PAWS For a Minute
Written by Ava   

Here at Paw-Talk, we're all about protecting those paws and we've been privileged enough to constantly find groups that have the very same motive.

Just look at the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS), a Northwest leader in helping animals since 1967.  This organization promotes advocacy for animals by providing shelters for the homeless, rehabilitating injured and orphaned wildlife, and pushing legislation and education.

We just had to ask them about some of their current projects and how we can help.  Lucky for us, Mary Leake Schilder, PAWS Public Affairs Manager was on hand to give us all the goods. 

Now learn what you can do to help protect those pretty pets.

What is PAWS?

A Northwest leader in protecting animals since 1967, the Progressive Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) shelters homeless cats and dogs, rehabilitates injured and orphaned wildlife, and empowers people to demonstrate compassion and respect for animals in their daily lives.

What are some of the ways PAWS advocates for animals?

We provide low-cost spay and neuter for low-income individuals with dogs and cats; we take in injured and orphaned wildlife, heal them and return them to the wild; we raise awareness on how people can prevent problems with Raccoons, a common species we get calls about; we work to pass legislation that protect wild and companion animals; and we teach children how to be responsible caregivers of pets and to respect wildlife. 
PAWS believes in promoting outreach and education efforts through non-confrontational methods. What are some of these methods?

Simply having the information readily available and accessible about animals, the issues and how people can be respectful and compassionate toward animals in their every day lives, without forcing it onto people. We also work to change laws to protect animals at the local and state levels here in Washington State.  

Any unusual stories of how an animal was saved thanks to PAWS?

You can read about two Beavers currently in our care. We used “surrogate moms” which really are toy stuffed animals to make sure they grow develop appropriately. Read the story here and here. 

How does PAWS feel about pertinent animal issues and topics such as animal intelligence, Animal testing, and Animal extremist groups?

These are such large and complicated topics for discussion that I think it’s difficult for me to address in this format. 

We do have a statement about animal testing: Cruel and inhumane research and product testing on animals promotes animal suffering. Non-animal methods for research and product testing should always be explored and used.

Where does PAWS put pets when they are taken from owners who are no longer able to take care of them or taken off the streets?

PAWS provides care for homeless cats and dogs, those found stray and those given up by their families at our shelter in Lynnwood, Washington and our Cat City adoption center in Seattle. Each animal receives medical attention, good food, a comfy place to rest, toys, and plenty of TLC until we are able to find new homes for them. 

How does PAWS help wildlife and promote wildlife conservation?

PAWS takes in injured, orphaned and sick wildlife from the Pacific Northwest. We provide them medical and rehabilitative care until they are strong enough to survive in the wild on their own. We also provide humane, effective and long-term solutions to people who are experiencing conflicts with wild animals on their property (ie, Raccoon takes up residence in someone’s attic). In addition, we work to pass laws that protect wild animals in Washington State, and encourage citizens to make changes in their daily lives, such as planting native plants and keeping cats indoors that help wildlife in their communities. 

What is the PAWS Wildlife Center and what are some of the wildlife programs?

PAWS Wildlife Center is our wildlife hospital and rehabilitation center. It’s like an ER for wildlife, with a triage room, X-ray machine, surgery suite, diagnostic lab and patient ward. It’s not a place for people to come look at the animals, but a place for injured, orphaned and sick animals to heal and become wild again. We are the only wildlife center in Washington State equipped with immediate and continual veterinary expertise and services. Read more about a day in the life at PAWS Wildlife Center here. I I already touched on the programs above. 

What is PAWS Magazine and what does it feature?

PAWS magazine is our educational and member magazine. It features stories of animals saved by PAWS, as well as pieces on how people can help animals in their daily lives. 

What kinds of things can the average pet owner and animal lover do to help push the mission of PAWS?

An average pet guardian and animal lover can:

    * Adopt their next pet from a shelter or rescue group.
    * Spay and neuter their companion animal.
    * Keep their cats indoors to protect their cats and wildlife.
    * Learn how to co-exist peacefully with wildlife in their communities and prevent conflicts.
    * Here is a whole list of things people can do!