About Animals

"Seek Truth Without Fear"

"Compassion for animals is intimately connected with goodness of character...he who is cruel to animals cannot be a good man."

~ Arthur Schopenhauer


Tom Campbell a Sponsor of Humane Care for Outside Dogs

     January 10, 2010

    January is “Unchain a Dog” month. Representative Tom Cambell (R states, “I have a bill, HB 2387 that would help stop this cruel treatment of dogs in Washington State:
   “It is an unlawful practice leaving dogs out in the cold, heat and wet conditions. It is particularly interesting that chained dogs are more likely to bite kids and cause injuries” The bill is also sponsored by Maralyn Chase (D), and Shery Appleton (D).

    Read the bill House Bill 2387


Awwww Alert
Rescued Bunnies Thriving...

                                                                                                                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

     April 13, 2008 - by Dixie A. Walter: Bob and Gail Schaub became foster parents to a pair of bunnies "about eight or nine days" ago, and started feeding them immediately. Bob explained the mother, a domestic rabbit, is still seen around his area. But won't come near Schaub's property because of their terrier dogs.
     It appears the mother abandoned her litter because the dogs scared her off. Although how she got under the extremely sturdy fence is a question. The litter was left close to the back door. One was killed by a terrier and Bob said he couldn't leave them out to die. And, since the dogs would kill them for sure he took them in.
     Gail and Bob went to a feed store and were told to feed the babies kitten formula. They have thrived on this food. When first found the bunnies, brother and sister, barely had fur and were just starting to open their eyes. Gail went to the Internet for help and learned to weigh the tiny bunnies on a food scale. It takes both people to weigh the active little ones. Baby rabbits are called "kittens" or "kits."
     For every ounce they gain the babies get another eyedropper of formula. They are up to four or five a day now. They also have tiny teeth which can be heard and felt on the tip of the eyedropper. The siblings have started to nibble dandelion greens and sample other solid food.
     When they aren't cuddled together the little guys are very active and inquisitive. Schaub's had a moment of panic Sunday after moving the babies into a new, larger cage. Even though Bob and Gail thought they had the cage escape proof, the female figured out how to get high enough to squeeze through the cage bars.
     Then she had the laundry room to herself. Schaubs had to move a washing machine loaded with wet clothes and finally caught her. Bob said when they put the escapee back with her brother Bob said he was "so happy to see her" they licked each other's faces in excited greeting. "It was like they were kissing," Bob explained.

Animal Lover Active in Community...

      Active in the community Bob is presently Chair of the Planning Commission. He has served two terms on the town council in the past and is a retired elementary school teacher. He came to Eatonville in 1971 and taught fifth grade. Bob also taught for a time at Columbia Crest Elementary where he also served as principal. Later he was named principal at Eatonville Elementary. While in this position Bob oversaw construction of the "new" elementary school. He retired from his education career in 1990.
     In keeping with Bob's interest in children and their issues he was an active board member of the Youth Connection, he is an "at large" board member currently. Bob is also a member of the Community Center Committee (he wrote the major part of the center's grant) and serves on the Park Committee.
     But no matter how busy he is Bob makes the time to hand feed the little Schaub bunnies. Gail fixes the formula and they worry over the temperature before letting the babies feed. When Bob finished feeding the female, he got up to take her back to her cage and kissed her on the top of her head.
     So far Schaubs haven't named the tiny rabbits.

 To watch a video of Bob feeding the dainty female please see Female Bunny
 And to watch the video of Bob feeding the bigger male please see Male Bunny

Missing Bird
$500 Reward...

     *As of late last week it is believed this lost bird is still alive. She was spotted flying over her owner's home with some wild birds and one neighbor says she has heard Sam vocalizing in the area.

     April 8, 2008: A small Sun Conure parrot resembling the photo above has been missing near Smallwood Park (Kid's Pond) since Thursday, April 3. The missing bird has a yellow head, cape and belly, red cheeks, teal wings, is approximately ten inches tall and has a band on one leg.
     The bird's name is Sam and is "very tame" according to his owners. If you see Sam, or "even think you see him, please call anytime day or night." Home phone - 360.832.1201; cell - 253.548.5917 or cell - 253.820.6825.
     There is a $500 reward.

Feeding Frenzy at Tony's...

                                                                                                                                                         (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     April 7, 2008: Tony explains, "The little guys are going through almost a full feeder bottle a day now. Every evening before dark there are up to 14 that we can count buzzing around."

Is it Spring Yet?

                                                                                                                                                               (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     March 26, 2008: March is a fussy month, never seeming to know what to do weather-wise. Eatonville woke up to the white stuff this morning. Later, the sun was shining. Then the next thing you saw was more snow. It's very cold outside this evening, raising some worries about icy roads.
     Tony Sirgedas sent ENN this photo of a male Rufous hummingbird with the following message. "I found this little gem in the snow. It found a nice perch outside the front window after hitting the feeder during this evening's snow shower."
     Rufous hummer's have the longest migration route of all United States hummingbirds. The tiny males usually come back to this area sometime in February. Females arrive later.

Low Cost Spay/Neuter Clinic Opens to Save Pet Lives
Open House Friday, March 28

Changing This...                                      To This...


     (TACOMA, WA, March 25, 2008) – The first low cost spay/neuter clinic has opened in Pierce County. In just 13 days of surgery, over 300 dogs and cats have been altered at the Coalition: HUMAnE Spay & Neuter Clinic in Tacoma! Many unwanted puppies and kittens will not be born thanks to this effort.
     In order to stop the killing of over 10,000 pets per year, Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project orchestrated an effort among local animal welfare groups to raise funds and raise the roof on a model spay/neuter clinic to address pet overpopulation. Pierce County’s first low cost spay/neuter clinic will provide surgeries for at least 6,000 dogs and cats per year.
     A celebratory Grand Opening will be held on Friday, March 28 from 6pm – 8pm. The new clinic is located at 2106 Tacoma Avenue South in Tacoma. Spaying and neutering is the most effective solution to pet overpopulation. It is also non-lethal.
    “Our goal was to start a clinic at the lowest cost possible to serve the largest number of animals, therefore
an immediate impact on shelter intakes and euthanasia. We are thrilled to bring this clinic to the community,” said Patty Rusnak, PSNP Vice President. Please visit www.coalitionhumane.org  for more information.

Spay/Neuter Project Gets $35,000 PetSmart Grant

                                                                   ( photo courtesy PSNP )

Frodo, a pit bull mix, became Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project's 10,000th client last fall.

        by Holly Bukes 
       February 7, 2008     

      ( GIG HARBOR - February 7, 2008) - Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project (PSNP) has received a $35,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to establish a new spay-neuter clinic for cats and dogs. This clinic is expected to complete a minimum of 6,000 sterilizations for companion animals in the first year. The Coalition: HUMAnE Spay & Neuter Clinic, located in Tacoma , will begin taking appointments on February 17. 
     Spaying and neutering is the most effective solution to pet overpopulation.  It is also non-lethal.  “Our goal is to start a clinic at the lowest cost possible to serve the largest number of animals, therefore making an immediate impact on shelter intakes and euthanasia,” said Patty Rusnak, PSNP Vice-President.  “We hope that our spay/neuter clinic will become a model for other agencies across the country.”  Inquiries and donations to Coalition: HUMAnE are welcome.  Please call 253.627.SPAY for more information or visit

About Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project

     PSNP’s six-year old pet sterilization program has successfully funded over 10,000 spay  and  neuter surgeries.  Its mission is to promote and provide funding for low cost spay and neuter services for pet cats and dogs, as well as for feral cats. The majority of PSNP’s clients are low income families receiving public assistance, along with Good Samaritan caretakers of abandoned feral cats.  

About PetSmart Charities

     Since its inception in 1994, PetSmart Charities (PCI) has helped save the lives of more than 3.2 million homeless pets and has given more than $65 million to animal welfare programs across the United States and Canada . PCI works to improve the quality of lives for companion animals by creating and supporting programs that save the lives of homeless pets, facilitating adoptions through in-store programs, raising awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promoting healthy relationships between people and pets. To learn more about how PCI is working to help find a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit http://www.petsmartcharities.org/ or call 1.800.423.PETS.

Our Neighbors Look at the Loss of Their Neighborhood...

(photo by Linda Cossalman)

     January 29, 2008: This adult pair of bald eagles have been seen in the Hilltop Area where extensive logging has taken place. Another part of their neighborhood, Van Eaton Parkland, was completely denuded of any vegetation. Vegetation which would be cover for rodents, squirrels perhaps rabbits. Take away their habitat and the food supply goes away too. The photographs were taken Saturday, January 26.
     This  magnificent bird, the totem animal which has symbolized American for 226 years, was almost driven to extinction by the widely used pesticide DDT After decades of conservation, breeding programs etc. the big bird has made an impressive comeback and was removed from endangered status, delisted, in June 2007. Eagles are still protected. The Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act are federal laws prohibiting "taking - killing, selling or otherwise harming eagle's, their nests and eggs. They are also protected under the Lacey Act.
      Tall treetops are a favorite place for the birds to keep an eagle eye on their territory and watch for food like the one the pair in the photograph have staked out. Bald eagles have a territory of one to two square miles, with a wingspan between six to eight feet and weighing from seven to fourteen pounds, the giant raptors need plenty of space to soar. The eagles body can be from 34 to 43 inches with the female is the largest which is characteristic in birds of prey. Their size is relative to a human male of six feet.
     They are opportunistic feeders and will eat carrion, chase other birds away from food and make spectacular swoops over water to catch fish or ducks. Sometimes they get a fish or water fowl almost too big to handle. But eagles swim rather well and often flap their way out of the water to land instead of giving up the kill. About 60 to 90 percent of their diet is made up of fish. They feast on salmon carcasses along river banks and can live up to 50 years in captivity with an average of 28 to 30 years in the wild.

Bald Eagles Mate for Life...

     Bald eagles mature around five years old. Until the when the distinctive white head and tail are finally on display it is difficult to tell a juvenile from a golden eagle or a big hawk. They begin to nest in March and April. Both parents build the nest, called an aerie, and the bird will usually use the same site for years adding to it's size until the aerie becomes huge. The biggest nest recorded was 9.5 feet wide, 20 feet high and weighed over two tons. The birds mate for life but will take another mate if one dies.
     The first year of life can be very dangerous for bald eagles. The mother bird usually lays two eggs several days apart. The gestation period is 35 days with the first egg laid hatching first. Parents feed the first hatched and sometime the second bird is too small to fight for attention and food. They often are pushed out of the nest and perish. About 50 percent of eagle chicks don't survive their first year. Both parents nurture the eaglets until they are able to fly at around 12 weeks old.
     According to the American Eagle Foundation, "The Bald Eagle was officially declared the National Emblem of the United States by the Second Continental Congress in 1782. It was selected by the U.S.A.'s founding fathers because it is a species unique to North America. Ben Franklin wanted the wild turkey to be the national bird, because he thought the eagle was of bad moral character. The Bald Eagle has since become the living symbol of the U.S.A.'s freedoms, spirit and pursuit of excellence. Its image and symbolism have played a significant role in American art, folklore, music and architecture."
    As the icon of our American freedoms the eagle is a noble figure whose imagine adorns just about everything patriotic. Many people revere these beautiful birds and protect them as much as possible. Others, evening flag-waving "patriots," destroy the eagles living spaces, and food sources, without blinking an eye. 
   It is believed this pair are also the eagles seen frequently around the Mashell River near the bridge and batch plant. The location of this pair's nest is not known, which is a good situation for the birds as spring comes knocking.

Keeping Watch...

                                                                                                 (photo by Linda Cossalman)

While its mate  flies off to look for food this bird keeps watch over their territory.

Wingspan from Seven to Eight Feet...

                                                                                                                                                     (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     "The time will soon be here when my grandchild will long for the cry of a loon, the flash of a salmon, the whisper of spruce needles, or the screech of an eagle.  But he will not make friends with any of these creatures and when his heart aches with longing he will curse me.  Have I done all to keep the air fresh?  Have I cared enough about the water?  Have I left the eagle to soar in freedom?  Have I done everything I could to earn my grandchild’s fondness?"  ~ Chief Dan George - Salish Chief

     To hear the often melodious vocalizations of Bald Eagles please go to National Geographic Magazine's Sights & Sounds of Bald Eagles


Reminder for all Dog and Cat Owners

Pet Licenses are Due at End of Year

     It is that time of year again to renew your pet license. All 2007 pet licenses expire December 31. Protect your pets. Please visit Town Hall to purchase your 2008 pet license. Contact Eatonville Police Department for a pet license application to be mailed to you at 360.832.6111.

Dog License Schedule
Spayed/Neutered     $20
Unaltered              $50 

Cat License Schedule
Spayed/Neutered     $12
Unaltered              $50

Senior or Disabled Dog Owner
Spayed/Neutered      $10
Unaltered              $30

Senior or Disabled Cat Owner
Spayed/Neutered     $6
Unaltered              $30


Tips for a Pet-Friendly Winter from American Humane...

    With colder winter weather on its way -- not to mention the busy holiday season -- pets need a little extra loving care. Below are some precautions you can take to ensure a happy holiday season for the furry members of your family.

        Beware the Elements

  • Keep pets inside when the temperature drops. Cats can get frostbite and should be kept indoors year-round. Many dog breeds, such as greyhounds, are also highly susceptible to the cold.
  • Make sure antifreeze is inaccessible, and clean up any spills in your garage immediately. Antifreeze has a sweet taste animals find irresistible, but it can be deadly if swallowed.

        Give Thanks, Not Turkey Bones

  • Keep turkey, ham or any other leftover bones away from pets. Bones can tear or obstruct your pet’s intestinal tract.
  • Don’t “stuff” your pets. Found in abundance in turkey stuffing, onions can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia. In addition, rich, fatty foods like turkey skin or gravy can cause pancreatitis in animals.

        Decorate With an Eye for Safety

  • Keep enticing tinsel, ribbons and garlands away from pets. If ingested, these can become lodged in animals’ intestines, causing life-threatening obstructions.
  • Secure or cover light cords to deter chewing. Pet-proof extension cords are an even better way to make sure your pet does not shock or electrocute himself.

And Then There Were None...

                                                                   ( photo courtesy PSNP )

      Press release
      November 1, 2007

      Gig Harbor, WA – Without balloons, fanfare or a door prize, when Frodo crossed through the doorway of Minter Veterinary Hospital on Key Peninsula he unwittingly became Peninsula Spay/Neuter Project’s (PSNP) 10,000th client.  PSNP, a not for profit organization dedicated to saving lives through prevention, has facilitated over 10, 000 spay and neuter surgeries since its inception just six year ago.  This accomplishment was achieved with an all volunteer PSNP staff and partner veterinary clinics in Pierce, Kitsap and King County. The majority of PSNP's clients are low income families receiving public assistance and caregivers of feral cats. Earlier this year, PSNP announced the formation of Coalition: HUMAnE, a group of local animal welfare agencies dedicated to opening a freestanding spay/neuter clinic in Pierce County. The opening of the clinic in early 2008 will assist in the countdown to zero of the number of homeless pets in Pierce County.

Sonja Finally Home...

                                                                                               (courtesy photo)

     November 12, 2007: Sonja, the Morgan mare who was missing over three months has been recovered and is now home. For more of Sonja's story please see below.

Morgan Mare Missing for Three Months
"Bought," Moved, but Never Paid For...

Sonja, the Morgan Mare, is Missing...

     October 27, 2007

      Sonja is a 19-year-old Registered Morgan Mare. She has the sweetest personality, very personable. Will come to her name when called. Loves treats. Sonja is chestnut, caramel colored. Her mane is always very thick and long.
    She is 14 plus hands tall, very stocky and long bodied who looks like an over sized pony. She also looks sway backed without a saddle. She was sold, but not paid, for this past July. Payment arrangements were made, but never followed through.
    A promise was made to Sonja's owner that she could see the horse when she needed to. However, according to the mare's legal owner, the purchaser was evicted from her home, and moved Sonja with out telling her. 
     All the purchaser provided were directions to were Sonja is supposed to be, but she hasn't been found. Sonja's owner said,
"I have been doing alot of traveling around the area to find Sonja." The owner has tried multiple times to contact the woman purchaser but her phone calls have not been returned. The purchaser has no proof of ownership, this was withheld by the owner until the mare was paid for. The horse was last known to be in the Eatonville to Roy area.
    Any information to her recovery greatly appreciated. Contact 253.961.9728

Sonja Profile...

Sonja Saddled and Shod...

Sonja Unsaddled...

When Not Saddled Sonja is Swaybacked...

Sonja Close Up...

Detail of Sonja's Head. Photos Courtesy of Mare's Legal Owner...

Tony Captures Crows...

                                                                                                          (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     July 29, 2007: Tony captured this magnificent American crow, , Corvus brachyrynchos, with his camera and shares his photo with ENN readers. Although crows are hated by many, these extremely intelligent birds have been revered in many cultures, and are the subject of myths and lore in most cultures. Most myths, including Native American stories, emphasize the wisdom, intellect and wiliness of the this large bird. 
    Crows are found almost everywhere on the planet with the exception of New Zealand, Antarctica and South America. Crows have been documented making use of tools, and are said, by some, to be the most intelligent of birds. Although it is illegal to keep them as "pets," crows can become very good companion birds and some will even repeat human words. 
    These handsome birds will fiercely defend and protect their family. They will also fly to the aid of unrelated crows in trouble or distress. Their main enemies are humans, owls and hawks. Crows will eat just about anything and are useful as carrion feeders, eager to consume road kills and other dead animals. Crows are often hated for ruining crops, however, many experts say crows do more good than harm as insects destructive to crops are a favorite food of the species.
     In the wild crows can live up to ten years. The record for longevity in a wild, banded crow was twenty-nine and a half years. Crows have not been fazed by human development and actually thrive on the garbage generated by humans. Their ability to adapt is illustrated by aNative American tale says that coyote will eat the bones of the last man living and crow will eat the bones of coyote.
     Th Hawaiian crow and Mariana crow are endangered. Hawaiian crows, 'alala in Hawaiian, are believed to be extinct in the wild with thirty to forty birds in captivity. The numbers of Marian crows, native to the north Pacific, have been in steady decline since the 1960s. 


Kamp Kindness...

      from Tom Sayer
       July 14, 2007

     Kamp Kindness – a week-long day camp offered by the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County through Lakewood Parks & Recreation - is a wonderful opportunity for your child to explore the world of animals while learning about respect for people, animals and the environment. 
      Through games, crafts, guest speakers and field trips, we’ll examine pet behavior and socialization, animal rescue, pet adoption, pets and wildlife, and companion animals as our link to nature. Participants will enjoy a visit by a police officer and an animal control officer, who teach them about cruelty investigations. The kids will then be presented with investigative scenarios and be asked to do their own investigations! 
    All participants will receive exclusive Kamp Kindness T-shirts. Trained chaperones and counselors will be on staff. The highlight of the week will be a guided field trip at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge.
    The camps are open to children ages 9-12, and will be held at Lochburn Middle School . There are two separate camps: July 23-27 and July 30 to Aug. 3, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with lunches and snacks provided. The fee is $175. Some scholarships are available to qualifying families.  Call Lakewood Parks & Recreation at 253.589.2489 for more information or to request a registration form. The forms are also available through the Humane Society’s Humane Education Office at 253.284.5814.




Dog-a-Thon 2007 Saturday


(2006 photo by Bob Walter)


     This young Bassett hound took a break from last year's Dog-a-Thon and charmed everyone. Children's wading pools filled with water are on hand for participating dogs to splash in and cool off. Drinking water is also available during the event as are veterinarians. The Dog-a-Thon for the humane society began many years ago as the idea of a school girl to raise money for homeless pets. It has since become the society's biggest fundraiser. And a lot of fun for dogs and their owners.


Dog Lovers Alert...


     July 14, 2007

     If you’re more than just a dog owner and you consider yourself as a dog lover, then you’ll want to  know about the largest dog walking event in the state: Dog-A-Thon 2007, The Humane Society’s Walk for Homeless Pets.
    On Saturday, July 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. more than 1,000 dogs and their families will meet at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood to have a great time while helping homeless animals.
    Choose the one-mile stroll on the paved, level trail around Lake Waughop (perfect for the older dog) or hike the four-mile forested trail that leads up to spectacular views of the lake, Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the waters of Puget Sound.  Along the routes, stop and enjoy the Treat Stop, Toy Stop, Water Stops and the Photo Stop.
    Walking with your dog is only half the fun!  There will be opportunities to participate in the Magnificent Mutt Show, and to observe demonstrations by: Tacoma ’s Police Department K-9 Unit, Department of Corrections drug sniffing dogs, Ewe-Topia Herding Dogs, or collapse on the grass and soak up the sun with the friendliest dogs (and people!) around.  If that isn’t enough, stop by and have your pet microchipped for only $20! 
    To get started, log onto www.thehumanesociety.org and download a pledge form or call (253) 284-5811.  This day is for the dogs!

