Did you know that more cats and dogs find new homes during the holiday season than any other time of year? That's just one reason why PAWS participates in the annual "Home for the Holidays" national adoption campaign. "Another important reason," explains PAWS Shelter Manager Lisa Hockins," is that being home with those you love, including our four-legged companions, is the best holiday gift we can think of at PAWS." This year the campaign runs through January 5, 2009. Meet some of the wonderful animals for adoption on paws.org or view them on "Comcast On Demand" cable TV by going to Get Local > Around the Sound > Pet Adoptions. Please help us spread the word!
As money gets tighter, the public is turning to PAWS for help in getting their cats and dogs spayed or neutered. To assist, this winter PAWS will re-launch our low-cost spay/neuter program offering surgeries and vaccines for pets of low-income households (check paws.org or call 425.787.2500 x849 for details). Cats and Pit Bulls also receive a free microchip, which provides permanent identification and an easy way for lost animals to be reunited with their families. In the past year, more than 250 surgeries have been performed through this program.
For individuals who don't qualify as low-income, but are still having difficulty affording a spay/neuter surgery, PAWS' website lists other veterinary clinics that offer reduced-cost surgeries, as well as clinics that focus on feral and free-roaming cats. PAWS also coordinates an annual "Spay Day USA" event every February, in which low-cost surgeries are available to people of various income levels. Visit paws.org to learn more.
New legislation in Washington State, which PAWS actively supported, went in effect last year establishing financial support for the critical role licensed Washington State wildlife rehabilitators play in serving Washington's wildlife and citizens. The funding for this program comes from an additional fee for personalized Washington State license plates.
This is the first time licensed rehabilitators have been directly offered financial assistance from the state to care for the thousands of sick, injured, and orphaned wildlife taken in yearly—many suffering from human-related injuries. This new funding legislation is a major step in recognizing the professional field of wildlife rehabilitation, the very expensive needs of wildlife patients, and the support needed for licensed rehabilitation staff and volunteers to carry out such lifesaving work.
In July, PAWS Public Affairs Coordinator, Sylvia Moss attended the "Take Action for Animals" conference in Washington D.C. which included two full days of speaking events and workshops on championing protections for animals on a local, state and national level. Many of the 1,000 conference attendees also came together to meet their representatives on Capitol Hill to advocate for four federal bills: to increase protections on downed farm animals, to end the slaughter of horses, as well as to protect dogs and cats in puppy mills and abroad in the fur trade.
This summer, PAWS built three new much-needed raptor mews, pens made especially for patients such as eagles, owls, and hawks, to give them a little extra room to condition their wings during rehabilitation. They are the second, third, and fourth cages in a seven-cage raptor mew complex. Each cage consists of hundreds of cedar slats that allow natural light in, while keeping the birds safely contained until they heal and are ready to be returned to the wild. Dozens of new perches have also been created to accommodate a wide variety of raptors.
The foundation has been laid for a future expansion that will include three more mews. In order to accomplish this project, donations of materials and labor are needed. If you are interested in helping, please contact Jim Green at JimG@paws.org or 425.787.2500 x819.
We are delighted to announce the addition of three new members to PAWS Board of Directors. Ben Abrams joined us in April. He is a passionate animal advocate and a dedicated supporter who brings an entrepreneurial background. Gary Olson and Julie Woodward were elected to the board in October. Gary lives in Snohomish County with his family and three dogs, is a volunteer dog walker at PAWS, and has more than 17 years in the banking industry. Julie, a Seattle native, ran a mobile dog grooming business, has an extensive marketing background, and is currently a vice president at Innovyx. We look forward to their skilled guidance and enthusiastic support in the years to come.
The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, currently on trial for elephant cruelty, returned to Comcast Arena at Everett Events Center this September and PAWS was there to rally citizens to speak out. Through the efforts of volunteers and community outreach events, we distributed nearly 600 postcards educating community members about the plight of circus animals. With the help of our online Actionline subscribers, more than 435 messages were sent to the Everett City Council and to the events center director urging them to promote family-friendly, humane entertainment instead. All of our activities pointed citizens to our web page—paws.org/circusfacts—dedicated to exposing the truth about circuses that use animals, and supporting humane alternatives. Thank you to all the caring members of the community who spoke out on behalf of animals.
The 2009 Washington State legislative session begins January 12 and lasts for 105 days. PAWS will again monitor activity on public policy affecting animals, testify at hearings, and alert citizens on how they can take action to protect animals. To stay up-to-date on this year's session, sign up for PAWS' Actionline e-newsletter.
Donate your car, truck, motorcycle, boat or other vehicle, claim a charitable deduction on your tax return, and help the animals at PAWS! Contact Northwest Charity Donation Service at 800.961.6119 or nwcds.com.
Please join us for our signature gala event to support PAWS' work at Wild Night on Saturday, March 14, 2009. Reserve your ticket today!