The Healthy Paws Foundation is proud to announce their support of Pawsitive Alliance for the third consecutive year! By giving a $28,000 grant to our #WhyNotMePets campaign, we can work harder to end pet homelessness in Washington state.
What We Do
Pawsitive Alliance works across Washington to help cats and dogs in need – helping to end euthanasia of special pets by increasing adoptions, supporting spay and neuter programs and improving “pet retention” (homes keeping their pets). “Our vision is a healthy and happy home for every cat and dog in Washington,” says Executive Director Amy Ferguson.
Started in 2005, Pawsitive Alliance has been working hard on this mission, and since the start of the #Whynotmepets campaign in April of 2015, we have featured over 200 pets from Washington state shelters and rescues. The #WhyNotMePets program focuses on senior, long-term shelter residents, or one of the harder-to-home “restricted” breeds that need extra help in finding their forever home. Healthy Paws first recognized us in 2017, contributing to adoption efforts with weekly articles on the blog and targeted social media posts.
Spay & Neuter Programs
While we work hard to find forever homes, Pawsitive Alliance also initiates and supports spay and neuter programs across Washington State. We do this by targeting geographic regions with high euthanasia rates and communities with limited or no low cost spay/neuter options. “When I started volunteering nearly 10 years ago at my local shelter, the only thing I knew was that I loved animals and wanted to have as many as I could,” laughs Amy. “I quickly learned that shelters can be wonderful places for needy pets but in order for that to happen, the community has to be involved, which is how I became in involved in fundraising, community outreach, and being an overall advocate for shelter and rescue animals.”
Success in 2018
“The Healthy Paws grant for our #Whynotmepets program ensures that we can help pets find their forever home through Washington state rescues and shelters that request our help,” Ms. Ferguson continues. “In 2017, we helped over 78 pets through the program while in 2018 we had helped over 200 pets though the program! #Whynotmepets is made possible thanks to the grant from Healthy Paws.”
We’re very excited to see where 2019 will take us. For more good works from Healthy Paws, visit their Rescue Race page to learn more about animal welfare organizations that qualified for grants in the past year.
Content provided by Healthy Paws Pet Insurance. Policies are underwritten and issued by ACE American Insurance Company, Indemnity Insurance Company of North America, ACE Property & Casualty Insurance Company, Atlantic Employers Insurance Company, Westchester Fire Insurance Company, and members of the Chubb Group.
In Loving Memory of Haley - Born 6/10/07 – Died 11/29/18
Adopted by Pat & Randy Brown from Sunny Sky’s on 8/11/17
We first met Haley at a Pawsitive Alliance-sponsored adoption event at Marymoor Park. Although we had attended the event to “just look”, this quiet, somewhat forlorn waif of a dog caught my eye and my heart. She had been relinquished to a kill shelter in CA at the age of 10, flown to WA, then rescued by/sheltered at Sunny Sky’s Animal Rescue. Given her age and introverted nature, it was a miracle that Wings of Rescue chose to fly her out and that Sunny Sky’s chose to bring her to this adoption event! We are so thankful they did! Soon she became our Haley.
During the 15 months that Haley was a part of our family, it was a joy to see all the little things that made her life happy. Haley loved having a secure and loving home to call her own – so much so that she walked somewhat reluctantly away from the house on our multiple daily walks – but she always walked vigorously heading toward home. Whenever Haley returned home from a walk or car ride, she always insisted on walking a circle around our backyard to make sure her yard was as it should be. Although Haley was a small dog, she had the full-bodied bark of a larger dog, and while she did not bark frequently, she would bark to announce, “This is my home!” to anyone approaching the house. She was an expert in napping, enjoying sleeping in one of her two beds – curled up like a cute powdered donut! Her bed in the family room was also her favorite spot because from there, she could monitor activity in the “food room” (kitchen), and the other areas of the open floor plan. She loved looking out from her perch on the ottoman under the front window, attentively watching cars and people. She savored sniffing the scents during our walks in the neighborhood and the trails of Edith Moulton Park near our home. She loved running unleashed on the beach at Seabrook with our girls on family vacations.