Awesome Elk Photos from
 Tony Sirgedas...

      Tony says, "Here's a couple of snaps from Dogwood Park early on July 2 with a herd of elk hanging around in the light fog."

Detail of Elk in the Mist...

 "Six of the seven elk are young bulls as you can see their antlers in the closer shot of them."

Humane Society on Euthanasia Alert...
62 Adoptable Pets Euthanized in the Past Week

                                                                                              (photo courtesy of The Humane Society 2006)

Foster Families and Adopters Urgently Needed Now...

               from Tom Sayre
               Events and Community Relations Manager
               May 19, 2006

              With spring upon us, hundreds of homeless kittens, cats and dogs are and will be arriving daily at the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County . The shelter and current foster families are now at capacity and we will need to continue euthanizing adoptable pets if the community does not step forward. The Humane Society currently is caring for a total of 271 dogs and cats.
               We need the communities help and there are several ways to become involved!

·         If someone is ready to provide a permanent and loving home for either a dog or cat, now is the time to adopt!

  •   Spay and/or neuter all of your pets.  There are far too many healthy adoptable pets in this community  
      and not enough homes.  

  •   Foster families and adopters are urgently needed.  Fostering a pet involves caring for it temporarily    
      until the kitten or puppy is old enough to be permanently adopted.   To find out more about becoming a   
      foster family, please call 253.284.5832.

       “It takes a community working together to stop the needless killing of thousands of pets,” says Kathleen Olson, Executive Director, Humane Society.
        In December 2008, the Humane Society will become a no-kill shelter and is working to ensure that Pierce County becomes a no-kill community.  Please help now!

      The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is the largest animal shelter in Washington State , caring for more nearly 18,000 homeless pets annually.  We protect and promote the well-being of animals and foster loving relationships between animals and people through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, humane education and animal protection. We are not a government agency, nor are we associated with or funded by any national, animal welfare organization. We are a private, non-profit organization that depends upon the tax-deductible donations of our community.
       Our goal is to end euthanasia of all healthy, adoptable pets by December of 2008, becoming the only  open-admission, no-kill community in Washington State, and one of only a few nationwide. We envision a community where every pet has a permanent and loving home, every companion animal is spayed or neutered, and all pets are treated with respect and compassion. Please do your part in helping to make Pierce County a “no-kill” community. Adopt a society pet, spay or neuter your pets, foster a pet, volunteer and give generously to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County .

Open Your Heart and Home, Adopt a Homeless Pet May 19

The Humane Society’s Special Day Offers Reduced Adoption Fees for Pets...

      Press release
      from Tom Sayre
      May 14, 2007

      TACOMA , Wash. – The Adoptathon event is a chance to unite people with a dog or a cat and to combat the needless deaths of thousands of pets that occur each year in Pierce County .
      “Adoptathon is more important this year as we move toward ‘fixing the problem’ of euthanizing healthy adoptable pets.  Promoting pet adoption is one way The Humane Society can reach its goal of becoming a ‘no-kill community’ by the end of 2008,” says Dick Heaton, Humane Society Board President.
      Hundreds of homeless pets will be available for adoption at a greatly reduced cost during Adoptathon at the William Gazecki Animal Shelter, 2608 Center St. in Tacoma , on Saturday, May 19, starting at 9 a.m.
      In 2006, there was a record breaking adoption event with 180 pets adopted!  “This year the goal is to clean out the entire cattery and every dog kennel” says Tom Sayre , event organizer.  “Every pet deserves a chance at life and we hope to place them all in permanent, loving homes.
     As part of the Adoptathon event, there will be a percent discount for all cats one year or older and a 25 percent discount for all dogs over the age of one year.  All adoptions include: wellness exam, spay/neuter, microchip with national registration, initial vaccinations, pet care counseling and – for cats – feline leukemia test, collar and cat carrier.  Free pet toys will also be given with every adoption.  For more information please call 253.383.2733.

Zoo Society Director Chosen to Head Humane Society...

                                                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     The  William Gazecki Animal Shelter (Humane Society) in Tacoma. Pet animals found in Eatonville and not claimed by owners or adopted in town are taken to the Humane Society in Tacoma. 

Kathleen Olson New Director...

       Press release
       February 28, 2007
      Contact Tom Sayre 253.284.5869
      or Marguerite Richmond 253.284.5823

     The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is pleased to announce that Kathleen Olson has been selected as the new Executive Director of The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County .  
     The Tacoma resident has been Executive Director of The Point Defiance Zoological Society since 2001. She joined the staff as Zoobilee Coordinator and Grant Writer in 1998 and was promoted to Development Director in 1999.  Previously, she was Executive Director for FISH Food Banks of Pierce County for five years.
    Ms. Olson comes to the Humane Society with a strong background in animal  welfare  and community service.  “I believe we have a duty to protect all animals,” stated Ms. Olson.  “For years I have worked to protect threatened and endangered species and wild animals represented in the Zoo collection. It is a natural transition for me to now concentrate on protecting our companion animals and working to eliminate the tragedy of needless pet euthanasia in our community.  I am looking forward to leading The Humane Society through the exciting times ahead, especially in reaching our goal of becoming a no-kill community by December 2008.
    The Humane Society’s board of directors has been searching for a new Executive Director for four months. “We conducted a nation-wide search,” said Board President John Ciccarelli, “and we had quite a few qualified candidates. We were impressed with Ms. Olson’s skills and leadership experience, and her knowledge of the community. She was really the best fit for the Humane Society.”  Olson will make the transition to the Humane Society in mid-March.  

Lost Parrot Recovered
 by "Guardian"

                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     February 24, 2007 : The stray, yellow-naped Amazon that had been in temporary residence at the William Gazecki Animal Shelter (Humane Society) in Tacoma has been reclaimed. The individual who lost the bird hadn't thought to visit or contact the local animal shelter to check for his feathered companion. But after The Humane Society's spokesperson Tom Sayre sent out a press release about the bird, and several local television news programs aired the story, word reached the bird's guardian.
     The staff at the Humane Society thought the bird's name might be "Bert," since the parrot seemed to be saying the word repeatedly, along with "Bye!" as one walked away. The bird's name, in fact, is "Sonny." He had flown out of an open car window as his owners were driving, very near where Andy Rogers, or rather, Roger's dog, discovered him. 

Lost Parrot Calling
 for Owner?
Parrot Repeatedly Says "Bert"

                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

      This stray yellow nape Amazon parrot has become an instant media star since arriving at the Humane Society. TV and radio stations have picked up the story to help find the bird's owner. Yellow nape parrots are hardy, intelligent, affectionate and are noted for speaking human words. Sex must be determined either by DNA testing or surgically. The yellow spot on the back of the head doesn't appear until the bird is a year old.

      from Tom Sayre
     February 22, 2007

     When local resident Andy Rogers went out back to see what his dog was barking at, he would have never guessed that an Amazon parrot would land on his extended arm!  Andy said that "it is obvious that this parrot has been around people and dogs as neither seemed to startle it."
    Knowing it was well cared for; Andy knew that someone would be looking for it so he took it to the Humane Society where it is being cared for until it can be hopefully reunited with its owner.  Since taking up residence at the Humane Society the feathered friend is becoming quite chatty.  In addition to calling the name “Bert” over and over, it also greets visitors with “good morning” and sends them off with a “bye.”
    This parrot is banded, if someone claims ownership the shelter will ask for verification of the numbers. If the owner doesn’t come forward, the Humane Society plans to make this
yellow nape Amazon parrot available for adoption.
    The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is the largest animal shelter in Washington State, caring for more nearly 23,000 homeless pets annually.  We protect and promote the well-being of animals and foster loving relationships between animals and people through pet adoption, spay/neuter programs, humane education and animal protection. We are not a government agency, nor are we associated with or funded by any national, animal welfare organization. We are a private, non-profit organization that depends upon the tax-deductible donations of our community.
   Our goal is to end euthanasia of all healthy, adoptable pets by December of 2008, becoming the only open-admission, no-kill community in Washington State, and one of only a few nationwide. We envision a community where every pet has a permanent and loving home, every companion animal is spayed or neutered, and all pets are treated with respect and compassion. Please do your part in helping to make Pierce County a “no-kill” community. Adopt a society pet, spay or neuter your pets, foster a pet, volunteer and give generously to the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.  

For Bird Lovers

      January 18, 2007: Making its way through the Internet via email is a charming "love story" about a pair of Australian Sulphur Crested Cockatoo flew cockatoos. The female was hit by a car and the injury resulted in the loss of a wing. She lived in a cage outside and was visited by wild cockatoos. Eventually a male decided she was the one for him and eventually figured out how to open her "tamper proof" cage latch. After a while the birds mated and produced young. The story is wonderfully photographed and told on the  following  site, Tale of Two Cockatoos - Be sure to keep clicking on "Next Page" for the full story.

Waiting for the School Bus...

                                                                                     (1952 photo by Ruby Feldtman)

     January 16, 2007: This sweet photo was taken by Gary Feldtman's mother, Ruby, fifty-five years ago in Swafford Valley near Mossyrock. The little girl is four-year-old Sally, Gary's youngest sister, who is cuddling with the family dog, Princess. The two were waiting for the school bus to bring Gary and his other sister, Marilyn, home from school. 
     The photo was sent by Gary's wife, Linda. Gary and Linda were long-time, active residents of Eatonville
before moving to Lacey many years ago. Linda and Gary were among the people who helped starte the first Art Festival over thirty-five years ago. Linda graduated from Eatonville High School as Linda Treadwell. She says this is her "favorite photo ever," and it "hangs over her desk." 

Abandoned Dog Needs a Loving, Warm Home...

                                                                                                                     (photo by Tera Pella)

     from Tera Pine
    Eatonville Animal Control Officer
    January 11, 2007  

    This poor fellow was abandoned here in Eatonville over 1 month ago. He is only about 1 year old. Neutered male chow/retriever mix, with no black on the his tongue. He is very kind, gentle and sweet soul. Gets along well with other dogs and kids. Adoption fee is requested through a donation to Eatonville Animal Control. Please contact me through email mysaloj@rainierconnect.com or Eatonville Police Department, 360.832.6111.

Reminder: Pet Licenses Available December 22...


     November 28, 2006

     Courtesy reminder for all dog and cat owners from the Eatonville Police Department. It’s getting close to that time of year again to renew you pet license. The new 2007 licenses will become available December 22,, 2006. The 2007 license tags are in.  Please visit town hall to get your new pet license. 
Licenses protect your pets and bring revenue to the town for animal control and shelter for lost dogs and cats.

Dog License Schedule:

   Spayed/Neutered           $20                                         
      Unaltered                        $50
      Senior Pet Owner 60 or older
Spayed/Neutered           $10
      Unaltered                        $30

Cat License Schedule:

      Spayed/Neutered         $12
      Unaltered                      $50
Senior Pet Owner 60 or older
Spayed/Neutered         $6
Unaltered                      $30

Awww Alert, Ann and Leslie Rule Trying to Find Good Homes for Pups
Their First Shots, Spays and Neuters Will be Paid For...

     Are you looking for puppy therapy? These irresistible puppies are looking for good homes. They are
Labrador retriever and border collie mixed pups. Labradors are one of the best breeds for families and are also the dog of choice when training Guide Dogs for the Blind. Border collies consistently rank number one in canine intelligence, Labs are listed at number seven. These puppies will be smart, energetic and will give loving companionship for many years to come. 
      As Bern Williams said, "There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face." 

Kindness Rules in the Rule Family...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      December 13, 2006

      Ann Rule and her daughter, Leslie Rule, are working to find good homes for these adorable puppies. The little ones are Labrador/ border collie mixes with the dad being purebred border collie. The puppies came from a "very large litter" in Leslie's neighborhood according to her mom.
      In an email Ann writes, "She [Leslie] and I will be showing them to prospective puppy parents on Sunday afternoon. We will each give one of our books autographed, [Leslie is a writer like her mom], a free Ann Rule mousepad, and promise to pay for their first shots and spaying or neutering (directly to the vet they choose) with every puppy given away.
     "If people are sincerely interested, they can write to me at this email address BlueZinnia9@aol.com  or call and leave a message for me at 206.248.0811 and I will call back when I've finished my writing day (I am so close to a deadline)."
      Ann also assures people the pups won't go to "...animal control or a no-kill shelter. We're finding more new owners every day now, and we'll keep trying!" Leslie, another animal person, lived in Ashford several years ago. 
      Yes, the Ann Rule who is helping find excellent homes for these puppies is the same Ann Rule who is internationally famous, and respected, for her enormous volume of work writing books mostly about true crime stories. The same Ann Rule who has written twenty-six books, all of which are still in print. The same Ann Rule who is currently working on her latest - Never Too Late to Say Goodbye - which is due out April 15, 2007. No Regrets and Other True Cases hit the New York Times Bestseller List at Number Five Sunday, November 26.
      Yes, this is the same Ann Rule who works extremely hard to bring true cases to the attention of the public via her writing, yet has time to help find homes for puppies. She and Leslie are helping these puppies, not to sell books (Ann has sold millions.), but as a pure act of kindness. 
      Humane shelters across the country try to dissuade people from buying pets, dogs or cats, for surprise Christmas presents. However, if people want to take a pup or kitten before the holiday and new one(s) get acclimated prior to, or after, the excitement of family gatherings, opening of gifts, etc., a cuddly puppy or kitten can be a wonderful early Christmas present. 
      For more information about Ann Rule please see www.annrules.com

Keep Your Pet Food in and Watch Your Small Pets...

                                                                  (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     November 7, 2006 - From Tony Sirgedas: "I've been hearing the coyotes in the area for quite a while at night, but now they are getting braver and coming around during the day. This is the second day in a row this guy has shown up in the yard, even after chasing him away with rocks he still returns. 
      "This is in the city limits and probably makes a good time to remind folks to keep track of their pets and don't leave any type of food outside that will attract unwanted wildlife. Usually the wildlife loses when that occurs."

Is this Coyote Confused by the Weather?

                                                                                           (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     By Dixie A. Walter: Tony's advice above is exactly right. Tony's coyote was photographed in the Dow Hill area. Although coyotes hunt by night, they also hunt during the day. This handsome canid may be out around humans during the day because its hunting territory flooded.
    However, coyotes become bold even in good weather. Especially if people have left food outside. Although coyote usually prey on small rodents, reptiles, rabbits, fish, insects, carrion and will even fruits and berries, domestic cats are a popular prey species.
    The wise cat owner will keep their pets inside and out of harm's way. Raccoons will also prey on cats, and they, like the coyote, are drawn to homes because people leave food outside. Small dogs are also sometimes taken by coyotes. 
     Although usually avoiding humans, some coyotes have become aggressive and injured people. The best course of action is to avoid contact with these wild dogs. Keep your small pets inside or watch them very carefully when they are outside, coyotes can grab an animal in an instant. It's recommended that people walk their small pets on leashes to keep them safe. 
     It is also recommended that walking people should carry a sick in case a coyote goes after their pet, or them, but that is very rare. Coyotes can live 15 years in the wild and can weigh up to fifty pounds, run close to forty miles per hour and get over an eight foot fenced. One was even seen climbing a fifteen foot fence.
     Coyotes can breed with domestic dogs - their young are called "coydogs." These mixed coydogs can be very intelligent, but they do not make good pets. Even if the mother is a domestic dog, the pups will always be half-wild.  Some people think it's cool or macho to have a dog mixed with a coyote. It isn't. Coyotes can also breed with wolves. 
     We must remember the coyote was here before we were, and if left alone, will usually cause no harm. Indeed, instead of doing harm, coyotes are helpful varmint hunters.

Kittenkaboodle Saved Many Lives...


     The Humane Society's annual Kittenkaboodle adoption event resulted in 180 new homes, most for kittens and cats. Many of the cat adoptions were multiple adoptions. While the event was a big success, lost or surrendered dogs and cats still continue to fill the cages. 

Turning into a Pup...


     This tyke became a puppy during the Kittenkaboodle event. He is transformed by excellent face painter Ruby Harr who also painted faces during this summer's art festival.  

     To avoid having your pet become a statistic in this category, plan ahead before acquiring a pet, educate yourself about proper rearing techniques, spay/neuter at the earliest opportunity, and make a commitment for the life of the pet.
     For more helpful information, visit www.americanhumane.orgwww.aspca.org.


Kittenkaboodle This Saturday
Your Chance to Save a Cat or Two...

    (courtesy photo)

     Calico sisters cuddle up at The Humane Society. If you are thinking about adopting a cat you might seriously consider adopting two. They keep each other company, wear off energy by playing together and love to snuggle together.

     by Tom Sayre
     October 9, 2006

    TACOMA, WA. – Kittenkaboodle, to be held Saturday, October 14, is not only an  opportunity  to unite  people with homeless cats/kittens, but it also combats the needless deaths of thousands of pets that occur each year in Pierce County.
    Kittenkaboodle is more important this year as we move toward ‘fixing the problem’ of euthanizing healthy adoptable pets.  Promoting pet adoption is one way The Humane Society can reach its goal of making Pierce County a ‘no-kill community’ by the end of 2008.
    Hundreds of homeless pets will be available for adoption at reduced cost during Kittenkaboodle  at  the William Gazecki Animal Shelter, 2608 Center St. in Tacoma, starting at 9 a.m. Saturday.
    In 1998, there were a record breaking one-hundred-two kittens and cats adopted.  “This year the goal is to clean out the entire cattery and adopt every cat” according to Tom Sayre, event organizer.  “Every cat deserves a chance at life and we hope to place them all in permanent, loving homes."
   As part of the Kittenkaboodle event, there will be a $20 discount on all adoption  prices.  All  adoptions include: wellness exam, spay/neuter, microchip with national registration, initial vaccinations, pet care counseling and - for cats - feline leukemia test, collar and cat carrier.  Free pet toys will also be given with every adoption.            
   For more information call (253) 383-2733 or visit

Humane Society to Spay/Neuter 20,000th Pet
Fifty-one Percent Decrease in Euthanasia Attributed to Program

         by Marguerite Richmond
         October 3, 2006

        TACOMA. –  On Wednesday, October 11, one of the six pets entering the spay/neuter clinic at The Humane Society will make history as the 20,000th animal to be spayed or neutered through the Society’s Cinderella Fund for pets of low-income residents. 
       The Cinderella Fund program began in 1992 as a way to ensure that pets were spayed or neutered even  if
their owners could not afford the surgery.  More than 1,200 pets have been spayed or neutered every year since then.
       The significance of 20,000 spay/neuter surgeries can be demonstrated by the dramatic fifty-one percent decrease in pet euthanasia in the past fourteen years – from 16,174 dogs and cats in 1992 to 7,943 in 2005.   
       The Humane Society attributes this decrease to a combination of efforts, but believes aggressive spay/neuter
programs such as the Cinderella Fund have had the most impact. 
     The landmark surgery will occur October 11, and the celebration will continue through Saturday, October 14 during the Humane Society’s annual Kittenkaboodle adoption event.  For more information, visit www.thehumanesociety.org  

Statistics from Annual Reports...

                                                                                              1992                  2005

      Dogs and cats entering kennel/cattery:                 26,099               16,615             

      Dogs and cats euthanized:                                         16,164               7,943 

Houses Grow on Trees at Smallwood Park...

                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

    Tera Pella deftly hammers a bird house in place on a cottonwood tree in Smallwood Park on Monday, August 21. The parks crew, including Parks Lead Bill Atkins and Mike Lively, installed numerous (about fifteen) bird houses throughout the park. Through efficient use of the staff pickup truck, the houses were placed about ten feet off the ground.

Cozy Homes for Songbirds...

                                                                   (photo by Bob Walter)

    These bird houses, installed Monday, August 21, by town staff at Smallwood Park, were made by the Youth Connection. Carl Rotter designed and cut them out then gave the pieces to Mayor Tommy Smallwood all ready for assembly. The mayor passed them on and next spring, mated pairs of songbirds should make good use of them.

Youth Connection Kids Work on Birdhouses

                                                                                              (photo by DiAnn Carney)

     Smith Chernek and Austin Williams help assemble birdhouses for Smallwood Park/Kids' Pond. 

Lots of Helping Hands...

                                                                                                  (photo by DiAnn Carney)

      Left: Keven Wharton and Colby Meyers; in background Jaren McKee, Alexis Waters and an unidentified girl; foreground: Lavra Magni and Ainsley Chernek help make homes for wild birds.

Little Dog Lost Finds
 New Home, Finally...

