Advocacy History & Victories

Advocacy and Educational Highlights

  • 1970 - Became the first shelter in Washington State to require the spaying or neutering of every adopted animal.
  • 1987 - PAWS won an injunction requiring University of Washington's Animal Care Committee to hold open meetings.
  • 1991 & 1993 - Twice helped put a halt to the U.S. Navy's plans to use dolphins to patrol in Western Washington waters.
  • 1992 - PAWS played an integral part in getting King County Ordinance 123 passed, requiring King County shelters to spay and neuter animals adopted to the public.
  • 1994 - After campaigning for seven years, PAWS was instrumental in helping send Ivan, a western lowland gorilla, to Zoo Atlanta after he spent more than 25 years in solitary confinement in a Tacoma shopping mall.
  • 1996 - Founded the Washington Wildlife Alliance, a political action committee formed to pass Washington State's I-655 (ban on hunting cougars with hounds and bear baiting). The initiative passed with the second largest margin of victory of any statewide race.
  • 2000 - PAWS was integral in passing a law allowing animal welfare agencies to own and operate spay/neuter clinics to help increase the number of altered animals, and therefore decrease the number of unwanted animals in our community.
  • 2000 - PAWS led a campaign to ban the use of cruel traps on wildlife with I-713. It passed into law with 55 percent of voters approving.
  • 2000 - PAWS persuaded 15 Seattle-area restaurants to stop selling veal.
  • 2000 – PAWS Humane Education Program is formally launched.
  • 2001-2003 - Led successful campaigns in the cities of Edmonds and Everett to ensure that all dogs and cats adopted from local shelters are spayed or neutered before adoption.
  • 2003 - PAWS wildlife staff played a leadership role in creating a statewide network of wildlife rehabilitators, the Washington Wildlife Rehabilitation Association, and helped organize the association's first conference.
  • 2004 - Seattle Goose Program was launched, a partnership with PAWS, Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Humane Society of the United States. Secured a moratorium to cease the annual gassing of Canada Geese in Seattle's parks and implement humane goose management.
  • 2004 - Due in part to PAWS' campaign against the use of wild animals in entertainment, and years of protesting with other animal welfare groups at circus events, Ringling Bros. Circus is unable to fill the seats at Seattle's Key Arena.
  • 2009 – PAWS played an integral role in getting a law passed in Washington State placing humane requirements on large-scale breeding operations.Also known as the puppy mill bill, it limits the number of adult dogs with intact sexual organs one person can possess and includes mandatory care standards to anyone who has custody of more than 10 intact adult dogs. One of the most progressive bills in the nation.
  • 2011 – A bill allowing sport hunters to hunt cougars with hounds was successfully stalled in its tracksPAWS, along with other concerned organizations and citizens, voiced opposition for this bill because of its ineffectiveness, and legislators listened.
  • 2011 – 30,000th child reached with PAWS’ messages of compassion and respect through PAWS Humane Education Program.

Ongoing Efforts

  • Actionlines” are distributed to thousands of PAWS’ supporters each year on topics ranging from urging constituents to contact their legislator in support of a specific, animal welfare bill, to urging a ban on events such as the Ringling Brothers circus.
  • PAWS Outreach team attends dozens of community fairs and festivals every year, sharing information on peaceful coexistence with wildlife, animal-friendly diets, adoption information and much more.
  • PAWS’ leadership is active with a number of community Boards and advisory committees, including The Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies, the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (NWRA), Washington Wildlife Rehabilitation Association (WWRA), and the Snohomish County Domestic Violence Task Force.
  • Educational campaigns are launched in the community as the need arises. For instance, our Raccoon Education Campaign kicked off in the fall of 2010, reaching out to communities all throughout the Puget Sound into 2011.
  • PAWS’ staff provides guidance and expert testimony on legislative issues whenever possible, including submitting letters of support on relevant bills and even traveling to Olympia to testify on particularly significant legislation.
  • PAWS’ staff also provides expert testimony in animal cruelty cases as requested.
  • Animal care staff respond to thousands of calls and emails each year, providing counseling and information on topics such as companion animal behavior issues, humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, low-cost spay/neuter services, and assisting with reports of animal cruelty.
  • PAWS Humane Education Program continues to reach thousands of children each year, through our six-week, classroom-based “Kids Who Care” program, PAWS Kids’ E-newsletter, half-day workshops on PAWS campus, and presentations on a variety of topics throughout the community.