Underweight when adopted, Haley would vocalize impatiently at our feet as we served her breakfasts and dinners, “talking” to us (“Hurry up! I’m hungry, you know!”), then she would prance excitedly over to her feeding area to receive & eat her meal. She also loved her “people food” treats of plain Greek yogurt (from a spoon or almost empty container), scrambled egg, a shred of cheese, pumpkin puree, a bit of plain pancake, or ice cream on occasion. Resigned to the rule of no treats from the dining table, Haley would face away from us in her bed (“I won’t look at you.”) until our dinner was finished. After her meals, Haley delighted in carrying her favorite Lamb Chop doll around the house, vocalizing as she went, often joyfully running from living room to family room! As she recovered from oral surgery, she was not to carry any toys until her mouth healed, so she & I invented another post-meal game - taking turns running & chasing one another around the house. Haley hated baths, but would tolerate them as long as there was a yogurt treat involved. After her bath, she would bolt from the bathroom, exuberantly running all around the house, so happy to be done!
Haley did not like to cuddle and declined our encouraging invitations to hang out on the couch with or without us (that must not have been allowed in her previous life!). But there were many ways we knew she loved us. She loved being close to us, snuggled in one of her nest beds. If we were in different rooms, she would walk back and forth, trying to persuade us to settle together in one room, so she could lie down close to both of us. Haley would watch at the front window for our return from errands, and if we were away from the house for more than an hour, Haley would often greet us with vocal “yowls” that sounded quite cat-like. In the last months of her life, Haley was more receptive to physical affection, lingering to accept chest rubs and standing belly rubs – I like to think if she’d been with us longer, that she would have become comfortable with cuddling up with us on the couch.
The people at Sunny Sky’s had characterized Haley as a “nervous little dog.” (who wouldn’t be after being given up as a senior dog?!) She was very timid about meeting new people (tucking her tail & pulling away if unfamiliar people talked to her), about riding in the car (she’d shake like a leaf), and about going to the vet, but for all her timidity, her basic sweet nature shone through and people loved her wherever we went.
Haley had several serious medical issues from her previous life – a mast cell tumor; loose, infected teeth; skin allergies – but with the work of several specialists, we got her through all these. It was rewarding to see her healthy & comfortable with a sense of wellbeing. We knew when we adopted an older dog that we might not have many years with her, yet fervently hoped that after getting her through her medical issues we would enjoy some good golden years together – it was not to be. Sadly, Haley died from an aggressive cancer 10 days before her 11 1/2th birthday. Despite her rapid decline, she had been able to enjoy some leisurely trail walking with us at Edith Moulton Park on Thanksgiving, only a week before her death. Our vet came to our home to help Haley to the Rainbow Bridge, allowing her to die in her favorite nest bed as we loved and held her. Fifteen months was not nearly enough time to give Haley all the love we had for her. The death of this sweet little dog has left a large hole in our lives & hearts.
Oh, Haley, I miss the soft sweet sound of your ears flapping as you shook upon awakening. I miss our morning routine of a short walk (with you pulling hard toward home & your breakfast), followed by sharing some egg or yogurt with breakfast. I miss seeing you napping contentedly in your bed near me. I miss seeing your beautiful white eyelashes & darling caramel speckled ears. I miss seeing your little face at the front window. I miss having you underfoot “assisting” in the kitchen. I miss the wisps of your shed white fur around the house and your nose prints on the windows. I miss singing love songs to you throughout the day. I miss “mothering” & pampering you, dressing you in your various vests & coats for warmth (and fashion!). I miss taking you for rides in your stroller. I miss patting your soft, smooth fur. I miss seeing your sweet face looking up at me.
If love could have cured you, you would have been healed.
Farewell, precious Haley girl, rest in peace.
Postscript – When I brought the wooden urn with her ashes home from the veterinary clinic, I carried the little urn in a circle around our backyard to honor her coming home ritual– Haley’s last circle in her yard.