                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

     August 28, 2006: This Jack Russell terrier was lost during the art festival August 6 and lost again around August 18 when Animal Control Officer Tera Pella rescued him from the streets. Happily this handsome and mellow fellow has now been adopted into a loving family and will never find himself wandering the streets and dodging traffic again.

Little Dog Lost Again!

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     August 24, 2006: This handsome and mellow Jack Russell terrier was lost during the confusion of the art festival August 6. He was rescued by Susie and Mike Robinson owners of Mountain Take Out who kept him for a day before he was claimed by his owners August 7. Robinson's learned his name was Bruno. 
     However, his odyssey continues. Since Friday, August 18 the little guy, who is neutered, is being cared for by Terra Pella Eatonville's animal control officer. Pella estimates his age at eight-years-old and has been searching for his owners for close to a week with no luck. 
     He stays at the town's kennels during the day and Pella walks him twice a day. She also takes him home at night so he won't be lonely. If you know where this little, lost dog belongs please call the Eatonville Police Department 360-832-6111. Bruno needs his home, or another where he won't be allowed to wander around town.

 Happy Ending:

Little Dog Found

     August 10, 2006: The little Jack Russell terrier who was lost at the art festival was found by his owners Monday night.  Mike Robinson said the dog, named Bruno, belongs to a family who lives near Glacier View Park and somehow ended up at the park during the event. His young teen aged owner was heart broken when he lost his buddy, and very, very happy to find Bruno. For more of Bruno's story please see below. He was Artie for a day. 

Little Dog Lost...

                                                (photo by Bob Walter)

     August 6, 2006 - by Dixie A. Walter: This charming Jack Russell terrier wound up lost at the art festival Sunday around noon. The little guy "found" Susie Robinson while she was tending a booth near the kitchen during the festival. 
     How did the male dog know that Susie was the perfect person to "find?" During the big event with masses of noise, odors, movement and real confusion, especially looking at the art festival from the dog's perspective. He's very short. Why did the dog make such a good choice? For many reasons. One of them is that Susie and her husband, Mike, have a Jack Russell terrier, Dobby, as part of their family. This breed of dog can be challenging for some people since they are often very energetic animals. 
    Susie said they dubbed the dog "Artie" since he was found at the art festival. He is a very gentle, well-behaved dog - estimated age around six or seven. Very calm under duress. He is with Susie and Mike - Susie explained that they would take Artie to the local veterinarian to have him scanned for an identification chip. If you recognize this very nice dog please call Mountain Take out - 360.832.8646.

View Adoptable Pets
 on Television...
The Humane Society and Comcast Launch New
 "On Demand" Pet Adoption Program

      by Kitty Gibbs
      June 13, 2006

      Comcast  On Demand subscribers can now see pets available for adoption at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County from their couch. The Humane Society, in partnership with Comcast Cable, has just launched the Meet Your Match – Adopt-A-Pet television program.
      Subscribers can find pets currently available for adoption through their On Demand menu (Channel 01). Click "Get Local," then "Adopt-A-Pet." There you will learn how to adopt a dog through The Humane Society’s innovative new Meet Your Match program - where you are matched with a dog that fits your lifestyle. Adoptable pets, including dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and others will be updated weekly.
     This partnership is one of the Humane Society’s strategies to lead Pierce County in becoming the only "open-admission," "no-kill" community in Washington by the end of 2008. “Increasing adoption of homeless pets is a primary way to achieve this goal, said Steve Pierce, the shelter’s executive director. Spaying and neutering our pets and fixing the problem of pet overpopulation; helping to foster pets until they’re old enough to be adopted; and donating to The Humane Society, are other ways the community can help us to achieve this goal,” he said. 
     “Comcast is delighted to partner with the Humane Society of Tacoma and Pierce County to assist our customers in finding the pet that’s right for them. Our segments highlight the Humane Society’s methods of matching the personalities of both the pet and the prospective owner. We hope this increased exposure will lead to more adoptions enriching the lives of both our customers and their respective pets. In other Comcast markets where Pet Adoption is available, at least one in 10 pet adoptions originates from On Demand segments.  Pet Adoption has consistently ranked as one of the most popular local segments available via  On Demand,” said Craig Friedson, Comcast’s marketing director.
     Tune into Comcast On Demand and adopt a pet today!


Supporting Tighter Regulation of Bird Breeders

     Press release
     by Kitty Gibbs
     August 1, 2006

      Please see the front page article in the News Tribune regarding the Pierce County Council’s proposed options for regulating bird-breeding facilities to ensure humane conditions. Consideration for stronger regulation was prompted by the recent problems at Scudder’s Parrot Depot in Roy.
    The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County strongly supports council member, Barbara Gelman’s position on this issue. She is proposing an ordinance that would require inspections and licensing for aviaries selling or transferring title to more than 30 birds a year. An opposing option presented by council member, Dick Muri, would seek to establish a committee to advise the County Council and county executive on issues related to bird breeding.
    Enough time has passed, and tighter regulation is the clear solution to this problem.
    Please exercise your concern for animals by contacting Council Members’ Barbara Gelman and Dick Muri at the link below, or by attending the public hearing on August 8 before the Public Safety and Human Services Committee, which Gelman chairs. The entire council will decide whether to take-up the matter. Contact information is provided online co.pierce.wa.us/pc/Abtus/ourorg/council/district5.htm
    Thank you for your support of this and other animal welfare issues we face in our region.

Is This a "Vicious" Dog? Absolutely Not...

                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     Happy, a rescue from The Humane Society, is in clover while living in Eatonville. She's a lovable, cheerful old girl, but she sure put the brakes on ENN last week. Please see below.

What Happened with Happy?

     by Bob Walter
     July 23, 2006

     Have you wondered why ENN seemed to stand still for a few days last week? Above is the culprit - Happy, a fifteen-year-old Bassett/golden retriever mix whom we didn't raise but has lived at our home for about a year. 
    Dixie was working with one of our "Doberwomen," Damsel, on a food exercise - something we have always done with our dogs. We give them a bowl of food, have them sit, take the food away then give it back. We begin this exercise when the dogs are puppies and they quickly realize they will get their food back and aren't fazed by having it removed.
    When Dixie did this with Damsel last Monday everything was fine with the big dog, but the short one came out of nowhere and hit Dixie on the upper right arm causing a pretty extensive injury. Our theory is that Happy thought she might be missing out on a treat being offered. At the Good Samaritan emergency room, the doctor and others who worked on Dixie's wound didn't think she had actually been bitten as there were no teeth marks and no puncture wounds. Fortunately the wound, though nasty looking, didn't damage anything vital and Dixie will be fine soon.
    Happy showed no signs of aggression; she really does live up to her name, tail always wagging and a "smile" on her face. And when the aid folks and Officer Rex McNichol arrived, she was ready to be their friend. She's an extremely friendly dog and didn't even know what she had done. Of course she's very old and her sight isn't what it once was, nor is her hearing.
     The "collision"story  between Dixie and Happy is a cautionary tale. No matter how much experience you have with dogs and their behavior, dangerous accidents can and do happen. Thus, even though we trust our dogs, this is why Dixie and I never say our dogs won't bite or cause an injury - they can even knock someone down just wanting to play. We have always been extremely conscientious about keeping our dogs away from children and strangers. Actually Happy is the one dog we don't lock up when company is coming because she is so friendly and affectionate. Yet, she's the one who caused the problem.
    Officer McNichol reminded us that the last time he was at our home was when Dixie was bitten by a dog. This unfortunate incident occurred when Dixie was trying to break up a dog fight. The old mix being attacked bit her by mistake. Two of the dogs involved in that incident are now dead. 
    Dixie wants to be sure people realize neither the bite a couple of years ago, nor the latest accident were done by the "Doberwomen" (female Doberman Pinschers). This breed is considered by most people to be aggressive and "vicious." Yet in the twenty-five years we have kept the breed we have never had an incident of aggression toward us by any of our Dobermans.  Both of Dixie's injuries were done by older, mixed breed dogs which we hadn't raised, and neither was deliberate. But like her daughter, Yatie, suggests, with tongue in cheek, maybe Dixie would be better off just keeping goldfish. They don't usually send their keepers to the emergency room.
   Several people have asked if Dixie is now afraid of Happy. Not in the least. The dog is not a biter, rather she's just a friendly, "happy" dog with good intentions. Her only problem is that she is a little too focused on food. Dixie blames herself for the accident and not being on her toes and realizing Happy was in the room when she was working with Damsel and her food dish. Most dog bites or accidents are human error, and Dixie readily admits she did a "stupid thing" by not being more aware of Happy's whereabouts.

Happy's Story...

    Happy has lived in at least three homes. She was four when a family surrendered her to the William Gazecki Animal Shelter in Tacoma - home to the Humane Society - where she was adopted by a Tacoma couple, Bruce and Bobbie. 
    It was apparent that something was lacking in her early upbringing, for she had developed some destructive insecurities. The first time they left her at home alone, she tore up some furniture. She barked whenever her humans were out of sight. But they loved her, and gave her a good life for 10 years, until Bobbie died last winter. 
    Bruce appreciated Happy's loyal presence, which comforted him in his grief. But he needed a better human setting than he had at home without Bobbie, and moved into an independent living facility, bringing Happy with him. But due to her insecure nature and resulting behavior, Happy could not stay with Bruce. So she was surrendered again. Bruce's family friend Jessica worked at the shelter, and told him she would try to help find Happy a new home. Meanwhile, she took Happy out of her kennel for outdoor exercise during her breaks. 
    Happy was selected as the Pet of the Week, and featured on television. That's when I noticed her, and was taken with her story. So I consulted with Dixie and we adopted her. That was about a year ago. Despite her age and height, she holds her own with our four, female Doberman pinschers. She likes to play "tag, you're it" with me, racing around the kitchen island and skidding into my outstretched hand with a playful growl, a body roll and a gentle nuzzle, before running off again. She sleeps a lot, and lays down near whichever door she's determined you will be returning through, but the presence of the other dogs gives her a sense of assurance, so she doesn't become anxious or feel like she has to find us. She works the floor with her nose regularly, and will always sit up for a treat.  
    I've taken Happy to visit Bruce a few times. She'll park herself on the ground in front of him as we chat, and Bruce introduces her to his new friends. They both enjoy renewing the intimacy they had shared. 
    Then came the incident with Dixie last Monday evening. It hasn't changed our feelings about Happy. We realize that any relationship with a dog takes continual work and vigilance, and there is always room for new understanding. We just have to be open to it.


                                                                   (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

      January 29, 2006:  Around the middle of this month this handsome fellow apparently had a run in with a doe. Tony says, "This little buck took a kick in the snout by a rowdy doe. The hematoma that grew looks like a third antler starting out."

     Also from Tony: "This is pretty cool just to sit and watch. It's from the National Geopraphic site - a live camera viewing the bears feeding at McNeil Falls in Alaska wildcamgrizzlies/wildcam.html 


Tony Finds an "Alien"

                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

    July 11, 2006: The stuff of nightmares for some folks. Photographer Tony Sirgedas has fun with this guy.  "Oh My! Aliens have landed in Eatonville. Today while out in the yard I found one of the small green aliens crawling through the grass looking for his next victim. More than likely it was looking for it's next perch where it would blend in with the surroundings waiting to pounce on it's unsuspecting prey.
      "More than likely this praying mantis was introduced to the area by a gardener who bought the mantis to help control the population of garden pests. This little guy only measured out at one inch in length, hopefully he helps to keep the aphids from my roses."

Dog-A-Thon 2006 Raises over $120,000 for Homeless Pets

                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

      Two English bulldogs cool off in a wading pool at the water park offered by The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County during its 2006 Dog-A-Thon, held Saturday, July 15 at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood.

Girl's Idea Becomes Huge Boon to Pets 

       by Bob Walter
      July 23, 2006

      It was a perfect morning Saturday, July 15, for Dog-A-Thon 2006, The Humane Society's Walk for
Homeless Pets, celebrated at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. The cooling clouds stayed for most of the morning - perfect weather for the Society's signature fundraiser, which began in 1991 when 10-year-old Tara Arndt approached the Society with a request to have a pet parade as a fundraiser. 
     That first year, about 30 participants raised just over one hundred dollars. This year's event raised over $120,000. "We raised $18,000 more than last year," said Steve Pierce, executive director. "It's great to see so many animal lovers and so many breeds of dogs in one place at one time. To see the special bonds between people and their dogs, many adopted from The Humane Society, gives our staff a tremendous sense of reward in all we do to save the animals," said Pierce. 
      Dogs of every size and description came with their humans, to walk either the flat, paved, one-mile loop around Waughop Lake, or the more challenging, four-mile hike through the park's fields and forests. At several stops, people and their dogs enjoyed ice water, treats and toys. At one stop, for a small donation walkers could have an instant photo taken to remember the walk. 
      Back at the start/finish area, Tacoma Police dogs, Department of Corrections drug detection dogs, Ewetopia herding dogs, Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club agility dogs and the Flying Disk Dogs performed in a central ring. Winners of the Magnificent Mutt Show included: Rocky - Best Trick; Chica - Biggest Dog; Gypsy Gin - Smallest Dog; Portia - Most Spots; McKenzie - Best Dressed; Babe - Loudest Bark; Sandy - Most Like Owner; Rosie - Cutest; and Blue - Best in Show.  
      Dogs up for adoption from Puyallup Animal Rescue, Cascade Animal Protection Society and The Humane Society were paraded around the ring to meet potential adopters. As the late morning temperature climbed to near 80 degrees, dogs cooled off by lounging in wading pools. Nearby, children could make their own floppy ears and tails to wear. Dozens of vendors offered every kind of canine and human accessory. The event ended with drawings for great prizes.
      The money raised will go toward The Humane Society's general fund, which will help to improve animal welfare through shelter enrichment, pet adoptions, spay/neuter assistance, outreach and cruelty prevention. 
      At The Humane Society's own booth, homeless kittens and cats snoozed in their cages as hundreds of people and their leashed dogs walked by. By the time the event ended at 1:00 pm, at least three kittens and one dog had found new homes.

You See the Happiest Dogs, and a Few Cats, at the Humane Society's Annual Fundraiser

                                                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

       Dogs of every age and breed stop humans in their tracks with their cheerfulness and striking appearance at the Dog-A-Thon. This corgi-Australian shepherd mix was no exception. 

Cats Gone Wild!

                                                                       (photo courtesy of The Humane Society 2006)
   Overpopulation Crisis at Humane Society
"Overflows" with Cats (and Dogs)

     by Kitty Gibbs
     July 14, 2006

     The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County is full to capacity today, Friday, July 14, 2006 with over two-hundred-twenty cats and 211 two-hundred-eleven dogs; a total of four-hundred-thirty-one homeless pets total. “With summer upon us, hundreds of homeless kittens, cats and dogs are arriving daily, and are at increased risk for euthanasia if the community and local rescue organizations don’t continue to step forward and help us to reach our goal of making Pierce County a “no-kill” community by December, 2008,” said Steve Pierce, executive director of the shelter. “We see an average of eighty new cats per day arrive at the shelter this time of year,” Pierce said.
     Adopters and foster families are urgently needed. Together, we can we stop the needless killing of thousands of pets.  To adopt a pet, stop by the shelter at 2608 Center Street in Tacoma or visit www.thehumanesociety.org to view adoptable pets. To become a temporary foster family for a litter of puppies or kittens, call 253.284.5833. Fostering a pet involves caring for it temporarily until the kitten or puppy is old enough to be permanently adopted. 
     Several cats and dogs will be available for adoption at Dog-A-Thon 2006 - The Humane Society’s Walk for Homeless Pets on Saturday, July 15, from 8:30 a/m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood . Cats will be available for $20 off the regular price in an effort to find more homes.
     If The Humane Society can adopt and foster enough cats and dogs, they can avoid using euthanasia as an option. Financial assistance for pet spay/neuter is available for low-income individuals.  Spay. Neuter. Fix the problem. 
    To help, please visit the Humane Society at 2608 Center Street in Tacoma , go to thehumanesociety.org, or call 253.383.2733.

Humane Society
Dog-A-Thon Saturday

                                                                                                    (2005 photo by Bob Walter)

     Some of the Magnificent Mutts and their people posed for the camera during Dog-A-Thon 2005.

Dog-A-Thon 2006

Magnificent Mutt Show Highlight of Dog-A-Thon 2006...

      by Kitty Gibbs
      July 11, 2006

      Saturday, July 15th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., more than 1,500 pets and their people will meet at beautiful Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood, Washington, to help raise over $125,000 for homeless animals in our community. Funds raised help the Humane Society care for nearly 23,000 shelter animals annually, find loving homes for over 7,000 homeless pets every year, reunite 2,000 lost animals with their owners, and fund thousands of spay/neuter surgeries for pets of low-income families.
     Walkers can enjoy a one-mile stroll on a paved, level trail around Lake Waughop, or hike a four-mile trail through Fort Steilacoom Park, that leads up to forested ridges with breath-taking views. Along the routes, enjoy rest stops, treats, doggie toys, water and photos. 
     The Magnificent Mutt Show starts at 8:35 am. Categories include biggest dog, smallest, most spots, looks most like owner, tallest, best dressed, loudest bark, best trick and cutest. The contest is free to all participants and awards will be presented around 10:00 am. Other featured activities include a free barbeque lunch, $20 microchiping, the Flying Disk Dogs, the Ewe-Topia Herding Dogs, Narcotic Detection Dogs from the Department of Corrections, Tacoma Police Department K-9 Unit, Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club, and drawings for great prizes.
     The minimum suggested donation or fundraising level is $75 which earns walkers an official Dog-A-Thon 2006 tee-shirt. Walkers should donate and/or raise pledges in advance of the event and submit all funds raised at registration the morning of the event, starting at 8:30 am. Teams of two or more people, earning a minimum of $500, are encouraged to pool their raised funds and turn them into the Humane Society prior to July 14.
  To gather pledges and register, download a Dog-A-Thon 2006 pledge form at www.thehumanesociety.org. Pick a pledge form up at the Humane Society at 2608 Center Street, Tacoma, or your favorite pet business. Pet lovers are also welcome to just show-up, donate to walk and have fun.
     Dog-A-Thon 2006 is presented by Lawyer’s Title and sponsored by The News Tribune, Click Network, Robert Larson Automotive Group, The Mountain 103.7, The Wolf 100.7, Big Dogs and The Walking Company, Rush, Hannula, Harkins, Kyler Trial Lawyers and Mountain Mist. Other supporting sponsors include VCA Animal Hospitals, Alaska Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Invisible Fence, Deb Main Elliot Sales, Morton McGoldrick Attorneys at Law, Brooke Auto Insurance, Columbia Bank, Petco, Precise, The Animal Emergency Clinic, Commercial Bank and hundreds of Humane Society volunteers who dedicate their lives to helping save animals.

Taking a Break During Dog-A-Thon 2005

                                                                   (2005 photo by Bob Walter)

     This happy Dog-A-Thon participant and her equally happy, relaxed dog took a play break during last year's walk for homeless pets. The event is The Humane Society's biggest fundraiser with money raised going toward helping thousands of pets.

Have You Seen This Large
 Dangerous Animal?
It May Still be in Our Area...


      June 10, 2006: by Dixie A. Walter: The animal pictured above is an alligator snapping turtle. One of his species, or a common snapping turtle, was found recently by employees of Lynch Creek Quarry. One person identified it as an alligator snapper. The turtle seen at the quarry had an eighteen inch shell according to Bob Holt. The animal was put back in the brush and left alone. Like all snappers it was aggressive.
     Alligator snappers are the largest fresh water turtle in America. They have been documented to reach over two-hundred pounds with shells close to a yard in length. And are listed as endangered in Illinois and Indiana and is considered "imperiled" in Missouri. They inhabit ponds, lakes, bayous, canals and slow-moving streams in the Midwest and southern states. The common snapper is smaller with a shell measured up to eighteen inches and weighing up to forty-five pounds. They are nocturnal and have a smoother top shell (carapace).
     Regardless of the species these turtles are not native to this area. The turtle found by the people at the quarry was most likely purchased at a pet store and released when it became to large to keep. Both types of turtle can give painful bites. A large alligator snapper can easily take the finger off an adult human and possibly the hand off a child. Small pets like cats can also be injured or killed. Alligator snappers have a bite force measure at one thousand four pounds - compared to the bite for of a huge, great white shark at 669 pounds. A non-native animal can also wreak havoc on native wildlife.
     If you see this animal, or one like it, please immediately contact Eatonville's Animal Control Officer Tera Pella at the police department 360.832.6111. Please don't injure the animal or allow it to injure you. There are rescue groups which will take it and care for it. After all, it's not the animal's fault it happens to be in the wrong part of the country.

Is Your Dog Afraid of Fireworks?

