After years of hard work, planning, and fundraising, a wonderful new Wildlife facility is under construction on a beautiful 25-acre site off Highway 9 in Snohomish. Included is a wonderful, large surgery and ample outdoor habitat.
All wildlife in PAWS‘ care will be rehabilitated here. Large and small mammals like otters, beavers, bears, flying squirrels, seabirds, raptors, and other varieties of avian creatures, will have the space needed for them to recuperate in a natural setting. Some are luckily short-time residents, but many seriously injured will require long-term rehabilitation. The most rewarding experience of all is releasing them back into to the wild – to go home.
PAWS (Progressive Animal Welfare Society) you’ve heard about it, but what is it exactly? PAWS began in 1967 when a group of animal loving friends tired of seeing the box of kitties and puppies “free to a good home” every time they went to the grocery store, decided to do something about it. “It was awful,” said the late Virginia Knouse, co-founder and first volunteer President. They realized human education was the first line of defense and need.
What started as a rummage sale in an office basement to raise funds for spaying and neutering, quickly became a thrift store. As word spread, everyone started bringing unwanted and stray pets to them. Not to mentions the desperate calls about injured wild animals. Obviously, an office basement could not house this operation, and led to the purchase of land in Lynnwood, WA. The new Wildlife center will take the pressure off the Companion Animal facility at the current location and PAWS Cat City in the U-District.
Today, it is an organization dedicated to preserving all animals and educating the public and the next generation through programs for adults, children, and teens. With three facilities and over 1,000 volunteers to complement their full-time staff, they rehabilitate animals both wild and domestic. They have two full-time companion veterinarians and two full-time wildlife veterinarians, numerous techs, as well as a graduating veterinarian student program so popular it has a waiting list.
The education aspect is of greatest importance. Start little, grow big. From youth, pre-teen to teenage programs, there is something for everyone. They even have Scout programs that lead to much-coveted badges. School classes and visits are welcome.
There is an always a need for Foster Families. This does not have to mean a life-time commitment. There are puppies and kittens that are not quite ready to be adopted, and an injured dog or cat that needs some extra care until they are ready for a forever home. This is always a critical need to open more space and allows animals in more urgent needs to receive care. Please consider how you can help. Time, care, or donations.
Fundraising to support these efforts, is an ongoing effort. For more information about PAWS, and all their programs, or to donate, please visit PAWS website.