A message from our Co-Founder, Yolanda Morris!
We are planning to have another exciting year of helping animals through our life-saving programs of increasing adoptions of shelter animals, access to affordable spay and neuter services, and pet retention to help pets in need.
This new year brings a new Board President to Pawsitive Alliance, I would like to introduce our longtime and stellar volunteer and board member Mary Schumacher as our new Board President for 2019! With my board term ending, I am not going far; I will now be serving on Pawsitive Alliance’s Advisory Council, a group of dedicated professionals who bring unique skills to work on our mission. Also, I will continue participating on the Fundraising Committee and Board Recruitment Committee as well as growing our Project: Mission Pawsible program.
Since I helped start Pawsitive Alliance in 2005 part of my goal has always been to grow it to a point where it is bigger than us founders and we have accomplished that in spades. We have a great team in place: a solid board, strong Advisory Council, a fantastic Executive Director, and, last but not least, dedicated supporters like you who donate and volunteer. With this strong base, our programs have served thousands of pets in need through our innovative services which we have brought to all corners of our state. Since we formed, our focus has been to help the already homeless by increasing adoptions AND to prevent more pets from becoming homeless through spay and neuter as well as pet retention. With these programs, we have helped adopt over 7,500 homeless cats and dogs and we have formed and grown numerous spay and neuter programs which have provided thousands of spay and neuter surgeries in areas of Washington with high rates of homelessness and euthanasia.
I am so proud of what we have accomplished over the past 13 years and I’m excited about the future of the organization. We will continue to apply, and with your support to grow, our unique and targeted programs using our strengths in innovation and collaboration to help pets in need.
Thank you for participating in the success of our mission and I look forward to working with you to keep Pawsitive Alliance strong so we can continue to serve cats and dogs in need across Washington.
If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get more involved in your community and to help animals please give us a shout! We are always looking for compassionate and passionate individuals to work with us as an event volunteer, committee member, and to serve on the board!
And now, a few words from Mary Schumacher, our incoming Board President!
I want to let you all know how excited and honored I am about stepping in to the Board President position for 2019. Pawsitive Alliance has been a long time passion of mine and I was excited to join the Board of Directors in 2018 after a number of years volunteering and supporting Pawsitive Alliance. Yolanda leaves big shoes to fill and we are lucky that she will continue to be a part of Pawsitive Alliance on our Advisory Council and continuing to work on the Project Mission Pawsible program in Yakima.
2019 is going to be a year of change as we continue to strategize on ways to grow our programs to help homeless cats and dogs throughout our State. We are planning fundraising events at Lagunitas Brewing in Seattle and Northwest Cellars in Kirkland and hope you will be able to join us. Stay tuned for further details which will be shared in upcoming newsletters and on social media. Thank you all for your continuing support of Pawsitive Alliance! Let's make 2019 the best year ever!
Who are they?
Emerald City Pet Rescue was established in 2013 as a non profit dedicateto rescuing, nurturing, and rehabilitating homeless and neglected animals as well as animals in need due to relinquishment.
“Home” Emerald City Pet Rescue, http://emeraldcitypetrescue.org/index.html
I am a young 10 month old pup.
am eager to find a home with lots of activity and time to play. I am learning new commands and can't wait for all the tricks you'll teach me,
I am a friendly fellow who enjoys playing with toys. I am ready to find my forever home. I would make a great addition to a home with other respectful pets.
I am a silly fun loving guy.
I love cozying up with my human and dog friends. I love having a dog pal that I can look to for reassurance. I also have awesome manners!
Did you know?
“In 2017, Emerald City Pet Rescue added to our adoption centers with Emerald City Kitty Harbor located in West Seattle! This building specifically houses our adoptable felines. In addition to the rescue, Emerald Kitty Cafe, a coffee stand, serves espresso drinks, Italian sodas, a variety of snacks and sandwiches including gluten free and vegan options, and the proceeds all go right back to help supplement the rescue. “
A huge thank you to Seattle Area Feline Rescue and all those making a difference for Washington animals in need.
Who are They?