     July 2, 2006: By Dixie A. Walter:  If your dog is frightened by all the explosions surrounding it during the Fourth festivities try giving him or her a treat the minute a "bomb" goes off. This works very well, especially with younger dogs. Our dogs have been conditioned since puppy hood  to equate loud noises with something exciting, a special treat. Consequently our dogs are not stressed by the Fourth and life is easier for them and for us. 
     I don't know if this works with cats since our cats don't seem concerned. They are inside only cats so they evidently feel safe. 
     Another tip. We are so apt to comfort our pets and make an issue over their fright. Our animals take non-verbal cues from us. If we jump and act disturbed when firecrackers (illegal in town by the way) go off our pets see this reaction and think this is the way to act. If you go about your business as if life is normal your actions go a long way toward giving your pets the idea that since you aren't in a panic maybe they shouldn't be either. And, "babying" the pet isn't a good idea either. Although it sounds harsh not to be overly sympathetic to a frightened animal it's better to act matter-of-fact. 
     Every year humane shelter's across the country fill up on the Fourth with terrified dogs and cats who have tried to run from the "bombs bursting in air." To keep your pets safe the best idea is to keep them inside until the frenzy dies away and they calm down. 

     Please do not leave your pets or children in a vehicle even for a few minutes during the heat of summer...they could die!

A Sign of the Times...

                                                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

     May 20, 2006 - by Dixie A. Walter: This is the new logo for the animal control van. The used van was recently purchased from The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County for about $1000. It is a mid-1980's Chevrolet van, with 265,000 miles on it. Tera says, "It was old Number 71, used in Area One, in Tacoma. Everything still works great on it." 
      Animal control becomes a problem anywhere  people gather. People who are irresponsible with pets add to the sad problem. As time goes by, and more people arrive, more pets arrive also. It's a fact of life, and Eatonville had been beset with all kinds of animal control problems since the settlers started arriving.
     Name the animals, from horses to chickens, and they are mentioned somewhere in handwritten town minutes. From The History of Tacoma Eastern Area by Jeannette Larin Hlavin and Pearl Engel comes the following: "Feathered and four-footed friends have figured prominently in the deliberations of the city fathers since 1910 and are still a problem in 1954 [the year this town history was published]" 
     The authors point out, "Man's best friend, the dog, can and often does make a first class nuisance  of himself and many citizens have always felt that some measure of control should be exercised to keep down Eatonville's teeming dog population." Eatonville also had a teeming rat population and there was a ten cent bounty on rats. The title of this part of the town history is rather ironic, "The dogs, the horses, the Chinese pheasants, the rats, the pigs, the rabbits, the cows and the chickens (But the cats haven't bothered anybody)."
     Today the cats do bother people, but there isn't a rat problem anymore. Irresponsible citizens allow their unneutered cats to roam and breed freely, constantly adding to the population of feral cats and litters of kittens. In 1910 the council passed an ordinance to license dogs and "...authorizing the marshal to keep, sell or kill all dogs without collar or license found on public highways, the tax [license] to be $1 each, and the number of each license to be kept on the collar of the dog." 
     Today, cats also must be licensed and there is a long-standing leash law forbidding people to allow their dogs to roam freely about town. And, while licenses do cost more than $1, the cost for surgically altered animals is still minimal. Altered dog licenses cost $20 per animal and $10 for senior citizens. Altered cat fees are $12 per cat and just $6 for seniors. Unaltered dogs and cats are $50 and for seniors the cost is $30.
      The average household has at least one dog or cat, and many have more than one of these popular pets. As more people move to the area, more dogs and cats move in too. Right now Eatonville has one animal control officer - Tera Pella - who began work March 6, and who serves the town's animal control needs just two days a week. Officer Pella has created a brochure that includes the local pet laws and the license fee schedule, which is available at Town Hall.  She also has made and printed a door hanger as a reminder and a means for people to purchase their licenses. Someday, growth will demand more than one person to keep the animal population under control.

   Happy Ending:

Whittaker Finds a Home...

                                                                      (photo by Tera Pella)

      Whittaker was found at eight thousand feet on Mount Rainier April 29.  When Tera took him in the poor guy was skin and bones. After weeks of loving care he is now a happy dog. For more of Whittaker's story please see  About Animals This photo was taken about a week before he was adopted.

        by Tera Pella
        Eatonville Animal Control Officer
        May 20, 2006

        "Whittaker" did find a home Tuesday. A perfect elderly couple were looking for an older dog to replace their dog they recently had to put down. He will get the much desired attention he had lost while on the mountain. And they are keeping the name we chose for him. 
        They opened the third door to their truck and had a bed all prepared for him to sit. "Whittaker," never wanting to be left behind again, jumped right in and made himself at home. No tears were shed when he left, just the feeling of happiness for a dog that will never have to worry about his next meal. And he will live out a happy healthy rest of his life.
      Good Bye Sweet Boy. I hope you have the life you have deserved. 

Whittaker, the Day He Went to
 His New Home...

                                                                                     (photo by Tera Pella)


"Tutors with Tails" Makes Great Friends and Readers
Kids and Dogs Read Together at the Library...

     by Kitty Gibbs
          May 15, 2006

        Dogs helping children read? That’s exactly what’s happening with the Tutors with Tails program presented by the Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County in cooperation with the Pierce County Library System. Through Tutors with Tails, children in the first through sixth grades read to dogs and learn about responsible pet care and safety.
         “Reading with the dogs is tremendous,” says Bob Walter, Humane Society director of education." Kids gain confidence and pride in their reading skills because they feel more comfortable reading to dogs and don’t feel they’re being judged. The dogs love the attention and cozy right up to the kids – they all bond, it’s great.” 
         The dogs used in this program have gone through rigorous testing and have passed the Canine Good Citizen Test. Some are even certified therapy dogs and have passed special testing by the Delta Society. Dogs are owned and handled by their owner volunteers, many of the dogs have been adopted from The Humane Society.
        The program takes place at the University Place Library, 3605 Bridgeport Way West, on Saturdays, 10 a.m. to noon, May 27, June 10 and 24, July 8 and 22, and August 12 and 26. Call the library at 253.565.9447 for more information or to register.
       Hundreds of kids at Lakewood and Parkland/Spanaway Pierce County Libraries have already participated in this program. 

The Humane Society Launches Meet Your MatchTM 

                                          (2004 photo by Bob Walter)

        Anne Shore cuddles with Ella an English Springer Spaniel bred by Pam Holt. Ella's mom is Pam's champion Springer, Dixie.

New Adoption Program uses Research to Match Dogs with People...

         by Kitty Gibbs
         May 15, 2006

        A new matchmaking program will help you distinguish a “couch potato” from the “life of the party,” increasing the odds of a lifelong relationship with your pet.
       Thanks to Meet Your Match™, an innovative new program launched recently by The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, dogs at the shelter are now given a personality description, increasing the success of adoptions by better matching pets with their new families. The program uses a research-based approach to assess every dog’s personality and assign it a “canine-ality.” Potential adopters also complete a comprehensive survey about their lifestyle and are then matched with dogs that best fit them using a color-coded personality system. 
     “Meet Your Match
helps people find the dog of their dreams,” says Cecily Joque, animal behavior coordinator at The Humane Society. “People have fun with it and walk out of the shelter knowing all about their new dog’s personality and needs.”
      A key part of Meet Your Match
is its “canine-ality” descriptions, which were developed by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) in partnership with IAMS. They help potential adopters focus on the dog’s personality and needs, rather than on more superficial characteristics such as popularity of the breed, size, age, coat length and color. 
     Dog descriptions are upbeat, positive and easy-to-understand. For example, one description, ”Goofball,” reads, “I’m a fun-loving, happy-all-the-time, glass-is-half-full kind of dog looking for someone who loves to laugh and play around. Must have a great sense of humor and a bunch of tennis balls.
     Currently, about ten to fifteen percent of dogs adopted at The Humane Society are returned due to a poor match. Meet Your Match
has reduced this statistic by an average of 50 percent in other shelters that have implemented the program. The Humane Society is the only shelter in the state and one of the largest nationally to use Meet Your Match™.
    Meet Your Match is one of the many tools The Humane Society is using to reach its goal of becoming the state’s first no-kill, open admission shelter by December 31, 2008.
    Since 1888, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County has been at the forefront of animal  welfare, sheltering and finding homes for abandoned, lost or unwanted animals and reuniting lost pets with their owners. A local nonprofit, The Humane Society also operates as an “open admission” organization, meaning it shelters every pet that comes through its doors and works to find homes for pets, rather than needlessly ending their lives.  For more information about The Humane Society, visit  www.thehumanesociety.org or call 253.284.5844       
     Meet Your Match™ Canine-ality Adoption Program was developed in partnership with ASPCA and  IAMS
as a creative new approach for matching dogs and adopters. It is copyright protected by ASPCA.

Meet Your Match™
Fact Sheet

      The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County recently launched Meet Your Match™, an innovative dog adoption program designed to assure a loving and lasting home for homeless animals and help the organization reach its goal of becoming a no-kill shelter by December 31, 2008. The Humane Society is the only shelter in the state and one of the largest nationally to use Meet Your Match™.

How it Works

       Staff evaluates every adoptable dog’s personality and assign it an easy-to-understand color code that matches the potential adopter’s lifestyle: green for higher maintenance dogs, orange for an average pet and purple for low maintenance. 
       Individuals and families who are considering adoption complete a lifestyle survey to determine what category of dog will be the best match for them. Some highlights:
     The problem. Historically, about ten to fifteen percent of the pets adopted at The Humane Society are later returned because the match isn’t a good one. This is difficult for families and for pets and puts additional strain on shelter space.
    Matchmaking works. Meet Your Match™ has cut return rates by an average of fifty percent in other shelters that have implemented the program.
      Focus on the sensible, rather than the superficial. Meet Your Match™ helps people think beyond color, size, gender and coat length or popularity of a breed, focusing instead on the dog’s needs and personality and if they match the adopter’s lifestyle and expectations. For example, an eighty-pound golden retriever-lab mix that’s all about action and adventure may not be the best match for a single mother with three kids under five. 
      It’s fun. A key part of Meet Your Match™ is its “canine-ality” descriptions - they make picking a pet even more fun. Want a dog to accompany you on your daily runs? Looking for a fun-loving, playful pet? Do you want a pet who likes to watch movies, nap and take it easy? Meet Your Match helps adopters find pets that fit them. Here’s a sampling of ”canine-alities,” provided by ASPCA:
     Life of the Party“I think everything is fun, interesting and meant for play, especially you! Anything you do, I’ll want to do too. With my own brand of surprises, life with me will keep you constantly on your toes, and the fun is guaranteed.” (A higher maintenance dog description). 
     Wallflower “Shy, yet charming canine searching for patient owner with relaxed lifestyle. Looking for gentle guidance to help me come out of my shell. Treat me sweet and kind and I’ll blossom.” (An average maintenance pet). 
      Couch Potato “Like the easy life? Then I’m the perfect match for you. I’m a relaxed, laid back kind of dog who enjoys long naps, watching movies, curling up on laps, and walking very short distances – from the couch to the food bowl and back.” (A low maintenance dog).
It’s a key tool for reaching The Humane Society’s goal. The Humane Society set an aggressive goal to become the state’s only no-kill, open admission shelter by December 31, 2008. Fewer returned pets and more pets adopted into good homes, improving the lives of people, will help make the goal a reality. 
     Meet Your Match™ Canine-ality Adoption program was developed in partnership with ASPCA and IAMS as a creative new approach for matching dogs and adopters. It is copyright protected by ASPCA. 
    Interviews and photo opportunities with families who have adopted a dog using the new Meet Your Match™ program may be arranged by calling 253.284.5844.

One Dog's Sad Story
Found as a Stray at Mount Rainier...

                     (photos by Tera Pella)

Dog Rescued at Eight Thousand Feet... 

     by Tera Pella
     May 6, 2006

    Tera Pella, Eatonville's new animal control officer, sends a a brief, and touching story about a  dog who was either abandoned, or lost, at Mount Rainier. Tera says she called the dog "Rainier" at first, but her husband calls him "Whittaker" after the famous mountain climber.

"Whittaker's" Story...

      "Whittaker's" story: from Tera:

      This dog came to me last Saturday [April 29]. He was at Paradise on Mount Rainier at 8000 feet and was coaxed down by an agency there. Pierce County wouldn't take the dog so Chief Jim Lewis offered to take the dog into our shelter. 
     The dog was very skinny looking almost dead. I have been caring for the dog a week now. He had to  have been lost for some months by his appearance. On a scale of one - ten (ten being obese) this dog was a one. He has put on some weight and life has come back to him. He is a wonderful dog. I hope the owners of the dog reclaim him. He is about four to six years old, male yellow Labrador mix. If no owner reclaims him he will be put up for adoption.
    I have introduced him to all my critters and had no signs of aggression towards the animals or people. He kissed my five-year-old on the back of the neck and is curious of where he is all the time. Including me and my husband. If I go to the car he jumps in. He will not be left behind again. He is very attentive and willing to do as you ask of him. Truly a man's best friend kind of dog. I can't imagine his story,  how he could've been left to fend for himself on the mountain.


"Lazy Circles in the Sky"

                                                                                                                                                 (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

      May 15, 2006: Late last month Tony took this photograph of a migrating turkey buzzard. "He was catching the thermals in the afternoon off Mineral Hill."

Another One of Mother Nature's Masterpieces...

                                                                          (photo by Bob Walter)

     May 4, 2006: This magnificent peacock is one of several who live at Alice Mattson's Reflection Farm near Eatonville. Alice said she once measured one of the tail feathers after it was dropped and it was sixty inches in length.

Humane Society on Euthanasia Alert...

                                                                                                              (courtesy photo)

     These charming kittens are four of thousands born each spring during "kitten season." The Humane Society wants to be a "no kill shelter" in a few years. If you agree with this goal and care about cats and dogs, you might consider becoming a foster "parent" to help with the overwhelming number of kittens being brought to the shelter for the next several months. You can help save the lives of pets.

     Foster Families and Adopters Urgently Needed!

   by Kitty Gibbs
      May 2, 2006

     With spring upon us, hundreds of homeless kittens, cats and dogs are arriving daily at the Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County . The shelter is nearing capacity and may have to start euthanizing pets soon.
     We need the community’s help to end the heartache. Foster families and adopters are urgently needed. Together we can stop the needless killing of thousands of pets. To help, spay or neuter your pet and become a temporary foster family for a litter of puppies or kittens by calling (253) 284-5833. Fostering a pet involves caring for a puppy or kitten temporarily until it is old enough to be permanently adopted.
     Media tours of the shelter, plus interviews with shelter staff and current foster families, can be arranged. See for yourself the severity of our animal over population problem in Pierce County . Contact Kitty Gibbs at 253. 284.5844.
     To help ease the problem, The Humane Society’s Adoptathon will be held Saturday, May 6, from 9 a.m. to      5 p.m., featuring a $20 discount on all pets, and $10 discount on already discounted and older pets.
     The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County is the largest shelter in the state, sheltering more animals than all of King County’s facilities combined. In 2005, we handled more than 22,000 animals and were forced to euthanize nearly 2,500 healthy, adoptable pets.
     The Humane Society aspires to become a no-kill shelter and is working to ensure that Pierce County becomes a no-kill community. Please help us.

    Spay. Neuter. Fix the problem.

Find a Pet and a Friend at Adoptathon 2006

Humane Society's Special Day Offers
 Reduced Cost for Pets   

      Press Release
     by Kitty Gibbs
     April 26, 2006

     TACOMA - For Steve Pierce , executive director of The Humane Society, Adoptathon 2006 holds special meaning. It's the first pet adoption event since the announcement to make Pierce County a "no-kill" community by the end of 2008.
     The director said the May 6 event is not only a chance to unite people with a dog or a cat but to combat the needless deaths of thousands of pets that occur in the county each year.  
     "Adoptathon is more important this year as we move toward 'fixing the problem' of euthanizing unwanted animals," said Pierce. "Promoting pet adoption is one way we can reach our goal of becoming a 'no-kill community' by the end of 2008."
     Hundreds of homeless animals will be available for adoption at reduced cost during Adoptathon at the William Gazecki Animal Shelter, 2608 Center St.reet in Tacoma , starting at 9 a.m., Saturday, May 6, 2006. Other Adoptathon sites include PetSmart in Tacoma and Lakewood, and Wild Birds in Gig Harbor .  
     Pierce said the goal is to top one-hundred adoptions. Last year, eighty-one pets were adopted, most of them cats. Adopting dogs has gotten easier through the Meet Your Match program launched last month that helps adopters match their lifestyle with a dog's personality.
     "It helps assure a loving and lasting home for a shelter animal," Pierce said.
      As part of Adoptathon 2006, there will be a $20 discount on regular adoption prices and $10 on already reduced prices for pets. All adoptions include: wellness exam, spay/neuter surgery, microchip with national registration, initial vaccinations, pet care counseling and - for cats - feline leukemia test, collar and cat carrier. Free pet toys will be given with every adoption.   
     Since 1888, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County has been at the forefront of animal welfare, sheltering and finding homes for abandoned, lost or unwanted animals and reuniting lost pets with their owners. A local nonprofit, The Humane Society also operates as an "open admission" organization, meaning it shelters every pet that comes through its doors and works to find homes for pets, rather than needlessly ending their lives. For more information about The Humane Society, visit www.thehumanesociety.org, or call 253-383-2733.

Taking the Liberty to Dine...

                                                                                                                     (photo by Tera Pella)

     April 9, 2006: Tera tells us, "This is the eagle that came to breakfast last year. He/she didn't like an audience and never came back, but it was awesome. Yes, that was one of my chickens he/she had for breakfast." Tera lives right outside of Eatonville.

Oh Deer, Another Raid on the Bird Feeder...

                                                            (photo by Arlen Paranto)

     April 3, 2006: Arlen and Johnny Paranto recently put some oat grain bread in their bird feeder and guess who came to dinner and figured out how to get the bread? Two deer arrived, but this one was smart enough to stand bipedal for his or her treats.
who came to dinner and figured out how to get the bread? Two deer arrived, but this one was smart enough to stand bipedal for his or her treats.

Can You Hear Me Now?

                                                                                          (photo by Bob Walter)

  Frog Songs Tell us Spring
      is in the Air...  

      Almost Spring 2006

      In spite of the wintry weather of late, the tree frogs are beginning to announce their annual spring mating ritual, sending up a chorus of croaking to entice females. How the females can pick one "voice" from another remains a mystery.  This little one, whose photo was taken in a previous year, nestled in the petals of a rose blossom.
     The little jewel of nature above is a Pacific Tree Frog, probably a female. The sex of a tree frog can be determined by a dark patch on the throat of the males, who do the singing. As is common to most frogs the female is a bit larger than the male. 
     Shallow temporary wetlands and ponds, which often dry up in midsummer, are the little frog's breeding waters. What you hear during this time of year are territorial males calling for mates. They begin to sing in early March and continue until around the end of May. The tiny males stake out small areas of the waters and protect them from other males. Sometimes their voices can be nearly deafening and difficult to speak over.
     Adults eat a large amount of insects and spiders. They come in a variety of colors and can change colors quickly from light to dark. Pacific Tree Frogs produce the quintessential frog calls which are used in movies and animations. Because the little amphibians can throw their voices, it is very tricky to follow the call of one frog and find the singer. To hear a song please click Tree Frog Call

Meet Tera Pella - New Animal Control Officer...

                                                          (photo by Bob Walter)

      March 5, 2006 - by Bob Walter: The Town of Eatonville's newest employee is Tera Pella of Eatonville. Tera started her job as animal control officer/park and storm maintenance Monday morning. She will devote sixteen hours of her work weekly to animal control duties, the other twenty-four will be divided between parks and storm maintenance, on an alternating shift. 
      Tera was one of several people laid off from The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County on December 31, 2005, when the Society eliminated its animal control and pet licensing divisions and contracts. She had worked there for four years, starting in customer service and eventually becoming a license compliance officer. 
     Tera brings her genuine love and knowledge of animals, and lots of experience in people relations, into the full-time, union position. At the Pella household are three cats, four horses (an Arabian, a quarter horse, an Appaloosa, and a thoroughbred), Mysti the dog, ducks, and chickens. Tera will attend the two-week Animal Control Officer Academy in Des Moines this month.

One Baby Wolverine Dies The Other Still Survives...

