PAWS' Timeline 2011-Present


  • PAWS had a milestone 50th anniversary year!
  • In the PAWS Companion Animal Shelter, the save rate reached new heights at just over 97 percent.
  • PAWS Cat City surpassed a notable adoption milestone, as we celebrated the 20,000th adoption since Cat City doors opened in 1997.
  • The PAWS wildlife hospital also continued to play an important conservation role on the Western Pond Turtle Health Team, researching and treating the ulcerative shell disease which is contributing to their population decline. In all, we treated 24 native, endangered Western Pond Turtles for this shell disease, helping promote the species’ recovery.
  • By the end of the legislative session, Substitute Senate Bill 5356—which focused on improving the quality of life for dogs who are tethered, and providing animal control officers with more effective enforcement options—successfully became law.
  • PAWS continued the Pet Pantry Program for the second year in a row and doubled its impact, meaning we donated more than 2,500 pounds of pet food and other supplies to local food banks.
  • Throughout the year, PAWS Placement Partner Program worked with nearly 100 other shelters and rescue agencies to transfer in animals when they were out of space. While we always focus on our local partners first, we were also able to help animals from as far away as Arkansas, Arizona, California, Georgia, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and Tennessee.
  • The PAWS wildlife hospital received an unusual number of gulls with neurologic disease, all coming from the Port of Tacoma area. PAWS’ wildlife team not only treated the surviving gulls, but diagnosed an outbreak of avian botulism in collaboration with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.


  • PAWS’ companion animal experts traveled to Animal Care Expo in Las Vegas, NV, organized by The Humane Society of the United States, where our Cat City Manager delivered a workshop titled Keeping Cats in Homes.
  • In March, PAWS wildlife veterinarian Dr. John Huckabee was credited with discovering the first recorded occurrence of White-nose syndrome (WNS), a devastating bat disease, in western North America. A Little Brown Bat found by hikers was brought to PAWS and had visible symptoms of a skin infection common in bats suffering from this debilitating disease. The discovery resulted in widespread local and national media attention.
  • In February PAWS staff and volunteers joined other local shelters to welcome more than 200 dogs and cats, arriving from over-crowded shelters in Oklahoma and California to start their new lives in the Pacific Northwest. They were brought to Seattle by Wings of Rescue volunteer pilots as part of their “Love is in the Air” mission.


  • PAWS received one of the more significant patients in our 35-year history of wildlife rehabilitation, a federally endangered Short-tailed Albatross. She was found struggling in the waters off the Washington coast—emaciated, injured, highly stressed and with severe wounds on her delicate webbed feet. Despite the best efforts of PAWS’ staff, she died in care but not in vain. Her legacy will live on through research and education.
  • PAWS hosted 29 students in our wildlife rehabilitation, veterinary internship and externship programsm, and welcomed four visiting veterinarians and two veterinary students to our companion animal clinic.
  • Through a combination of Kids Who Care classroom programs, custom presentations and on-site tours, more than 840 children aged four through 18 years were engaged in learning about compassion for animals.
  • Eager to share our compassion for animals beyond our physical location, we participated in United Way’s Project Homeless Connect—providing basic health exams, minor grooming and nail trims to clients’ companion animals, and distributing food, flea treatment and pet supplies.
  • PAWS delivered the first ever Catio Tour Seattle, inspiring solutions for peaceful co-existence between companion and wild animals for residents in Puget Sound.
  • PAWS celebrated the successful signing of the Animal Anti-Cruelty Bill SSB 5501 by Washington Governor Inslee. The bill strengthens protections for all animals in Washington.
  • PAWS joined the 2015 World Spay Day collaboration in Washington State. The group effort included 37 participating clinics who delivered a total of 900 spay and neuter surgeries in the month of February.
  • PAWS led the chorus against Substitute House Bill 1838—the bear baiting bill—by alerting our audience to the swift moving bill. Concerned citizens spoke up quickly and the bill was defeated.
  • PAWS' wildlife care experts presented on panels and led workshops at the 2015 National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association Symposium.
  • PAWS utilized the power of social media to encourage the defeat of the "Ag-Gag" bill H.B. 1104 in Washington State.


  • PAWS participated in 32 community outreach events around Puget Sound, offering information on foster and adoption of dogs and cats, and peaceful co-existence with local wildlife.
  • PAWS recognized a critical issue for an indigenous songbird, the Dark-eyed Junco, and made the species a focus of study this year.
  • Fireworks in Lynnwood were successfully banned! PAWS joined with concerned citizens who led a campaign against a municipal bylaw to stop the deployment of fireworks within Lynnwood by 2015.


  • PAWS participated in 38 community outreach events around Puget Sound, offering information on foster and adoption of dogs and cats, and peaceful co-existence with local wildlife.
  • PAWS wildlife experts delivered workshops at the National Wildlife Rehabilitators Association Symposium, including sessions in Basic Wildlife Rehabilitation and Pediatric Mammal Critical Care. Our expertise in these areas reached an audience of over 500 wildlife professionals in the US.
  • We provided 105 free spay/neuter surgeries on Pit Bulls and Pit Bull mixes who are in the care of loving and responsible guardians.
  • PAWS participated in the World Spay Day—partnering with 13 local shelters and rescue groups and 40 veterinary clinics locally to offer low-cost spay/neuter surgeries locally.
  • After 140 days in our care, our longest term Bald Eagle patient—who was rescued from a fish turbine and needed multiple surgeries to survive—was finally ready for release back to the wild. He was released to the Chehalis River in the Fall of 2013.


  • PAWS trained 17 rehabilitation interns and 25 veterinary medical student externs.
  • The Humane Education team at PAWS presented 117 special classes to 2,433 elementary students in the Puget Sound area.
  • PAWS delivered the message of animal welfare to 41 community events reaching almost 5,000 people.
  • PAWS cared for 63 raptors including; 11 eagles, 6 falcons and 27 owls. PAWS also cared for 1,265 songbirds and perching birds from 63 different species.
  • PAWS was able to expand our wildlife hospital with a larger flight pen for raptors, two new raccoon shelter buildings, a deer pen, squirrel boxes and a refurbished seabird pool.


  • A bill allowing sport hunters to hunt cougars with hounds was successfully stalled in its tracks. PAWS, along with other concerned organizations and citizens, voiced opposition for this bill because of its ineffectiveness, and legislators listened.
  • 30,000th child reached with PAWS’ messages of compassion and respect through PAWS Humane Education Program.
  • PAWS provided expert opinion and testimony on a spay/neuter assistance bill low-income Washington residents, and an anti-tethering bill to protect dogs.

Read our 1967—1999 timeline

Read our 2000—2010 timeline

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