The 2009 Washington State Legislature adjourned April 26 with encouraging protections for dogs. We now join four states in passing legislation to help safeguard dogs from inhumane breeding practices. The law—to take effect January 1, 2010—limits the number of adult dogs with intact sexual organs one person can possess to 50, and includes mandatory care standards to anyone who has custody of more than 10 unaltered adult dogs. At the time of publication, Oregon's legislature had also passed a similar bill that was waiting for their governor's signature.
The first half of 2009 was packed with youth programs. We have already reached 333 students with our six-week, core Kids Who Care program covering topics from facilitating positive, safe interactions with pets, to developing a greater understanding of wildlife and farm animals.
Our pilot Kids Workshop was also a huge success. A half-day filled with fun and hands-on learning activities, kids had the opportunity to visit with shelter kittens, play games, and create posters to help shelter animals. Look for the new schedule in the fall. Last, but not least, we'll continue our Youth Work Parties this summer. For more information about PAWS' youth programs call 425.412.4026.
After 10 months at PAWS, all four Black Bear cubs, who were featured in the fall 2008 PAWS magazine, were successfully returned to the wild in June. There were two siblings whose mother was hit by a car on I-90, a female whose mother was killed by a hunter, and another male cub who was captured in a suburban Renton, Washington neighborhood. Each bear was driven high into the mountains for a "hard release." This tough love approach includes dogs barking, people yelling, and wildlife agents firing beanbags near the bears as they are released. This imprints their memory with a negative association with humans—helping ensure they will stay far from civilization. The cost of caring for them was about $18,000 for food and housing, and $6,100 for medical care. It adds up when you consider that one cub who required surgery for a broken jaw, came in at 70 pounds and left a strong and healthy 258 pounds!
PAWS' loyal supporters and daring duo Bob Donovan and Paul Zimmerman swam their last 3.5 miles from Vashon Island to West Seattle for their 10th and final Paddle for PAWS. In total they've swam more than 70 miles and raised $25,000 for the animals! PAWS is truly grateful for their decade of amazing feats. Thank you Bob and Paul!
In June, PAWS marched in the Seattle Pride parade and we're gearing up for the Greenwood Seafair parade on Wednesday, July 22. PAWS' supporters, families and friends are invited to join us with your parade-ready canines.
If you know someone who has adopted a dog from PAWS, pass this along. We'd love to see PAWS' alumni walking in the parade, too. All dogs must play well with other dogs and people. Canine buddies are not required to participate. Contact Eleanor Blackford at email@example.com or 425.787.2500 x833 to sign up!
PAWS is seeking candidates for its Board of Directors. Experience in fundraising, finance, marketing, human resources, architecture and facilities planning are especially valued at this time. For more information contact Annette Laico, Executive Director at 425.412.4030 or firstname.lastname@example.org.