                                                                                  (Northwest Trek photo)

     by Dixie A. Walter
       March 4,  2006

     The unusual birth of two wolverines February 14 saw the death of one infant six days later.  The surviving kit was taken from the mother at birth because this was her first litter and park officials didn't know how she would react. The infant left with the mother died. 
       This tiny Mustelidae, if she survives, will eventually weigh between seventeen and twenty-two pounds. Males weigh twenty-six to thirty pounds. Some other members of the Mustelids are minks, weasels, otters and skunks. 
       Wolverines are also called Devil Bear, Skunk Bear, Glutton and Carcajou by Native Americans - Carcajou meaning Evil Spirit or Mountain Devil. Like skunks and other members of the Mustelid family wolverines produce a musty odor which is unmistakable, especially if one breaks into a cabin and feasts on the bounty it finds.
       Known for its fierce disposition, the wolverine makes the Tasmanian Devil look like a sissy according to some writers. Wolverines are carnivores who hunt by day and night, and while they are capable of bringing down a deer they often scavenge from the leftovers of wolves and other predators. They can also climb trees. Man is the predator who hunts the animal for its frost-resistant fur, which is a thick, glossy, dark brown. The wolverine doesn't hibernate so must feed all year long. For this it has thirty-eight extremely sharp teeth and five very sharp claws on each foot which are slightly retractable.
       This large, fierce and fearless animal is noted for its fearlessness, strength, cunning and insatiable appetite. They may follow trap lines to cabins and eat what they find. They are solitary hunters who will prey on many types of game and won't hesitate to attack sheep, deer or even small bears. 
       Their most dangerous predator is man. Some kill them for their coats and ranchers kill them because they  pose a threat to livestock.
       Some interesting facts about the wolverine: If it was the size of a bear it would be the strongest animal on earth; its jaws can crush bones; the animal is skilled enough to bring down a deer or caribou; it will steal foxes and minks from traps set by humans; it has enough strength to drag a dead animal three times its size for some distance; its sense of smell is so acute it can smell food under the snow; it has been known to drive wolf packs from their kills, and will even back down a cougar from a carcass. Wolves, cougars and bears will prey on wolverines, but that doesn't seem to stop them from stealing food from the larger carnivores.
        Are wolverines endangered? The animal is not listed as endangered or threatened in the United States. It is listed by the USDA Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management as a "Sensitive Species." A number of states have their own classifications. Wolverines can be found in Canada, Finland, Norway, Russia, Sweden, North America and Estonia. Washington State lists wolverines as a Candidate Species meaning the wild population is being closely watched for "signs of decline."
       According to a press release from Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, "Only ten accredited zoos including Trek exhibit the species and only one of these, the Detroit Zoo, reports a surviving litter in the last two years." The surviving kit will not be displayed for "several weeks" until she is strong enough to be on her own. In the wild wolverine kits stay with their mothers for two years.

A Mature, Wild Wolverine... 

                                                                                                                                     (photo from National Park Service)

If the new Trek wolverine kit reaches maturity she will look like this big fellow.

Humane Society wants a "No Kill Community" by 2009...


                                                                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

       Humane Society board president Walli Roarke addressed the media on Wednesday at a press conference in the William Gazecki Animal Shelter in Tacoma. Roarke spoke about the Society's "End the Heartache" pet overpopulation awareness campaign, after unveiling a series of billboard and bus ads that will soon be appearing throughout Pierce County.
       She added, "Our goal isn't simply to operate a no-kill shelter and turn animals away when we are full. Rather, our goal is to become a no-kill community, and to never turn away a pet that needs help or shelter. That's the difference here in Pierce County. We're an "open-admission" shelter, meaning we never turn a pet away. Other [no-kill] shelters do not accept animals when they are full."

Campaign to Save Lives...

      by Dixie A. Walter
      My View
      February 3, 2006


     Kathryn Schwarz, a communications consultant from Jay Ray, explained the The Humane Society's new campaign, "The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County today announced its plans to end the needless euthanasia of thousands of healthy pets every year and lead Pierce County to become a no-kill community. The Humane Society, which sheltered 22,000 pets last year - more than all King County shelters combined - is also an open admission shelter, meaning it never turns a pet away."
     The ambitious plans for ending euthanasia can only take place with the complete cooperation of the citizens of Tacoma, Pierce County and incorporated cities and towns in the county. Eatonville has been without an animal control person for too long, and a new person should be hired any time if one hasn't been hired yet. At the January 23 town council meeting Eatonville Police Chief Jim Lewis told the council he was eager to hire someone as quickly as possible to handle any animal problems in town. Kitten season begins in the spring and kittens are a very real problem for several months.
     Although the town has a facility to hold dogs, Lewis said they still didn't have what is needed to hold cats. The town has a contract with The Humane Society to take animals which can't be placed or their owners found. The contract calls for holding animals for a certain length of time but also states the animals may have to be euthanized, which is a nice way of saying they will be killed.
     A small town such as ours can help lead the campaign to end the killing of healthy animals. Just imagine for a moment that everyone who owns a pet has that pet "fixed" to prevent the overpopulation which leads to the killing. Imagine for a moment that all citizens of Eatonville were truly responsible pet owners and thought about the health and quality of life their pets deserve. 
     Take this responsibility even further and think about the stress put on your neighbors if your cat is allowed to roam unaltered, have kittens under your neighbors' house, and let the neighbor take care of the problem. It happens every year in town and it's a sorry, sad situation which does not make for good neighbors. It's inhumane all the way around. Inhumane to the female cat, her kittens, the neighbors, animal control people, and the people at the shelter who may in the end have to kill both kittens and mother cats. The same applies to unaltered dogs. However, dogs breed all year and cats tend to breed for several months during spring and summer, resulting in a tragic spike in the population during those months.


Human Suffering can be Ended Also

      Humane Society Development Director Marguerite Richmond described how painful euthanizing healthy pets can be for the person who must kill them. "I can tell you it's almost unbearable to watch a worker hold a kitten or puppy one last time, before gently giving them an injection that will end their life. Euthanasia's daily toll is simply unbearable. 
     "And simply put, it is avoidable. It has to change. I'm proud to report that The Humane Society has made big strides in addressing the problem. Since 1992, the number of healthy, adoptable dogs euthanized has decreased by eighty-three percent and the number of healthy, adoptable cats euthanized has dropped by twenty-seven percent"
      My husband, Bob Walter, has been Director of Humane Education for about twenty-four years. During this time I have had the opportunity to discuss what killing animals does to the spirit and hearts of those whose job it is to carry out the death sentences. The nightmares I've heard described by various staff are enough to give anyone nightmares. They are so graphic and frightening I will spare you descriptions. Suffice it to say another aspect of ending the killing of healthy pets is the humane treatment of shelter workers. 
     You can make an important difference. Don't fall into the trap of thinking you want your kids to experience the miracle of birth. Let them watch a film of a cat and her kittens. Or be totally honest and also show them the finality of death when those kittens end up in the killing room. 
     If you are a man don't fall into the macho trap of thinking that castrating your dog or cat is the same as castrating yourself. Because it is not. And strangely enough that is an argument I have heard ad nauseum. Every time I hear it I know another puppy, kitten, dog or cat will eventfully die because of this anthropomorphic way of thinking. A real man treats his pets responsibly. A real man isn't afraid to alter his pets because he's smart enough to understand he doesn't live vicariously through his pet's sex life.



     From The Humane Society comes the following "Mythinformation" about spaying and neutering pets: 


    It's too expensive. Fact is, fixing your pet saves money over time and The Humane Society offers financial assistance for low income families.
    It will change the pet's behavior. Fact is, fixing your pet makes him or her a more affectionate companion. Dogs are still protective, male cats will stop spraying and female cats are less likely to roam.  

    It will make the pet fat or lazy. Fact is, fixing your pet doesn't affect his or her weight or activity level.

   It's better for a female pet to have one litter first. Fact is, spaying a female pet before she has her first heat reduces health problems and reduces the cost for the spay procedure.

   It will make their male dog or cat feel less like a male. Fact is, research has shown that pets have no concept of sexual identity or ego.

    They will find good homes for all the puppies and kittens from a litter. Fact is, The Humane Society frequently shelters puppies and kittens whose owners have been unable to find them homes. Sadly, more than one-thousand puppies and kittens were euthanized in 2005.

    It's unnatural to prevent a pet from breeding. Fact is, domesticating dogs and cats is already an "unnatural process.

    It will make the dog less protective. Fact is, spaying or neutering a dog doesn't affect its natural instincts to protect, nor does it change its personality.


    Some of the shelter's goals are: Help every owner find their lost pet; build shelter capacity, expand current facilities and make room for more dogs and cats; make The Humane Society the first choice for pet adoption; "Fix the Problem..."
     What can the community do? Spay and neuter your pets; adopt; foster; volunteer; make a donation.


     In 2005 nearly 2,500 healthy, adoptable dogs and cats were killed in Pierce County. Fourteen thousand five hundred and seventy one animals were abandoned, lost or unwanted and found shelter at The Humane Society. Averaging one thousand two hundred animals monthly, forty animals a day. Six thousand one hundred and thirty six pets were adopted. Altogether the shelter handled twenty two thousand seven hundred animals.



Wake up and Help "Fix the Problem"


This graphic depicts four homes. On the left are 
the homes with neutered cats represented by 
black dots. The houses on the right illustrate out-of-control breeding by unneutered cats. This 
could be your neighborhood this spring
 during kitten season.

FYI: For Horse Lovers...

    (Publisher's Note: I signed an online petition protesting the slaughter of horses for food. Below is the response I received from U. S. Senator Patty Murray. I believe the statistics in her letter are of interest to horse lovers and other animal lovers as well. Senator Murray's eddress is Senator@murray.senate.gov)

    from Senator Patty Murray
    December 16, 2005

Senator Against Horse Slaughter

     Dear Mrs. Walter:

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts about horse slaughter. I appreciate knowing of your views on this
    Each year, more than 60,000 horses are slaughtered for human consumption in the U.S. or shipped to slaughterhouses in Canada and Mexico. The U.S. processes an estimated 10,000 pounds of horsemeat annually, which is then shipped overseas where it is considered a delicacy in many countries. Horses are targeted for slaughter regardless of gender, age, or breed.  
    They can range from Amish working horses to accomplished show ponies. Many of these animals are subjected to cruel and inhumane treatment while in transport and during the actual slaughter. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) “Guidelines for Handling and Transporting Equines to Slaughter,” the majority of the horses sent to slaughter are in “good” condition.
    As you may know, Representative John Sweeney (R-NY) and Senator John Ensign (R-NV) have introduced the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act (H.R. 853, S. 1915, respectively) to ban the slaughter of horses for human consumption. The legislation would permanently outlaw this practice in the United States, as well as prohibit the sale and transport of horsemeat intended for human consumption.  
     Passed in October 2005, the fiscal year 2006 Agriculture Appropriations bill includes this language banning horse slaughter in the U.S. Unfortunately, implementation of the ban was delayed by 120 days.  Yet, while the ban is only valid through October 2006, the provision will certainly help save tens of thousands of horses nationwide.  
     I supported this amendment during the Senate debate on the Agriculture Appropriations bill, which passed by a large margin.  The provision also received overwhelming support in the House and I was pleased that it was retained during final negotiations on the legislation.  
     I do, however, understand the unease expressed by many horse owners and breeders over the potential impact of the legislation.  For some, slaughter is seen as a solution to disposal of their aged or ailing animals.  I believe, however, there are a number of alternatives to slaughter that would help ensure more humane treatment than the often overcrowded and poorly regulated slaughterhouses.  These include selling or adopting unwanted horses to new owners, as well as humanely euthanizing the animals by a licensed veterinarian.  
    Throughout my Senate tenure, I have consistently supported efforts to protect animals from cruel and inhumane treatment.  For many people, horses provide wonderful companions and are an iconic symbol of our national culture and history.  It is important that we implement strict regulations against the trade, sale, and slaughter of these noble animals for purposes of human consumption.  Should the American Horse Slaughter Prevention Act come before the full Senate for a vote, I will certainly keep your thoughts in mind.
    Once again, thank you for sharing your thoughts on this important issue.  Please do not hesitate to contact me with any additional concerns.


   Patty Murray
   United States Senator

   P.S. I'd like to invite you to receive Patty Murray's Washington View, my weekly legislative update by e-mail. If you are interested in receiving my update, please sign up here: http://murray.senate.gov/updates.

Tony and the Audubon Society...

  From Tony Sirgedas
December 10, 2005


      Here's an interesting link for you to look at.  It's got one of my pictures, a Western Grebe, on it along with the story.  I had sent it to the Seattle Audubon Society for their web page and the guy there asked if they could use it for the Bird Notes page where they put up their short radio spots. The short audio is a little interesting.   To see the site and hear the audio please see http://www.birdnote.org/birdnote.cfm?id=480



New Washington State License Plate to Benefit Pets

    by Marguerite Richmond
     December 8, 2005

     "We are excited about these license plates,” said Steve Pierce, Executive Director of The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.  “It’s a great way for people to show how much they love their pets, and help reduce pet overpopulation at the same time.”  
     Spaying or neutering pets helps to reduce overpopulation while providing dogs and cats with significant health and behavioral benefits. In 2004, more than 150,000 animals ended up in Washington shelters.  
     The original cost to purchase a plate is $40.00 plus any applicable licensing fees. When the vehicle registration comes due, you will need to pay an additional $30.00 to keep the plate on your vehicle even if you have not had the plate for a full year. 
     Plates can be issued only to registered passenger vehicles, light duty pickups, trailers, motorcycles and campers in Washington State.  Plate numbers are assigned sequentially and automatically by the Department of Licensing's computer system.  The earlier you are at a Vehicle Licensing office, the lower license plate number you will be assigned. Beginning March 1, 2007, specialty plates can be personalized. For questions or to locate vehicle licensing offices visit https://wws2.wa.gov/dol/vsagents.
     The Washington State Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies is dedicated to preventing cruelty to animals and advancing the humane ethic in Washington state by providing support services, professional training and advocacy resources.

Student Completes String of Pet Food Drives...

                                                                               (photo by Bob Walter)

     Weyerhaeuser Elementary fifth grade student Hilary Harris (second from left) finished her fifth and last birthday pet food drive at the school Friday, November 4. The 481 pounds of food collected by students will feed needy dogs and cats in Pierce County. Helping load the pet food were, left to right, Riley Gray, Hilary Harris, Madi and Cassidy (in front) Tobin, Maddie Gray, Doug Whitted and Kennedy Tobin. Last year Hilary was honored as a national runner-up Be Kind To Animals Kid for her efforts to help animals. Next year she'll move on to middle school, and is likely to find new ways to make life for animals a little easier.

Girls Jailed the Boys...

                                                                            (photo by Bob Walter)

     Students from Weyerhaeuser Elementary ham it up after helping load 481 pounds of pet food collected for needy pets.

Boys Turn the Tables on Girls...

                                                         (photo by Bob Walter)

     Don't try this at home. Here, the boys turn the tables on the girls of Weyerhaeuser Elementary, locking them into the rear cages of The Humane Society animal control van. They were confined only for the length of time it took to photograph them. The students were winding down after a day of school, and after loading nearly 500 pounds of pet food.

Black Bear Hit by Cars in Rare Road Accident...

     October 24, 2005

     An eyewitness said he rounded a bend at the 42000 block of State Road 161 October 18 and saw a bear try to cross the highway. The witness saw the vehicle in front of him hit the large animal. The man said he tried to miss the bear but couldn't swerve because of oncoming traffic and he also hit the bear. The bear was not killed but its injuries were so extreme it had to be killed by a police officer.
     The bear was hit at night according to Judy Justice owner of Judy's Tan & Tips in Eatonville. Justice said she was on her way to Eatonville at 9:35 p.m. "...heading up the hill from the valley and around the first curve there was a dead (I thought it was dead) bear to the right of the road. A few trucks stopped on the left so of course I slowed down." She then went to her shop and explained that on the way out of Eatonville saw many police cars with lights flashing. Just described the scene as "blinding" and "sad."
     Male black bears, Ursus americanus, weigh up to three-hundred pounds or more. Bears weighing more than six-hundred pounds have been reported. Females average between one-hundred to one-hundred-fifty pounds. Black bears are not always black. Brown and cinnamon colored animals are seen also. Black bears don't hibernate but might be dormant during the winter. Dormant bears can awaken in minutes if bothered. These large mammals require huge amounts of undisturbed land. In the mountains females range close to three-hundred acres and males average about eleven-thousand acres. Like many other wild animals black bears try to avoid humans. However, loss of habitat forces them into human occupied areas.

A Moment of Tranquility in
 This Chaotic World...

(photo by Bob Walter)

Koi fish at the Windmill Gardens and Nursery in Sumner of 2005

Local Veterinarian Returns
 to Tacoma...

                                    (photo by Tom Sayre)


 Doctor Pam Bennett


     by Tom Sayre
     October 21, 2005   


     As the water subsides, people involved with hurricane relief efforts return home. Doctor Pam Bennett, a veterinarian who flew to the aid of animals in need, recently returned to the Tacoma area, but not alone. Upon Dr. Bennett’s return, she conveyed that “this was a very fulfilling experience for me and I want to thank The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County for facilitating this trip.” The Humane Society was fortunate to partner with a professional who gives unselfishly and from the heart. 
     During Dr. Bennett’s visit to Baton Rouge, she examined and treated homeless pets at Louisiana State University. Her efforts contributed to the success of this rescue site both in the treatment and placement of the homeless animals. In addition to insuring the health and safety of the homeless pets, ninety-five percent of them were reunited with their owners and the remaining three hundred were fostered and/or adopted out.
     “People opened their hearts, homes and their wallets in this time of need,” Doc Bennett explained. Dr. Bennett also opened up her own home to an elderly, mixed-breed dog named Mitzi and to Sugarfoot, a thin cat in need of a little extra attention.
    Along with sponsoring Dr. Bennett’s trip, The Humane Society has also gathered over $10,000 in community donations that will be used to rebuild a stricken shelter. “You all in the Northwest are all so generous; a significant amount of the donations that we received came from your area,” said Dr. Rebecca Adcock, Director of Public Programs at Louisiana State University.   


Officer Returns Home after Hurricane Relief Assistance

                                                                 (photo by Marguerite Richmond)

Humane Society Officer Eric O'Donnell recently returned from helping animal hurricane victims.

       by Bob Walter
       Humane Education Director
       October 10, 2005

      Officer Eric O’Donnell of The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County returned a few days ago from the animal relief effort in Louisiana and Mississippi, where he has been since September 17, assisting with the huge task of processing thousands of domestic animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. There were dogs, cats, horses, reptiles, exotic birds and rodents, rescued from houses, other buildings or found running loose.
      In addition to the rescue organizations arriving with animals from New Orleans at the end of each  day,  private citizens would also show up with pets they had rescued, adding to a situation that was at times very chaotic.
      Arriving at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales, Louisiana at the rate of 100 to 300 a day, the animals had to be photographed and identified by species, breed, age and sex. Records of each were entered into a database using an animal sheltering software called Chameleon, that the consortium of rescue groups have linked with Petfinder.com and other Web sites to help reunite lost pets with their owners. These records included the location where they were found and owner information if available.
     O’Donnell’s familiarity with the software became very useful in the effort, when he was asked to train others in its use. Over 8,000 animals have been rescued to date. Rescuers return daily to the flooded New Orleans neighborhoods, still finding some animals that have survived. Rescuers, knowing there are still animals roaming in search of food and water, have been leaving both on the streets each day. This is keeping many of the animals alive, at least the ones who were not trapped in buildings or enclosures. 
     Says O’Donnell, “I stayed in a large FEMA tent on cots. They treated us well, providing packaged dinners to choose from, power bars, energy food, sodas, water and ice. The temperature was 92 degrees with 100% humidity.” As for the animals he processed, “There were many, many dogs in very thin to emaciated condition coming in at Gonzales. There were a lot of animal-aggressive dogs.”
    Before returning to Tacoma, O’Donnell transferred from Gonzales to Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where another staging area was set up to handle the displaced pets. Some of the animals at these two sites were transported from shelters along the gulf coast destroyed by the Hurricanes, before being processed, and in some cases, transferred to shelters around the U.S. for fostering and placement.


Humane Society Sending Local Vet to Baton Rouge


                                    (photo by Tom Sayre)


Veterinarian Doctor Pam Bennett

     by Tom Sayre
     September 27, 2995

     The number of suffering animals being brought into Baton Rouge, Louisiana continues to grow every day. Veterinarians in the area are overwhelmed with the number of pets that are in dire need of medial attention. This is why The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is responding by sponsoring Doctor Pam Bennett’s journey to help the animal victims of hurricane Katrina.
    Doctor Bennett is experienced in traveling to aid animals in need. “I have traveled to remote areas before to help animals and I cannot wait to get there to make a difference” she explained. “I don’t know until I get there if I will perform emergency care or performing general welfare examinations.”
   Doctor Bennett is a retired veterinarian who has worked for some local veterinary clinics such as Fircrest Veterinary Hospital, Sacajawea Healthcare for Pets, and she is currently teaching biology at the University of Puget Sound. She will leave this Saturday, October 1 and  return Monday, October 10.
   You can help with the efforts to aid animals victimized by Hurricane Katrina by donating to The Humane Society. All donations designated for the animals will go directly to their aid.