"SAFe Rescue takes in homeless cats and kittens, gives them the care they need to recover, and finds them loving homes. Over 1,000 felines, including seniors and special needs cats, find homes here each year as people in search of new friends visit our welcoming storefront Adoption Center. An extensive network of community volunteers and foster families helps the rescue carry out its mission and save more lives."
“About Seattle Area Feline Rescue.” Seattle Area Feline Rescue, www.seattleareafelinerescue.org/about/.
I am an older gentleman looking to be pampered. I will repay you with loving companionship. I am featured in Seattle Area Feline Rescue's "Adopt less Adoptable Cats" program
I am looking for a home with my pal Princess. Will you give me cheek rubs? I am featured in Seattle Area Feline Rescue's "Adopt less Adoptable Cats" program.
I am looking for a home with my pal Precious. I am sweet and cuddly and offer affectionate love nibbles. I am featured in Seattle Area Feline Rescue's
"Adopt less Adoptable Cats" program.
DID you Know?
Seattle Area Feline Rescue’s Behavior Team began in when SAFe was selected by The Jackson Galaxy Foundation to participate in Cat Pawsitive, an initiative that introduces positive training to shelter cats. Even after completing the Cat Pawsitive program, dedicated rescue volunteers kept the Behavior Program going. Now Behavior volunteers sign up for morning and evening shifts to use clicker training and positive reinforcement to help shy rescue residents shine!
A huge thank you to Seattle Area Feline Rescue and all those making a difference for Washington animals in need.
We are all drawn to help animals for different reasons, but deep down we all share a love and passion that becomes our driving force for supporting animals in many different ways. Pawsitive Alliance is no different--our supporters are inspired to be the change and many of you also support other animal organizations through donations, volunteering, fostering, and maybe even through your business.
Martha Faulkner, a long time animal lover and advocate, is one of those people that when you meet her, you realize she has found a way to turn her passion for animals--and her love of helping people--into more than just a business. Martha helps people find the best home for themselves and their pet, and in doing so donates 10% of her commission to animal charities, Pawsitive Alliance being one of them.
An adoptee herself, Martha was drawn to homeless pets since -she saw the kindred spirit in them.- She also discovered in searching for her own birth family that she had a knack for sleuthing and started a support group for adopters and adoptees and helped people connect with their families. Eventually, she became a private investigator, and became an advocate for open records so other families wouldn’t have to search so hard to find their birth families.
She also continued to help animals, and eventually would became a real estate broker and helped her local shelter expand to a new location. This then turned into helping pet lovers find the right home for their whole family, since she knew that much like we have our own needs in a home, so do our animals.
Martha knows just how hard it can be to move a rescue into a new home, as someone who has adopted many pets over the years. Some rescue animals need extra attention to settle in, or have needs like a stair free home, ample play space, and so on. Her best tip when you do finally find the right home for you and your whole family? Write a letter to the current owners from the heart. Let them know why you need the home, and how it will help your family. Many people selling their home want their house to go to someone else who will love it as much as they did.
In Washington State the answer is No.
A new Washington law went into effect July 24, 2015 that allows animal control and law enforcement officers to break into vehicles to rescue pets – but it does not cover good Samaritans.
The law limits or eliminates liability for vehicle damage that animal control or law enforcement cause when rescuing a pet from a car due to extreme heat, extreme cold, lack of ventilation or lack of water. In addition, the pet owner can face a $125 fine. The person who confined the animal in the vehicle or enclose space may also be charged with animal cruelty under RCW 16.52.205 or 16.52.207.
Now we know many of you are saying to yourself, “I don’t care what the law states, I would just break the window and save the pet.” If you make that decision and you break into a car to save a pet, you could face legal or financial penalties for the damage to the vehicle. If you take the animal without the owner’s permission, you could be charged with theft. And keep in mind that you don’t know the animal, which may not react well to you breaking the window, and you could be injured.
What Should You Do?
