Willie's Fresh Start
Willie, a pit bull terrier/cattle dog mix, was brought into PAWS in September by a family who had found him wandering alone. During his health exam, the veterinary team noticed Willie was blind in one eye, which was also causing him a lot of pain. PAWS' veterinarian determined that Willie's eye needed to be removed for his future health and comfort. Soon after, Kristin Mehus visited PAWS looking for a kid and dog-friendly dog to join her family, which includes her husband, her two-year-old son, and their female dog, Muddy—a pit bull-shepherd-cattle dog mix. The shelter team hoped that Willie could be just the dog they were looking for, and sure enough, it was a great match. Kristin's family christened their new friend Nelson, after a famous British admiral who lost an eye in battle—Nelly for short. "We've had several get-togethers and he greets everyone very nicely…and especially adores children," wrote Kristin. "One day we had five or six kids here, and Nelly was in heaven." For Nelly, the new-found pleasures of family life include teasing his new big sister Muddy, and taking morning runs with Kristin.
In early April, a female Raccoon who had been hit by a car was admitted to PAWS Wildlife Center in a comatose state and with severe injuries. An X-ray revealed she was also pregnant with three kits. The veterinary team called on SonoSite, a locally-based company, who generously provided the use of a portable ultrasound machine to examine the mother Raccoon more thoroughly. With the ultrasound, it was possible to see that the kits were beginning to make breathing motions and were ready to be born. Since the mother Raccoon was in no condition to deliver her babies, PAWS Wildlife Veterinarian Dr. John Huckabee delivered them via cesarean section. After he carefully removed each tiny Raccoon, PAWS staff and volunteers gently cleaned and massaged them to stimulate their breathing. Fortunately, there were no complications and all three babies were strong and healthy.
Although their mother remained comatose, the kits were able to nurse from her for several days following the delivery, benefiting from the important antibodies in their mother's milk, giving them the good start in life they needed. Heartbreakingly, their mother never recovered from her injuries, but all three young raccoons were successfully raised until they were big and strong enough to be released, and carry on their mother's legacy as wild and free Raccoons.
Found alongside a road in Sumner next to the body of their deceased mother, three young Striped Skunks were brought to PAWS Wildlife Center on June 25. The three orphans were raised at PAWS until they were old enough to forage on their own, and to use their potent defensive spray. This photo shows one of the successfully rehabilitated skunks exploring her surroundings when she was released back into the wild on September 9.