Tony Warns, "Bee Careful"

                                                 (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     September 25, 2005: Tony says, "It's that time of year when the yellow jackets are more aggressive as they look for new food sources. Keep an eye open for the little critters, especially around opened pop containers." Yellow jackets aren't actually "bees," they are aggressive wasps. During the fall they do become more aggressive and may be a serious aggravation as they search for food people eat or throw away. Keep garbage cans tightly closed and beware, they are beautiful but dangerous..


Humane Society Officer in Mississippi to Help with Pet Evacuations...

                                                                 (photo by Marguerite Richmond)

     Humane Society Officer Eric O'Donnell is in Hattiesburg, Mississippi offering assistance for animals displaced by Hurricane Katrina. O'Donnell has been officer at the shelter for sixteen years. 

     by Marguerite Richmond
     Development Director, 
     September 19, 2005

     The situation in Hattiesburg, Mississippi is overwhelming. More than 600 animals are sheltered in the Forest City Multipurpose Center, with 100 more arriving every day to be shipped to shelters all over the country.  Fewer than 50 volunteers have been caring for the animals, and many need to return to their home states.  A call went out for shelter volunteers, and The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is sending one of their most experienced officers, Eric O’Donnell.  
    “One of their biggest concerns right now is gathering information on the animals, putting them into a computer database and tracking them,” explained Executive Director Steve Pierce.  “They just received a software system for shelters – Chameleon -- that we use here, and they really need people who already know how to use it to help process these animals.” 
     Officer Eric O’Donnell is not only proficient with the software, he’s been an animal welfare officer for sixteen years, and has received the Red Cross Real Heroes Award for animal rescues.  “He’ll be able to help in almost any capacity,” said Mr. Pierce. “We’ll miss him here, but the animals really need him.”  
Volunteers are expected to bring their own equipment, sleep on army cots, and work hard in extreme temperatures.  The center reported that seventeen volunteers required IV fluids for hydration after a particularly hot day.     
     O'Donnell left
Saturday, September 17 for an indefinite period of time.  
For information about helping animal victims of Katrina please see below.

  Letter to the Editor:


More About Helping Animal Hurricane Victims...

     September 6, 2005

     To the Editor:
     I received this on my Yahoo Springer list. I thought it might be of interest to you. I have donated on the AKC website, in Dixie's (an English Springer Spaniel) name for the rescue, but will be sending a donation direct to the Louisiana State University (LSU) Vet school also. We are starting to hear of a lot of rescued animals, now  some with their family members, finally. I cannot imagine being told to leave my pets behind, as was necessary in the first days of the disaster. 
     To view some of the rescued animals at LSU please see  http://www.petfooddirect.com
    Our Ramblewood owners in Michigan had a direct link to Coast Guard workers and prepared packages with individual meals, leashes, etc. for the flat bottom boats they've been using in the effort.
     I realize that it's the suffering people that need help most, but the pets are also in need and it is an area that we can help with. Along with trash bags, I'm going to send collars and leashes together with unused medicine,
vitamins, shampoos, and toys. I 'm sure some little four legged kids will enjoy some toys to play with.
    Also, I placed a drop-ship order of big bags of dog food from here to be sent over to them right away. If everyone could send just one bag of dog or cat food, it will greatly help out! Don't forget to check off the box for the 5 percent discount they are offering.

     Pam Holt
    Dixie: Intl A/CH Ramblewood There's Your Trouble
     Bertie: Ramblewood Dark Lady
     Patch: Black Cat Extrodinaire

"Dogs feel very strongly that they should always go with you in the car, in case the need should arise for them to bark at nothing right in your ear." - Unknown

More Information from Pam Holt...

     Financial donations are being accepted to fund the animals care through the Dr. Walter J. Ernst, Jr. Veterinary Memorial Foundation at the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association at 1-800-524-2996. Make checks payable to the LVMA Dr. Walter J. Ernst Veterinary Memorial Foundation (write Disaster Relief Fund on the memo line) and send to the LVMA, 8550 United Plaza Blvd., Suite 1001, Baton Rouge, LA 70809. They will be able to use these funds quickly. 
     A regional donation center is being established. Our needs include: large air kennels and metal cages, leashes, disposable bowls, canned cat and dog food, disposable litter pans, spray bleach, paper towels, sheets, towels, locks, hoses, bottled water, trash cans, trash bags, pooper scoopers, cat litter, extension cords, fans. 
     The most urgent needs are kennels and monetary donations. The media will be advised of the address once determined. At least 175 animals are currently en route to Baton Rouge. For more information or to make donations of the materials listed above, please call the LSU School of Veterinary Medicine at 225-578-9900, www.vetmed.lsu.edu  or the LVMA at 1-800-524-2996, www.lyma.org 
     Animal Evacuation and Recovery Plan Contact Information: Louisiana SPCA contact Laura Maloney
225.413.8813; East Baton Rouge Animal Control Center Hilton Cole 225.774.7700; LSU School of Veterinary Medicine Dr. Becky Adcock 225.578.9900; Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association 225.9285862.

Disaster Relief for Animals...

     Press Release
     September 3, 2005

     In response to incoming requests from practices and their clients as to how they can help respond to the Hurricane Disaster, Maine VMA President Dr. Matt Townsend hopes that information such as the following will be helpful to you:
     Direct Relief to Animals: The ASPCA is of course assisting all shelters in the Gulf Region. Donations can be made through www.aspca.com, or by calling 866-275-3923. For relief efforts in Louisiana, go to www.la-spca.org. To assist the Houston SPCA, which like the Houston Astrodome is becoming a rescue site, go to www.spcahouston.org.  
    To assist animals, and help provide veterinary care for them: Go to the Louisiana Veterinary Medical Association, www.lvma.org; the Texas Veterinary Medical Association, www.tvma.org, Click Texas Veterinary Medical Foundation (which is helping both animals and veterinarians displaced from Louisiana). To be sure that a donation goes for animal care, write  "disaster relief fund-animal care" on the check.
    To assist the Long-Term Effort of Relief Coordination for this and future natural disasters, go to www.avmf.org. This is the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, which is making grants (Maine has just applied for one) for training volunteers in animal rescue programs. 
     For Humane Society of the United States updates please see
HSUS Disaster Relief Fund Update - 2005


Humane Society Warns Cat Owners About Deadly Virus


     by Marguerite Richmond
     Humane Society Development Director
     September 14, 2005      


     The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is advising cat owners to be sure their cats are vaccinated in the wake of an outbreak of feline panleukopenia in Pierce County. 

     Eight confirmed cases of panleukopenia have been traced to locations in Pierce County.  One cat came from Sumner, two were from Spanaway, two from Fircrest, and three from North Tacoma. All were strays.   

     Vaccination against panleukopenia is normally part of a cat’s annual vaccines, so cat owners are advised to check with their veterinarian to be sure their cat’s vaccines are current. Any sick cat should be seen by a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.  Symptoms of panleukopenia include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lethargy.  

      In order to control an outbreak of the disease at the shelter, The Humane Society stopped cat adoptions and began strict quarantine procedures for all incoming cats. “It’s heartbreaking when this happens,” says Dr. Byrd, shelter veterinarian. “It is a very contagious disease, but it can be prevented so easily.”       

      Other animal shelters in the Pacific Northwest have also seen a number of cases of feline panleukopenia in recent months.  Panleukopenia, or feline distemper, spreads quickly and is often deadly.  It affects only cats, and is not transmissible to dogs or to humans.

      The Humane Society expects to begin adopting cats again on September 20.  Dogs are not affected by the quarantine, and are available for adoption during regular shelter hours.   


A Disaster Can Happen at Any Time 
Are You Prepared to Protect Your Pets?

     by Tom Sayre
     September 3, 2005

    The recent tragedies resulting from Hurricane Katrina remind us to make sure we are prepared to take care of our pets!  Protect your pets by taking these precautions before disaster strikes:  

  • Store a seven-day supply of food.
  • Store a seven-day supply of bottled water per animal.
  • f you must evacuate your home, do not leave your pets behind.  Take them with you.  If it is unsafe for you to remain, then it is unsafe for them as well.
  • If you evacuate your home, don’t forget your pet’s medications, medical records and your veterinarian’s phone number.
  • Prepare a pet first aid kit (blankets, gauze pads, ace bandage, hydrogen peroxide, antiseptic cream, adhesive tape, tweezers, thermometer, scissors).
  • Always have a leash handy for each pet.  A harness will be more effective than a collar in keeping your cat safe when you travel.
  • Obtain a portable carrier large enough for each pet to stand up and turn around in.
  • In case you should become separated from your pets, place a tag with an out-of-state contact name and number, as well as your own, on their collars along with their license tags.
  • Have your pets’ health certificates and a photo of each handy at all times, to prove ownership if you’re separated during a disaster.
  • Keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date in case you have to board them or leave the state.
  • Contact hotels and motels outside your immediate area to check policies on accepting pets.  Ask if “no pet” policies would be waved in an emergency.  Make a list of pet-friendly accommodations and keep it handy.  Remember, federal regulations do not allow pets to be kept at Red Cross shelters.
  • Make a list of friends and relatives who could care for your pets for an extended period of time if needed.

       For more information, please contact The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County’s education director at (253) 284-5814.

                                                                                    Back to Front Page

Hey Jude, Here's Bogie...

                                                                                      (photo by Bob Walter)

      by Dixie A. Walter
       January 18, 2004

       Last week at Judy Justice's Tan & Tips in Eatonville I ran into Judy Bertram (Eatonville Furniture), and we got into a discussion about turtles. Judy Bertram had a musk turtle (aquatic) for years, and it died not so very long ago, so we were chatting a lot about how cool these animals can be. Judy B. asked me to put Bogie's picture on ENN and here he is, just for Judy!
      I explained to the Judys how the animal above, Bogie, came to live with my husband, Bob, and I. Over three years ago we went into one of those dreadful pet stores (which has since been shut down) that do everything wrong. I was looking for millet spray to give my little birds. Instead what I found was this big guy. His shell was thickly covered with macaw parrot feces, there were flies crawling around his eyes, and the look in his eyes was hopeless. 
     Cutting to the chase, we rescued this animal and he's been a hoot ever since. He's about ten years old now; the bumps you see on his shell are the result of poor nutrition when he was younger. Most captives of his species are pyramided, some more than others. 
     Bogie is a sulcata tortoise, the third largest tortoise on the planet. Their original habitat is in the sub-Sahara. This species can live over a century and weigh close to 200 pounds when grown. (Reptiles never really stop growing.)
     This photo was taken early last spring when Eatonville residents still had green lawns. This species eats like a horse. Lots of hay makes Bogie very happy, but he also loves roses, dandelions, dahlias, grape leaves and bunches of stuff that aren't good for him.
     His intelligence is amazing, considering he is a reptile after all. One day I will tell you about some of his accomplishments. He understands at least some "words" and sizes up new situations quickly. Bogie weighs about 30 pounds, and he's a baby. We'll never breed him. Captive breeding of sulcatas is relatively easy to accomplish, resulting in dozens of offspring, which in turn means a large number of cast-off torts whose novelty wore off and whose size and behavior got to be an " inconvenience" for their owners. As with many captive exotic species, there is a network of tortoise rescue groups scrambling to help these animals when they become homeless or suffer from poor husbandry.

Dog-A-Thon 2005 Breaks Another Record...
Raises Over $133,000 for Homeless Animals

      by Bob Walter
      July 16, 2005

     A thousand dogs, accompanied by their human friends, strutted their stuff, competed for prizes, demonstrated their unique talents, and went for a walk in the park, at the 15th annual Dog-A-Thon - The Humane Society's Walk for Homeless Pets Saturday, July 16. 
    The event was once again held at historic Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood. The presenting sponsor was Lawyer's Title, The Mountain 107.3 FM, The News Tribune, Click! Network, Robert Larson Automotive Groups and KeyBank and a number of other local businesses. The Dog-A-Thon raised over $133,000 in cash, along with thousands of dollars worth of gifts in kind.


     An impromptu "Parade of Adoptables" at the Dog-A-Thon brought together representatives from several pet rescue and adoption groups, who then posed for a group photo. They included Cascade Animal Protection, Puyallup Animal Rescue, The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, Rescue Every Dog, and Bullseye Rescue. This being kitten season, and the walk being for all homeless pets, even a few crated kittens and cats were shown during the parade. At least one kitten was adopted during the event.

Canine Educators...

      A new humane education/pet therapy program being developed at The Humane Society was recruiting new volunteer dog and handler teams from their booth at the Dog-A-Thon. The volunteer-driven program, called "Tutors With Tails," is coordinated by volunteer Patty Rusnak. On the left is Kirby Schlotterback with Rocky, and Kirstan Sanders is sitting on the ground with her dog, Cobi. 
     The animals, who are carefully screened and certified, sit with young readers as  non-judgmental listeners, helping them to improve their reading skills dramatically. The kids can't wait for their next reading session with the animals. Libraries and schools are requesting the program, but more volunteer teams are needed in order to meet the demand. 

Happy Dogs Take a Break...

      Two handsome, happy dogs and their human relax after walking with hundreds of other participants at the 2005 Dog-a-Thon. They enjoyed  water stops, treats and toys along the way. At the walk's staging area there were doggie wading pools, kids' crafts, kitten adoptions (secure carriers supplied, applications required), demos, many vendors, and earned prizes for individual and team pledge collectors. 
      The Dog-A-Thon, begun in 1991 after 10-year-old Tara Arndt approached The Humane Society with the idea of a pet parade as a fundraiser, has grown each year. This was the most successful event yet. The Dog-A-Thon is held the third Saturday of July each year.

Dog-A-Thon 2005 - For Another Tail Waggin’ Good Time...

      by Tom Sayre
      June 21, 2005

   Do your friends and family refer to you as a “dog nut?”  If you’re more than just a dog owner and you consider yourself as a dog lover, then you’ll want to know about the largest dog event of the year: Dog-A-Thon 2005, The Humane Society’s walk for homeless pets.  This event is brought to you by: The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, Lawyers Title, 103.7 The Mountain, The News Tribune, Robert Larson Automotive Group, Key Bank, Click! Network and Columbia Bank.
     On Saturday, July 16th from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. more than 900 dogs and their families will meet at beautiful, historic Fort Steilacoom County Park near Tacoma, Washington to have a great time while helping homeless animals in our community.
     Choose the one-mile stroll on the paved, level trail around Lake Waughop (perfect for the older dog) or hike the four-mile forested trail that leads up to spectacular views of the lake, Mount Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the waters of Puget Sound.  Along the routes, stop and enjoy the Treat Stop, Toy Stop, Water Stops and the Photo Stop.
     Walking with your dog is only half the fun!  There will be opportunities to participate in the Magnificent Mutt Show, and to observe demonstrations by: Tacoma’s Police Department K-9 Unit, Department of Corrections drug sniffing dogs, Washington Owners of Flying Disc Dogs, Washington Mixed Breed Dog Club, Ewe-Topia Herding Dogs, or collapse on the grass and soak up the sun with the friendliest dogs (and people!) around.  If that isn’t enough, stop by and have your pet microchipped for only $20! 
     You do not need to have a dog to participate and all funds raised support all homeless animals in our community.  To get started, call 253.284.5811 to request a pledge form. Or, visit our website at www.thehumanesociety.org.  Next, talk to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers… anyone who is a friend of animals and ask them to sponsor your walk to help our community’s homeless pets.

Bob Walter's Dog-A-Thon Web Page

     It's that time of year again. The Dog-a-Thon is Saturday, July 16. I've created my own fundraising web page, which you can reach by clicking on the link below. Will you make a small donation to the cause? Thank you! 

Behold the Ladybug...

(photo by Bob Walter)

     May 29, 2005: A voracious predator, this tiny handsome insect is a monster to aphids, but a symbol of good luck to humans. A bug so pleasing to the human eye, and so hungry for aphids, that we go out of our way to protect them. Not only are these beetles lovely to look and harmless to humans but they are one of the most beneficial. Sometimes called Lady Bird beetles or Lady beetles, these little ones, in the larval stage and as adults, consume huge quantities of aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and other soft scaled insects. It is estimated one Ladybug, female or male, will consume 5,000 aphids during the course of its short life. Some eat plant and pollen mildews. There may be as many as six generations annually. 
     There are number of species and various colors. Some are solid colors, red, orange, black even yellow. Some, like the one in the photo are heavily spotted while others have fewer spots or just one. 
     These small, helpful insects can sometimes become pests when they congregate by the thousands on wall of homes. However, all gardeners and plant lovers admonish against killing these animals. Just enjoy them and eventually they will go away.
      One species of Ladybug Beetle was named Ohio's official state insect in 1975. The green darner dragonfly is the official state insect of Washington. It's one of the biggest pond dragonflies and is often called the Mosquito Hawk because of its dining pleasure.

Governor Signs Animal Cruelty Bill...

      Press Release 

      OLYMPIA MAY 16, 2005  Govenor Christine Gregoire signed a bill today to increase the penalty for animal cruelty, including brutal dog fighting and cock fighting for public entertainment and profit.
      House Bill 1304 was directed toward people who intentionally or knowingly inflict substantial pain, cause physical injury or kill an animal by means causing undue suffering or death. In addition, Representative Tom Campbell (R-Roy) successfully amended the bill to include his 'animal fighting' bill (HB 1579).   
      Under the new law, intentionally inflicting substantial pain or cause physical injury or death is a Class C felony for conviction in the first degree. A second section of the bill classifies as a misdemeanor when, through criminal negligence, a person starves, dehydrates or suffocates an animal, causing unnecessary suffering or pain upon an animal.
      With Campbell's amendment, it adds 'animal fighting' as a Class C felony. Any person who knowingly and intentionally owns, breeds, trains, buys or sells animals for the purpose of staging fights commits the crime of animal fighting, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
      Campbell had the support of many prosecutors and humane workers who appeared in committee to tell of the horrors of the extreme levels of violence that result from animal fighting exhibitions.
      He noted an instance where a rottweiler -- probably someone's pet -- was stolen by an organizer of a dog fighting exhibition where the rottweiler was put in an arena with a trained pit bull. "While the crowd cheered, a vicious fight between the two dogs ensued as the pit bull savagely destroyed the hapless rottweiler.
      Campbell said there is growing activity in this region that includes organized crime. The current law which required paying a fine, was not a deterrent as the felony punishment would be.
       The amended bill relating to animal cruelty and animal fighting passed both the House and the Senate unanimously.

Hello Mr. Chips...

                                                                           (photo by Bob Walter)

      by Dixie A. Walter
      May 13, 2005

     Chips is the official "greeter"  at Mountain Take Out Restaurant in Eatonville. He and his tabby sibling, Fish, were found behind the restaurant last spring as lost, or abandoned, kittens. The pair were rescued by Susie and Mike Robinson owners of  the popular eatery. 
     This beautiful black cat is a very friendly fellow who often adorns the front porch as he welcomes patrons to the restaurant. His affectionate attitude and happy disposition belies the folk tales of malevolent spirits inhabiting felines of his color. This black cat crosses the paths of many people and no bad luck follows them. Instead he brings a smile and, often, delight, with his sweetness and good looks.

Humane Society Epidemic Coming Close to an End...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     May 14, 2005

   A viral disease which swept through The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County's William Gazecki Animal Shelter last week will hopefully be under control by Monday. According to Tom Sayre, society spokesman, it would be a good idea to wait until then to take stray and unwanted cats to the shelter if it's possible to wait. This is kitten season which puts a strain on all shelters at this time of year.
    Sayre said he had no idea how the disease, at first thought to be an upper respiratory infection, was introduced to the cattery at the humane shelter. With the large number of cats and kittens taken to the shelter on a daily basis it is impossible to know which animal carried the virus which prompted the euthanasia of some cats. It's impossible to know how many cats died of the disease, as evidence of some illness has been noticed six to seven weeks ago, and a lot of cats have been adopted since then.
    Cats have been quarantined in various places in the shelter, and the cattery has been cleaned and disinfected to kill the virus. Strays are still on public display, so owners may search for their pets. Strays are not in the infected area. Sayre said a veterinarian said it would be helpful to have cats' vaccinations updated, but that isn't a guarantee against the virus. 
    When large numbers of animals are congregated, eventually a disease will take it course through the population, although it only happens every few years. Sayre pointed out that in the past when an illness hit, the shelter did a "clean sweep" killing all animals in the infected area. That was not the case this time, and as many animals as possible were saved.
     The William Gazecki Shelter is the largest in the state. "The shelter receives and adopts out more animals than all three King County shelters," Sayre pointed out. He said the real story wasn't the viral outbreak but the new no-kill policy which is being put in place. 
     Sayre noted that in April 2004, 76 dogs and 117 cats were euthanized, compared to April 2005 when zero cats and dogs were killed for "reasons of time and space," in other words, healthy, adoptable animals. And from January 1, 2005 until May 11 and the outbreak of illness, 360 fewer animals were put to death than the same time last year. Expanding foster programs are one reason the shelter's transition to a no-kill facility is being made easier.
     Bob Walter, The Humane Society's director of humane education, points out that cats who are allowed to live indoors are far less likely to be at risk for contracting viruses such as these, and avoid many other dangers cats face outdoors. Indoor cats also cannot prey on songbirds, chipmunks and other small wildlife not considered pests.