Call 911! If you see a pet shut up in a car on a hot day in distress, call 911 and explain the urgency. While you are waiting for the animal control or law enforcement officer to arrive, take pictures of the car, the license plate and the pet in distress in the car to provide to the officer. If you don’t have a camera phone, take down the vehicle’s model, make, color, and license plate number. These can be used to report the owner for neglect or irresponsible behavior, and also to identify who the owner is.
Have the Owner Paged. Go into the local businesses or buildings nearby and notify a manager or security guard. Ask that they make an announcement over the intercom with the license plate number.
If the pet owner returns to the vehicle while you are waiting, avoid an altercation. We all want to reprimand the pet owner, but its not worth an injury or even worse, just to feel good about telling someone what a horrible pet owner they are. If the owner leaves before animal control or law enforcement arrive, you have the pictures and you should make a statement.
Monitor the Animal. According to PetMD, signs of heatstroke include restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, and lack of coordination. Keep a close eye on the dog for these symptoms, as it could mean that the situation needs to be acted upon very quickly.
What Else Can I Do?
We think this is a good idea. Life-Meter for Pets launched a campaign in Arizona featuring their product – a thermometer that attaches inside a car window. Their goal was to illustrate how fast a car heats up even on a mild day.
“When you display the thermometer, you are sending a message to anyone who may walk by your vehicle in a parking lot that it is never ok to leave pets alone in hot cars,” says Adam Schultz, lead designer of the product. “You are also showing your concern and spreading awareness of these dangers every day.”
Ever since I was a little kid, I have loved taking photographs of the animals in my life. I remember, after receiving my first camera at the age of nine, handing over rolls of film full of images of my pets for my parents to have developed. My family couldn't understand my obsession with photographing all of the animals in my life. They thought I was a little weird. It wasn't until one of our pets passed away that they understood what I was doing.
The photos you take of your pets today will be a gift to yourself and your loved ones when you need it most. This is why I became a professional pet photographer; to help people tell their pet's stories through beautiful photographs.
Although hiring a professional photographer to capture portraits of your beloved pets is a wonderful experience, it isn't something everyone can do, nor is it something that can be done every moment of every day. What you CAN do, is learn to take better photos of your pets using the tools you have so that you always have something to remember them by. I have put together a few tips that I believe can change the way you capture your own pets' stories in your everyday life.
Tip #1 Find the best light.
While not always possible in every situation, finding the best light is the key to a great image. The best light in your home will likely be near a window. Window light is wonderful. It is your best friend. Although I am a professional pet photographer with professional equipment, some of my favorite photos of my dogs are from when I found them lying around in beautiful light. All I had in the moment was my phone, but they say the best camera is the one you have on you.
Tip #2 Be mindful of what is included in your photograph.
The space around your subject is just as important as your subject itself. If you can help it, there should be purpose in what you include in your photograph. You could take the most brilliant photo of your dog in the backyard, but no one would be able to look passed that crumpled and torn blue tarp with a pile of orange bricks in the background. The best thing is to move the distraction before taking the photo, or find a different perspective to shoot from.
Tip #3 Change your perspective.
Have you ever sat down at your pet's eye level? The world looks different from there, doesn't it? I love lying in the backyard grass capturing portraits of my dog as she snoozes or lifts her nose to smell the Spring air. I've often just joined my dogs on the floor in the living room to capture photos of them being lazy. In all of these scenarios, I can think of multiple perspectives to capture portraits from. When your pets are sleeping or just lazing about, they make great subjects to practice capturing from different perspectives.
Tip #4 Don't forget the details!
One of my favorite parts about the work I do is learning the little things my clients love about their pets. Such as, the way their cat's whiskers turn in crazy directions, or the heart-shaped patch of white fur on their dog's back or a special trick their pet knows. These details are such wonderful things to capture in images. You know your pet the best, so don't forget to grab some photos of those little things you cherish the most about them.
Tip #5 Print, print, PRINT!
