would be possible.

Bob Stagman,
PAWS Board President

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