Animals in Art Poster Contest
Building the Bond...

     Eatonville High School student, Megan Vail, was awarded The Humane Society's Top High School Entry in the society's Animals in Art Contest last year. The theme in 2004 was "Kids Helping Animals."

     April 5, 2005

     The deadline for The Humane Society’s 45th Annual Animals In Art Contest is coming up on April 15. Rules and information packets are available from the Society’s Education Office.
     This contest aims to give teachers of grades 1-12 a vehicle to direct students’ attention to the mutual benefits of the bond with companion animals.
     Students whose entries are selected for exhibit will receive certificates, and be invited, along with their families and teachers, to be recognized at the annual awards ceremony in May, during Be Kind To Animals Week. The top entries will also receive cash prizes, and engraved plaques to take back to their schools for the year.
      The selection of this year’s contest theme, “Building The Bond,” was picked to emphasize that a healthy bond with a pet helps build a child’s self esteem, which social service professionals say is a key  to combating youth violence, drug use, illiteracy and unwanted pregnancies.  A bond with a pet helps children to value the differences in others, and to develop their ability to nurture others.
      The deadline for entries to reach the William Gazecki Animal Shelter is Friday April 15.  For more information, or to request a rules packet or a class discussion about the contest theme, call The Humane Society’s Education Director, Bob Walter, at 253. 284.5814. 

Humane Society Epidemic Coming Close to an End...

     by Dixie A. Walter
     May 14, 2005

   A viral disease which swept through The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County's William Gazecki Animal Shelter last week will hopefully be under control by Monday. According to Tom Sayre, society spokesman, it would be a good idea to wait until then to take stray and unwanted cats to the shelter if it's possible to wait. This is kitten season which puts a strain on all shelters at this time of year.
    Sayre said he had no idea how the disease, at first thought to be an upper respiratory infection, was introduced to the cattery at the humane shelter. With the large number of cats and kittens taken to the shelter on a daily basis it is impossible to know which animal carried the virus which prompted the euthanasia of some cats. It's impossible to know how many cats died of the disease, as evidence of some illness has been noticed six to seven weeks ago, and a lot of cats have been adopted since then.
    Cats have been quarantined in various places in the shelter, and the cattery has been cleaned and disinfected to kill the virus. Strays are still on public display, so owners may search for their pets. Strays are not in the infected area. Sayre said a veterinarian said it would be helpful to have cats' vaccinations updated, but that isn't a guarantee against the virus. 
    When large numbers of animals are congregated, eventually a disease will take it course through the population, although it only happens every few years. Sayre pointed out that in the past when an illness hit, the shelter did a "clean sweep" killing all animals in the infected area. That was not the case this time, and as many animals as possible were saved.
     The William Gazecki Shelter is the largest in the state. "The shelter receives and adopts out more animals than all three King County shelters," Sayre pointed out. He said the real story wasn't the viral outbreak but the new no-kill policy which is being put in place. 
     Sayre noted that in April 2004, 76 dogs and 117 cats were euthanized, compared to April 2005 when zero cats and dogs were killed for "reasons of time and space," in other words, healthy, adoptable animals. And from January 1, 2005 until May 11 and the outbreak of illness, 360 fewer animals were put to death than the same time last year. Expanding foster programs are one reason the shelter's transition to a no-kill facility is being made easier.
      Bob Walter, The Humane Society's director of humane education, points out that cats who are allowed to live indoors are far less likely to be at risk for contracting viruses such as these, and avoid many other dangers cats face outdoors. Indoor cats also cannot prey on songbirds, chipmunks and other small wildlife not considered pests.

Can This be Prevented?

     by Bob Walter
     February 22, 2005

     On Thursday, Feb. 17, about a dozen local citizens met at the Eatonville Library to explore ways to help  homeless pets in the area. The group included a number of people who have devoted many years to rescuing and adopting out abandoned pets. Representatives from Puyallup Animal Rescue described their efforts, working since the early 1980’s to get homeless pets spayed, neutered, wormed, vaccinated and adopted. The South Hill PetsMart store has provided a great adoption venue for them. Founder Vickie Pearson related how they must turn animals away whenever their foster homes are filled, and that solving the problem still requires a huge commitment.
     Although most privately run shelters and foster homes have no-kill policies, the sad truth is that foster homes for unwanted animals are too often filled to capacity and animals must be turned away. Often this means they are sent to shelters where euthanasia is practiced. 
   "Burn Out" is not uncommon among men and women working toward animal rescue. One local woman told how she had become “burnt out” trying to help hundreds of needy pets left to fend for themselves because of human neglect and ignorance. She finally had to take some time away from the cause for her own sanity. Abuse and lack of caring puts many kind, loving people in this position.
    One couple, originally from Florida, came to this area by way of Kentucky, where they said there was little community interest in helping animals. Another couple recently moved here from an island near Ketchikan, Alaska, where they, too, had taken in and adopted out pets. The consensus seemed to be that, even with the enthusiasm and commitment of a dedicated group of animal advocates, reaching a zero euthanasia rate is a long way off, if not impossible.
   There was discussion of ways to address the problem, including greater support for municipal animal control, pet adoption events, recruiting good foster families, spay/neuter education and assistance, behavior and training advice, and a pet food bank.
   The Town of Eatonville currently has no animal control officer, and while dog and cat licensing is mandatory, both in Eatonville and throughout unincorporated Pierce County, many pet owners are not in compliance, allowing their animals to roam without collars or tags. The same day as the group gathered only 39 pet licenses had been sold in Eatonville, and six of them were sold to one of the people attending the meeting. In addition to the hazards the animals face, this also presents a human health and public safety issue.
   Officer Kevin Wade of Eatonville Police Department described the town’s existing stray dog runs in one of the maintenance buildings, and added that Police Chief Jim Lewis is hoping to soon have indoor/outdoor runs built at another location near the south end of town. Officer Wade explained that town police weren't allowed to pick up stray animals in the patrol cars. There is one police car which s set aside for this purpose, but there isn't an animal control person in town presently to use the vehicle.
    Officer Wade also explained that no dogs had been picked up in town during the past six months because the town lacks an animal control person. He explained that dogs are most apt to be seen running loose at night. And that cat control is almost impossible, especially in the spring during kitten season.
   For years, the town has had an agreement with The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, whereby unclaimed stray animals are picked up by an animal control officer on an individual basis. The Humane Society announced last November it is getting out of the animal control business at the end of this year, prompting municipalities to begin planning new measures to handle animal control issues. Pierce County now provides its own animal control, but currently employs just two officers for the entire county. The Humane Society still employs four animal control officers, funded through contracts with, and serving the communities of, Tacoma, Edgewood, Bonney Lake, Steilacoom, University Place and Fircrest. One officer will retire within a month and by December 31, 2005 the others will also be gone.
   No goals were prioritized, and while some members pledged to keep in touch there was no date set for another meeting.

  Letter to the Editor:

    Animal Anti Cruelty Bills
February 10, 2005

     Last year we heard of a heinous act of animal cruelty here in Pierce County. Two young men tied an unsuspecting, innocent dog to a tree and shot her repeatedly with a bow and arrow.  They pulled the same arrow out of the helpless dying animal and reused it for every shot fired into her.  Many of us were dismayed to learn that due to a loophole in the law, upon conviction, these two adults could only be sentenced to a maximum of one year in county jail.  In spite of the fact that they were sentenced to the maximum, they only served about two months actual confinement due to crowded conditions at the county jail.
    The Washington Federation of Animal Control Officers has proposed legislation that would eliminate this and other loopholes in the present Washington State animal cruelty laws as well as authorize stiffer penalties for gratuitous, wanton acts of cruelty to animals. This bill is referred to as House Bill 1499 in the house and Senate Bill 5532 in the senate.  
    There are other animal cruelty reform bills pending, however, the Federation's legislative package is more comprehensive and addresses the existing loopholes, while the others do not. Had the Federation's bill been existing law last year, the two miscreants who killed the dog would still be in prison. The link between animal cruelty and violent crimes against humans, including domestic violence, has been shown in many clinical studies. The majority of serial killers started out as animal torturers.
     Animal control officers are on the front lines protecting beings who can not call for help, can not report being tortured, neglected or abused, and rarely can protect themselves from their assailants and tormentors. Please help them do their job by putting some teeth in the laws they enforce! This legislation comes up for review on February 11. Call or write you state representative and state senator and tell them you want them to support HB1499 and SB5532.

      Matt Rusnak

More About Anti Cruelty Bills From Matt Rusnak...

     February 10, 2005

     This legislation is proposed by the Washington Federation of Animal Care and Control Agencies, and sponsored by the following State Senators:

Jeanne Kohl-Welles
432 John A. Cherberg Building

PO Box 40436
Olympia, WA 98504-0436
Telephone: (360) 786-7670
Fax: (360) 786-1999

Luke Esser
416 Legislative Building
PO Box 40448
Olympia, WA 98504-0448

Telephone: (360) 786-7694
Fax: (360) 786-1999

Erik Poulsen
336 John A. Cherberg Building
PO Box 40434

 Olympia, WA 98504-0434
Telephone: (360) 786-7667
 Fax: (360) 786-1999

     The bills are referred to as HB1499 in the house and SB5532 in the senate. The texts of both bills are identical, so only the house bill is attached.

Action Alert...

      Pasado's Safe Haven is also proposing a much less comprehensive bill to amend anti cruelty statutes. While their bill is well-intended, it is very limited in scope and some of the terms used are vague and limiting.  Their  proposed legislation is HB1304 and SB5352.  I have also enclosed their version for comparison.  Because of Pasado's extensive public relations network, many people are only aware of their legislative package.  
     The Federation of Animal Control Officers' legislation, in my opinion, is far superior, but has not been brought to the attention of the public. Legislators support bills that their voting constituents want passed. If the Pasado people are the only voices the legislators hear on this issue, the weaker bill will be passed, and the legislature probably will not revisit this issue again for years.

What You Can Do...

     Forward this to anyone in law enforcement or the criminal justice system, particularly prosecutors, or
anyone else who cares about animal welfare and justice.  Contact the senators above to voice your support. Find out who your state representatives and senators are, call, email and/or write to them and tell them you want this version of the anti-cruelty statutes enacted (be sure to specifically mention our bill numbers, HB1499 and SB5532).  For those of you who are really committed, the legislators will be hearing testimony from supporters in Olympia on February 11, 2005 at 8 a.m. Yes, it's early, but we need every voice heard. Hope you can make it!

     To read House Bill 1499 please see House Bill - To read present and proposed revisions of state law please see Statutes

More Bald Eagles...

                                                                            (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     February 2004: Tony said,  "The eagles were in a tree in the logged-off area along Eatonville Highway, just west of town overlooking the Ohop Valley." Hoping they are a mated pair, Tony took these photos on a beautiful February day masquerading as spring.

 Puyallup Tribe Surveys Bald Eagles

       Press Release:

     ORTING (December 6, 2004) – More bald eagles are calling the Puyallup River watershed home, and the Puyallup Tribe of Indians wants more to come south every year. “It seems that there are more bald eagles using the Puyallup as a winter home than the last time surveys were done regularly,” said Barbara Moeller, wildlife biologist with the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. 
      Last winter Moeller conducted the first comprehensive survey of bald eagles along the Puyallup River in more than a decade. Moeller will conduct a second survey this winter, in addition to spot checks on specific roosting sites. “On just one float down the Puyallup , we saw as many as 60 eagles.” During earlier surveys on the Puyallup River in the 1980s, counts ranged from a low of three to upwards of 20. 
      In addition to keeping tabs on their numbers, the tribe also gives the eagles an incentive to make the Puyallup River their winter home by distributing up to 10,000 chum carcasses in the upper watershed. “We’ve seen up to 40 bald eagles just in the area around where we put the carcasses in to the river,” said Blake Smith , enhancement manager for the Puyallup Tribe.
     “Because eagles feed primarily on salmon carcasses during the winter, the success of the salmon play a large role in the success of the eagles,” said Moeller. “The tribe distributing carcasses from their hatchery is very important in terms of bringing back the eagles.”
     “Bald eagles start coming south to the Puyallup at pretty much the same time salmon runs are peaking,” said Moeller. “When the weather starts getting too cold in Alaska and British Columbia and the salmon start running here, bald eagles start moving south.”
    “This basic data collection helps ensure bald eagles can continue to be protected,” said Moeller. Since the banning of the pesticide DDT in the 1970s, bald eagles populations have been increasing nationwide. After changing their status from “endangered” to “threatened” in 1995, the federal government recently petitioned to remove the bald eagle from the protection of the Endangered Species Act.
     Moeller plans to expand the eagle survey by identifying and mapping night roosting areas within the Puyallup River watershed. She would like to update nesting locations in the system as well. “Even though more bald eagles have been coming back here, they still face pressure from development,” she said. “Most of the development in the Puyallup watershed is near the river, the same place bald eagles nest, feed and roost. By mapping where bald eagles live, we can protect them more effectively.”
    Winter habitat is vital to the life history of bald eagles because most build nests and mate during the winter months. “Where bald eagles spend their winters is crucial to the rest of their lives,” said Moeller. “Without protected, isolated areas around the river to build nests, roost, and feed, bald eagles might not continue to successfully reproduce, resulting in fewer eagles returning along the Puyallup .”

Bald Eagle Fast Facts...

·        Scientific name: Haliaeetus leucocephalus, which means “white-headed sea eagle.”

·        Bald eagles are one of the largest birds of prey in the world with a 6.5 to 8-foot wing span. Bald eagles can be 3 to 3.5-feet long and weigh up to 15 pounds.

·        The distinctive white head and tail marks a mature eagle at least four to five years old. Younger individuals vary from solid dark brown to a generally mottled brown and white plumage.

·        Fish compose 60 to 90 percent of the bald eagle’s diet.

·        Bald eagles usually build nests in the tops of giant trees. A nest is enlarged annually and can become the largest of any North American bird. The largest nest ever recorded was 20 feet deep, 10 feet wide, and weighed two tons.

·        Bald eagles have lived 50 years in captivity, and in the wild may live up to 30 years.

·        Bald eagles formerly lived throughout North America , but now breed mainly in Canada and adjacent states and Florida .


Humane Society to Become 
No-Kill Shelter...

The Humane Society Refocuses, Calls for an End to
Euthanizing Healthy, Adoptable Animals

Society chooses not to renew animal control contracts with municipalities in 2006

                                                                              (staff photo)

In the future, when The Humane Society phases out animal control, beautiful, healthy animals like
 this cat will no longer be euthanized. The outlook is much happier for lost and abandoned pets.

TACOMA, Washington: November 29, 2004 - The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County announced today its renewed commitment to animal welfare and its intent to give up all animal control contracts. Responsibility for animal control will revert to Pierce County and local municipalities by January 1, 2006.

"The Humane Society is committed to leading the effort to eliminate the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable animals in Pierce County. Animal control is a diversion of resources The Humane Society and animals can no longer afford. So we are getting out of animal control to focus on animal welfare," said Dan Kyler, chair of The Humane Society Board of Directors.

Board members have examined the issue for a few years and made the unanimous decision after thoughtful deliberation, Kyler said.

Added Steve Pierce, executive director of the society, "We are a nonprofit with a mission to protect animals and promote good relationships between animals and people. Animal control is a policing responsibility better suited to government.”

Currently, the nonprofit Humane Society contracts to provide animal control services to unincorporated Pierce County and the cities of Tacoma, University Place, Bonney Lake,

Edgewood, Fircrest and Steilacoom. In most places in the country and the state, local government is responsible for animal control. Locally, Lakewood, Puyallup and Sumner handle their own animal control.

When municipalities take over animal control by Jan. 1, 2006, they also will begin handling pet licenses. Revenue from pet licenses may fund animal control activities and help municipal budgets at a time when extra resources are scarce.

The Humane Society will provide expertise and support to help municipalities make a smooth transition. Municipalities will have the option to contract for animal shelter space at The Humane Society.

By the end of 2005, The Humane Society will no longer employ its 16 animal control officers. Society officials expect that a similar number of animal control jobs will open up with local governments.

The Society's many Humane Programs will continue to expand, including pet adoptions, low-cost spay/neuter, education outreach, pet visitation to elder care facilities, emergency pet food bank, pet behavior counseling and many others. The Humane Society will focus its resources on programs that will serve its goal of eliminating pet euthanasia and enhancing the relationships between people and their pets.

The Humane Society was founded 116 years ago with a mission to promote animal welfare. The Society began accepting contracts to provide animal control services in 1951. By focusing its efforts on animal welfare and away from public safety and pet law enforcement issues, The Humane Society expects to reduce the number of dogs and cats euthanized each year in Pierce County.  

The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County is an independent nonprofit organization. It is not associated with any national organization, nor is it a department of any government agency. The Humane Society is governed by an all-volunteer board of directors and funds its many Humane Programs through donations and community support.

               The Humane Society operates the William Gazecki Animal Shelter, the largest animal welfare facility in Washington state. The shelter receives more than 20,000 animals each year. Of these animals, 45 percent (9,000) are returned to their owners or placed in loving homes, and 11,000 (55 percent) are euthanized. Forty percent (4,600) of those euthanized animals are healthy, adoptable pets with no serious health or behavioral issues. 

Another Great Pet Food Drive by Local Kids...

                                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

     by Bob Walter
     November 22, 2004

     The students and staff of Eatonville Elementary School (EES) collected a whopping 3,000 pounds of pet food for Pierce County’ homeless and needy animals during their pet food drive the past three weeks.
    EES Pet Food Drive coordinator Danette Brons quickly organized a team of eager students on Tuesday morning, November 16 to load the bulk of it from behind the school stage to The Humane Society’s outreach van, "Rover." Among those hoisting, hauling and loading the food were (alphabetically): Marisa Bass, Jennie Brons, Hailey Latherow, Dakota Louwien, Brandon Lunsford, Stephen Morris and Morgan Phillips. These and others pitched in again on Wednesday when the rest of the massive pile was loaded.
    Over 2,700 pounds of pet food was hauled from Weyerhaeuser Elementary on Nov. 5th, also bound for food banks and the animal shelter. Weyerhaeuser student Hilary Harris has led that school’s pet food drive, collecting donations for homeless animals for several years. This year Principal Pam Burke of Weyerhaeuser challenged Principal Diane Heersink of EES to a friendly competition in which everyone wins. Principals, teachers and other staff, parents and students all got into the action at both schools.
    More food was still coming in due to each school’s drive.

Feeding "Rover" 3,000 Pounds of Food

(photo by Bob Walter)

Awwww Alert...

                                                                                             (photo by Bob Walter)

     November 10, 2004: Dixie, the English Springer  Spaniel Champion allows three of her five puppies to nurse for a minute although they are thisclose to being weaned completely. Dixie lives with Pam and Bob Holt and this is her first litter. The five female pups were born September 15. Pam explains the process involved in buying one of Dixie's pups, "The pups will not go to their new homes until the week of Thanksgiving. They will be ten weeks old and have had their eyes checked by a canine ophthalmologist. 
    "Dixie will have taught them all of the things a mother needs to teach puppies, such as proper bite inhibition, how to play well with others, etc. They are all going to wonderful homes where they will be enrolled in puppy classes and will learn to be good citizens. They will be sold with a contract that requires neutering at six months of age. If, in their lifetime, the family cannot care for them, then they must be returned to me, the breeder. This insures that they will not end up homeless or in a rescue shelter."
     The pup's sire is "Sam" Ramblewood Ray of Light. Dixie's registered name is
Ramblewood There's Your Trouble. Pam and Bob are keeping one pup, Ella. She will be registered with the American Kennel Club as Ramblewood Strictly From Dixie, an Ella Fitzgerald song. Mom has finished her American championship and one day Pam hopes to have her finish her Canadian championship. However, that will be in the future as pregnancy, birth and raising puppies takes some of the punch out of Mom's figure and coat.

Awww Alert Two...    

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

     Six-year-old Anne Shore cuddles with Ella. This was a big treat for Anne because Dixie's pups are harder to visit than Elvis in Las Vegas. All the puppies are excellent with children and are socialized perfectly. 


 Pet Food Drive Huge, 
Heavy Success!