Having access to cameras on our cellphones has made it so easy to take more photos than we really need. So many, in fact, that we forget about them. They sit in our camera roll, or someplace on the desktop of our computer or in the cloud. How would it feel if you could grab a book off of the shelf that was filled with your favorite portraits of your pet? Or if when you woke up each morning, you were welcomed by a framed portrait? There are so many wonderful ways to enjoy your photos, and I hope you take the opportunity to have them printed. You won't regret it!
Marika Moffitt is the owner of Dirtie Dog Photography, a Seattle-based pet photography business that specializes in capturing the story of animals for the people who love them. Marika also serves on the board of Pawsitive Alliance, and is a lead contributing photographer for #WhyNotMEPets. You can learn more about the work she does by visiting www.dirtiedogphotography.com .
As people, we are pulled in so many directions: work, school, family, spouses, pets, the list goes on. Some may wonder how anyone has time to do anything, let alone volunteer. But volunteering has some surprising benefits, both for you volunteer, and the organization you donate your time to.
I've been a volunteer writer with Pawsitive Alliance for over 3 years now. Even though I write for a living, there's always times I feel down on my work or like I'm not doing enough. Enter: volunteer writing. Writing social posts and Petfinder descriptions for homeless pets not only make me feel like I'm doing something good for pets, but it increases my skills and confidence in what I'm doing. It's a win-win for all.
Meeting new people
Volunteer opportunities are a great way to meet new people with similar interests. Ask yourself: how else can you meet people who share the same passions you do? It's been wonderful meeting the Pawisitve Alliance team and seeing how all of our strengths together are helping homeless animals find homes.
The feel-good effect
When you do good for others, studies show you actually feel better about yourself, your life, and the daily situations you face. Donating your time or your skillset--even if it's a little bit of time--can really make you feel better and happier, which in turn benefits not only the organization you're helping, but your overall mental health.
Learning new skills
Not sure you'd be good at writing? Want to try out customer service? Volunteering is a great way to learn new skills with no pressure. While I chose to donate my writing skills (skills I already have), there's nothing stopping me from trying and learning different facets and skills. Plus, there's always someone around who wants to help--so you can keep helping the organization be successful!
Want to try volunteering? Here's how you can get the most out of it.
Pick an organization you feel passionately about
As a pet lover, it was a no-brainer for me to volunteer my time to help pets find homes. If you love what the organization does and stands for, you'll have no qualms about donating your time and skills.
You'll want to make sure you know what volunteer expectations are, and if you have the extra time needed to make a strong commitment. Over time, you may be able to adjust your commitment—if you build trust from the beginning.
Make sure you pick a task you'll enjoy doing. Because I'm a writer by day and love creating and writing content, I utilized my passions to create the perfect volunteer opportunity. Because I'm happy, the organization benefits, too.
Did you know that one in three pets will get lost in their lifetime? Even the most careful pet parents know how quickly a pet can become lost: someone accidentally leaves a door open, a dog get spooked by fireworks, a cat jumps out an open window, the list goes on. The pets that aren’t reunited often wind up at local shelters as strays. It’s estimated that in Washington state, 50% of the animals that enter into the shelter system are strays.
In Yakima County, thousands of pets every year have to be rehomed while their owners are searching for them, not realizing they could be in local shelters or rescues. We know this could be corrected with the proper ID. To help with this, we have formed a coalition of animal welfare organizations in Yakima County called Project Mission Pawsible. To date, the coalition's efforts include providing free tags and collars to thousands of dogs in the community, with every adopted animal now leaving the shelter with a collar, ID tag, and microchip.
This is just the beginning. We are working to increase spay and neuter services in central Washington, making improvements to the lost and found system, and having the right tools available if someone loses their pet so they can be reunited with them quickly.
For more information on what to do if your pet is lost or if you find a pet in Yakima County, visit their lost and found page here. For general information about lost and founds pets, visit the Missing Pet Partnership.
Alleviating Concerns. (n.d.).http://microchip.homeagain.com/alleviating-concerns.html
We have many guest authors from volunteers, partner organizations, staff, and even donors. We are happy to share news from our organization, industry, and a few fun articles too! Thank you for your continued support of Pawsitive Alliance and making all of this possible.