                                                             (photo by Tom Sayre)

     The crew of Weyerhaeuser Elementary students who loaded donated pet food into The Humane Society's outreach van, "Rover," after school on Friday, takes a break. Front row, Eli Loftus, Humane Society Education Director Bob Walter, Smith Chernek. Second row, Shelby Myton, Ally Banks, Kaitlyn Harrison, Ainsley Chernek. At top is the founder of the pet food drive, Hilary Harris. Not visible is a truck owned by Humane Society Events and Community Relations Coordinator Tom Sayre, which was also filled with bags of pet food.

     by Bob Walter
     November 7, 2004

    An estimated 6,700 pounds of donated pet food has been collected so far in the pet food drive being conducted by students at Weyerhaeuser and Eatonville Elementary schools. Principals at the two schools, Pam Burke and Diane Heersink, respectively, agreed to a friendly school challenge for the collection drive, begun four years ago by Weyerhaeuser student Hilary Harris (please see story as an alternative to birthday gifts. 
    While Weyerhaeuser concluded its drive on Friday, Eatonville Elementary will continue to take donations through November 19. An article about Hilary's annual project, which appeared in the News Tribune this week, generated further donations - a $50 check from a Gig Harbor resident, and a 1,000 pound pallet of pet food from Central Garden and Pet Supply. For their part, Principal Pam Burke, teacher Mrs. Reiten and school custodian Mrs. King purchased 500 pounds of dog food from Plaza Market to add to the total.


School vs. School in Pet 
Food Challenge...

                                                                                                      (2003 photo by Bob Walter)

     Left to right: Shelby Myton, Hilary Harris, Ainsley Chernek, Ainsley's brother, Smith, Weyerhaeuser Elementary Principal Pam Burke and third grade teacher Mrs. Robertson displaying 1,700 pounds of pet food donated last fall by Weyerhaeuser students. 

     by Bob Walter
     November 1, 2004

    Occasionally, in a moment of pure generosity and kindness, someone will arrive at a wonderful idea, and nurture it along, until suddenly, the idea takes on a life of its own. For this reason, Hilary Harris' birthday, she will be 10 November 21, is becoming an annual boon to Pierce County's homeless pets. Just a few years ago, the young Weyerhaeuser Elementary student visited area animal shelters to learn about how she could help the animals. 
       After getting a tour of The Humane Society's animal shelter in Tacoma, she knew then what she would do: Each year for her birthday, instead of presents, Hilary asked her friends and classmates to donate pet food for homeless pets.
Hilary often states, “I don’t want any animal to go hungry.” 
     Last fall, for her birthday, Hilary arranged a school-wide, class challenge, with help from her mom, Robin,  her teacher, the school principal, and a small army of generous students. Over 1,700 pounds of pet food was collected, filling two pickup trucks to the brim. This year's Weyerhaeuser class collecting the most food will win a pizza party. 
     In early October Hilary's mother, Robin, said, "She had so much fun last year. So, this year she has challenged Eatonville Elementary to a bigger and better drive. They are competing with each other to see who can donated the most food by weight." Classes began accepting cans or bags of pet food October 25, and each school will total their donations on Friday, November 5. Eatonville Elementary ends their pet food drive November 19.
     The Humane Society, for its part, is gearing up to transport the collected food back to the animal shelter, where it will feed the dogs and cats they've rescued. Some of the food collected by area students will also help senior citizens to keep their pets, through the Senior Pet Food Bank, and will feed other homeless pets as well. ENN will keep you posted on the results!

"Mother Geese" Watch over Tony's Orphan Fawns...

                                                                                          (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     October 15, 2004:  Tony Sirgedas says, "Almost looks like a real life "Mother Goose" nursery rhyme.  The same fawns I've been keeping an eye on since they were born Father's Day weekend. No sign of mom for over three months."

Wilkeson Dog Killers Get Nine Months in Jail...
And 240 Hours of Community Service at Humane Society

       October 1, 2004

     One month ago, two Wilkeson men, Steven Paulson, 21, and Troy Loney, 19, were convicted of first degree animal cruelty by Pierce County Superior Court Judge Thomas J. Felnagle for the March 8, 2004 killing of a stray Siberian husky that had been following them for several days. The court determined that the two had intentionally caused the dog to suffer, when they tied it to a tree, and shot an arrow into it numerous times, then threw the dog into Wilkeson Creek. The dog's body was never found.
    Judge Felnagle today sentenced the two men to nine months in jail, after which they must successfully complete an anti-cruelty treatment program administered by a state-licensed mental health practitioner, then perform 240 hours of community service at The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County. The last month of incarceration was suspended in lieu of the community service, to be conducted over one month time.
    The judge agreed to a request by Humane Society Education Director Bob Walter to make a *statement to *statement to the court on behalf of the dog, which had no known family. "As you think about what’s next for you, try to remember the look in the dog’s eyes, as he followed you around, looking for companionship, as you shot him. As you walked back up to him over and over to pull the arrow out. Try to imagine what he felt -- the confusion, the pain, and the fear that your rope prevented him from escaping. Try to understand what you put him through."
    During the investigation of the incident, the two men at one point claimed they killed the dog because it was suffering, then later claimed the dog was aggressive, but both stories were contradicted by statements from other residents whose children had played with the dog. The killing was witnessed by a Wilkeson Elementary School custodian, who testified seeing the men tie the dog to a tree and repeatedly shoot the animal with the same arrow.
    In arriving at the sentence, the judge took into consideration the men's previous felony criminal convictions, saying at one point that first degree child molestation (which one of the men was convicted of as a juvenile), together with the current conviction of animal cruelty, was "disturbing."

    *Please read Bob Walter's statement below.

Education Director Speaks on Behalf of Killed Dog...

      Bob  Walter's statement in support of the Siberian husky killed by an act of animal cruelty in the first degree in the Town of Wilkeson on March 8, 2004:

      Your Honor, since there was no known family for the victim of this crime, I’d like to speak on behalf of the victim, as a representative of The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.
      Often abusive behavior has its roots in childhood. Perhaps other factors led you to make the choices you made. But there are many people who, in spite of unfair circumstances, become compassionate, caring citizens. It’s not too late for you both to make the conscious decision to be caring. And you now have some time to contemplate doing that.
      As you think about what’s next for you, try to remember the look in the dog’s eyes, as he followed you around, looking for companionship, as you shot at him, and as you walked back up to him over and over to pull the arrow out. Try to imagine what he felt -- the confusion, the pain, and the fear that your rope prevented him from escaping. Try to understand what you put him through.
     As you spend those long hours confined by walls from which you can’t escape, talk to the soul of this dog. Ask for his forgiveness. If he had survived, his experience would have changed the way he responded to you, or perhaps any man, but revenge would play no part in that. 
     The next time you’re around an animal - and I’m sure there will be opportunities - look into his eyes, and ask him to help you understand what compassion means.

Be Wary of Dead Bats

     by Dixie A. Walter
     September 21, 2004

    During the last few months at least four dead bats have been found, in daylight, within Eatonville's town limits. Three of the recent bats were found on Antonie Avenue, and another was found in the Kelsey-Mashell sub-division. There may be more dead, or dying bats, found in the immediate Eatonville area which have not been brought to ENN's attention.
   One local businesswoman told ENN her brother in Chehalis also found a dead bat. The brother, and others,  thought the dead bats found on their premises were the result of hunting housecats. If the bats aren't roosting in the home's attic, or elsewhere, the chances are pretty slim that the bat's death was caused by the cat. Most bats navigate by "echolocation" - "sonar."
   Bats fly at night when the insect population is buzzing around porch lights, water and whatever bugs are drawn to. Cats, while having a certain amount of  night vision, don't, as a rule, capture healthy bats. If cats aren't catching the bats what is killing them? Or, if the cat catches a bat, why was the cat able to catch the bat?
   If you find a dead or dying bat in your yard or neighborhood, do not touch it with bare hands.  A rabid bat can infect humans, even if you are just scratched, and even though the animal is dead. Although a rare disease in humans,  rabies is a fatal disease once symptoms appear.
   Don't take chances. Use a shovel, heavy gloves or other protection to pick up a dead bat (or other animal). You should call the health department for your area and have the bat checked. This is especially true for dead, or dying, bats found during the daylight hours. Bats are nocturnal animals, they fly by night, and should not be outside during daylight; this is suspicious behavior.
   According to the Washington State Department of Health, "Bats are the only rabies reservoir in the Pacific Northwest. In Washington, rabies has not been found in raccoons, skunks, foxes or coyotes. These species may carry the virus in other regions of the United States." 
   The DOH also explains, in a 2002 report, "There was one fatal case of human rabies in Washington in 1995 and one in 1997. Both were due to bat rabies virus. These cases were the first reported in the state since 1939." Recently a rabid bat was found in Western Washington and several years ago a rabid bat was found in the Kapowsin area.     
   Be certain your pets have up-to-date rabies shots. The shots are given as juveniles with a booster at one year, then every three years. Teach your children to never, under any circumstances, touch any dead animal, especially a bat, with their bare hands.
   There are 16 species of bats in Washington State and about 1000 species in the world. Insect eating bats, the ones found in this area, eat nearly their entire body weight in bugs nightly. A human eating the equivalent would need to eat about 50 pizzas!
   Bats are extremely beneficial animals and should be protected from uninformed people wanting to kill them because they are "evil." However, a mature bat found outside during daylight hours should be treated with the utmost caution. Your life, or the life of other humans, could depend on it.

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Tony's Tame Fawn, not a Good Thing...

                                               (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     September 24, 2004

     Outstanding photographer, and wildlife devotee, Tony Sirgedas says, "This is one of the twins I've been watching that was born on Father's Day weekend. I'm kind of worried about them since I haven't seen Mom around for more than a month, and now they seem to have no fear of people. This little guy walked right up to me, and if I had wanted to I could have petted it...... that's not good."

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Convicted Dog Killer/Child Sex Offender Has
 Local Ties...


    September 8, 2004

   This handmade flyer is currently posted on the Eatonville Plaza Market public bulletin board. The flyer ties Troy Loney to the Eatonville/Alder area. Loney is a child sex offender and was recently convicted of torturing and killing the Wilkeson dog, see story below. ENN removed the Loney address and homeowner's parcel number which verifies the flyer's statements. 
   On the right side the circular says, "Call Vine Program...with Problems in This Area," and gives a phone number which isn't complete. Calls to variations of this number have not connected to the "Vine Program." If anyone can clear this up please contact ENN.

Judge Finds Wilkeson 
Dog Killers Guilty...

Men Who Tortured Dog to Death Led Away in Handcuffs

     by Bob Walter
     September 2, 2004

    Today Superior Court Judge Thomas Felnagle, in leading up to his verdict in the three-day trial of two men being tried for killing a stray Siberian husky in Wilkeson, compared the credibility of testimony from eyewitness Anthony Flora, a janitor at Wilkeson Elementary School, against that of the two defendants, Steven Paulson, 21, and Troy Loney, 19.       
     On March 8, 2004 the two men tied the dog to a tree with a rope, and took turns shooting it multiple times with a hunting bow and arrow, pulling out and using the same arrow at least ten times. He said that Flora's statements were consistent, that since he did not know either man previous to the crime, he had no reason to harbor any bias against them, and that he had a clear view of what happened. The defendants, on the other hand, lied about what had happened, and their statements conflicted even though they acted in concert.
    He said the law does not require evidence of why someone intends to inflict undue suffering on an animal, but simply to show that the intent existed. He said their attempts to get the stray dog that was following them picked up or placed were "pitiful."
   Concluding, Judge Felnagle said Paulson and Loney lacked credibility. Stating, "Mr. Flora is believable, and the defendants are not," the judge pronounced them "guilty of animal cruelty in the first degree [First Degree Felony Animal Cruelty]." 
   Before deciding whether to allow the two convicted men to remain free pending the October 1 sentencing date or be taken into custody immediately, Judge Felnagle asked prosecutor Dennis Ashman to relate their prior history of convictions. Ashman, reading from his case file, said Paulson had convictions for burglary, theft and forgery, while Loney was previously convicted of first degree child molestation. Judge Felnagle then ordered them taken into custody, and both were handcuffed and led away.
   The courtroom was filled with observers, a half-dozen law enforcement officers and many members of the local media.
   Tom Sayre, Humane Society spokesman, warns, "I think this demonstrates that if you're an animal abuser in Pierce County, at some point the law is going to catch up with you, and you will be punished."
   The men, who waived their right to a jury trial, will be sentenced Friday, October 1 at 1:30 p.m. in the Pierce County Courthouse. They face up to a year in prison and fines. 
   For more information please see Pasado's Safe Haven
   Bob Walter is the Education Director at The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County.

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Ally Capps and a Cuddly Friend...

                                                              (photo by Bob Walter)

      August 2, 2004

     Ally Capps, owner-operator of  Fur, Feather and Fins, holds a Guinea pig in the dog and cat food section of her new pet supply store at 107 Mashell Avene North in Eatonville. Ally just opened the new business July 4 supplying local pet owners with virtually all the needs of their companion animals, from caging, treats, and toys to health aids and equipment. 

In the Belly of the Beast...

                                                                 (photo by Bob Walter)

     A hamster, lying down with a lion, at Fur, Feather and Fins neighborhood pet supply in Eatonville. The new store offers pets, care information, and dog, cat, small mammal,  fish, bird and reptile supplies and equipment.

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Dixie Wins Another Big One...

    June, 16, 2004

    This is *Dixie's win picture from the weekend of June 5 Santa Clara Valley English Springer Spaniel Association. The Specialty was held in Lodi, California. Dixie and her person, Pam Holt, flew to Lodi Friday night and flew back Sunday night. Linda Riedel, one of her co-breeders and Pam went with three dogs. Best of opposite sex is the second place dog. First went to a male, second to the best female AKA Bitch. 
    Pam explains, "When a bitch goes Best in Breed then the Best of Opposite Sex is a male.  Unfortunately most of the time the males get Best of Breed. They mature faster than bitches, and have more feathering, not necessarily better structure. 
    "Once again Dixie proved that she is, indeed, a very special representative of her breed. I'm so proud
of her, she took the flight in stride like a seasoned pro, and never let down at all. It is complicated, I know for people not familiar to the terminology, but it means that she was the best female in the show. I knew that anyway, but the judges don't always agree."
    Pam added, "Her championship is finished. She is now shown in strictly Best of Breed competition.  Tier - wise the dog has to finish their championship before they are eligible to compete for Best in Breed. The only ones in the class are finished Champions, plus the Winners Dog & Winners Bitch. I know it is complicated. Then the best in each breed goes to group competition where four placements are awarded. The first place in each group goes to Best in Show competition. Unless, as in this case it is a show of all one breed, then you have already reached the best. Whew!"

Dixie's "fancy" American Kennel Club name is
Ramblewood There's Your Trouble. She lives with Pam and Bob Holt in Eatonville with  Ramblewood Life's A Dance aka Harley and Patch: Black Cat Extraordinary.

 Dog-A-Thon 2004 – For a Tail Waggin’ Good Time!

      Press Release
June 16, 2004

      Do your friends and family refer to you as a “dog nut?”  If you’re more than just a dog owner and you consider yourself as a dog lover, then you’ll want to know about the largest dog event of the year: Dog-A-Thon 2004, The Humane Society’s walk for homeless pets.  This event is brought to you by: The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, Lawyers Title, 103.7 The Mountain, The News Tribune, Robert Larson Automotive Group, Key Bank and Click! Network.
      On Saturday, July 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., more than 900 dogs and their families will meet at beautiful, historic Fort Steilacoom County Park near Tacoma, Washington to have a great time while helping homeless animals in our community.
      Choose the one-mile stroll on the paved, level trail around Lake Waughop (perfect for the older dog) or hike the four-mile forested trail that leads up to spectacular views of the lake, Mt. Rainier, the Olympic Mountains and the waters of Puget Sound.  Along the routes, stop and enjoy the “Treat Stop”, “Toy Stop”, “Water Stops” and the “Photo Stop.”
     Walking with your dog is only half the fun!  There will be opportunities to participate in the Magnificent Mutt Show, test your dogs’ ability on the agility course, observe demonstrations by Tacoma’s Police Department K-9 Unit, Department of Corrections drug sniffing dogs, search and rescue dogs, watch the latest craze – dancing with your dog, or collapse on the grass and soak up the sun with the friendliest dogs (and people!) around.  If that isn’t enough, stop by and have your pet microchipped for only $20!
      To get started, call 253. 284.5811 to request a pledge form.  Or, visit our website at www.thehumanesociety.org.  Next, talk to your friends, family, neighbors, co-workers… anyone who is a friend of animals and ask them to sponsor your walk to help our community’s homeless pets.

Humane Society New Outreach Van

                                                                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

    by Bob Walter, Education Director
     June 16, 2004

   The new Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County van is named "Rover." It's a Freightliner Sprinter Van and was purchased with grants from four foundations: PetsMart Charities, the Elinor Patterson Baker Foundation, the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation and Jane's Fund. It is for expanding our adoption and education outreach efforts throughout Pierce County. Some events will include adoptable animals, and all will include pet care tips, safety around pets, and behavior and training advice.
    We are scheduling it at malls, recreation centers, community centers and eventually, schools. It will be at South Hill Mall again on Wednesday, June 16, from 3 to 6 p.m., Saturday, June 19, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Sprinker Recreation Center Saturday, June 26, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., at our Dog-a-thon (at Fort Steilacoom Park in Lakewood) on July 17 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and back to South Hill Mall July 31, August. 14 and 28 (all Saturdays; all from  11a.m. to 2 p.m.). Visitors will also be able to tour the van at our booth at the Puyallup Fair in the Northwest Outdoors Building., September. 10-26.


Eatonville Student, Meghan Vail, Awarded a Top Prize in Humane Society Poster Contest 

     Meghan Vail, an eleventh grader attending Eatonville Independent Study Center was awarded top high school entry in the Humane Society's 44th Annual Animals in Art Poster Contest.

Animals In Art Winners Announced

     Press Release
     May 5, 2004

     The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County proudly announced today the winners of the 44th annual Animals In Art Contest.
     All Pierce County students from grades one through twelve were invited to submit entries. Entry categories included a poster division and a poetry/essay division.  The 90 winners, their families and teachers, were honored at an awards ceremony at Tacoma Little Theatre on Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m.
     Students found ingenious ways to address this year’s theme-- “Kids Helping Animals.” In the poster by Best of Show winner Caroline Tsoi, 8th grade, Pioneer Middle School, a baby and a puppy gaze out at the viewer, next to the caption , “Size does not matter in love.”
     Some students portrayed themselves protecting their pets from harm. Many stressed the importance of lending a helping hand. Entries left no doubt that the students truly believe in the value and importance of kids helping animals. Overall the students’ work reflected kids protecting those who cannot protect themselves, speaking up for those who cannot speak, and creating a community where animals are safe from cruelty and neglect.
     The first place entry in the poetry/essay division was a poem by Alicyn Swords, a forth grader at Lister Elementary in Tacoma.  Her poem describes three dogs, hungry and homeless, each for a different reason, and each in need of help from humans.  Elaine Collins of Discovery Elementary took second place, and Robbie Biehl, also from Discovery, took third.
     The three other top winners in the poster division were: Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz from Lowell Elementary, David Flynn from Pioneer Middle School, and Meghan Vail, an eleventh grader attending Eatonville Independent Study Center.
     An exhibit of the winning entries will be on display at the South Hill Mall from May 10 through June 3.

  Best of Show

Size Does Not Matter in Love...

A Happy Ending...

                                                                            (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     March 28, 2004

     Our favorite wildlife photographer, Tony Sirgedas, asks, "Is this close enough for a hummingbird shot? My cat was pretty nimble this evening [March 27] and nabbed this hummingbird out of the air. Luckily I was able to rescue it, and after it sat in my hand and rested for about ten minutes it flew off." This is a male rufous hummingbird, the most common type seen in our area. For a little more information about hummingbirds please see "More Internet Fun" About Animals



    Humane Society Warns About 
Easter "Pets"

   by Tom Sayre
      April 5, 200

     The only Easter Bunny you should encounter this Easter is the dressed up one at the retail mall or the wild type.  Live baby rabbits, chicks, or ducklings should not be given as Easter gifts.
     “Rabbits have specific needs and present unique challenges.  If this is the type of pet you desire, do your homework first, then consider adopting one from a shelter or rescue group.  Baby chicks or ducklings shouldn’t even be considered as pets” said Bob Walter, Education Director for The Humane Society.
      These Easter pets often times suffer from accidents, neglect or improper care in the weeks and months following the Easter Holiday.  Often, after recognizing the difficulties of proper care or just the loss of interest, guardians of these defenseless pets are dumping them in forests or ponds with the belief that they can survive on their own.  Repeatedly, these animals die. 
      Pierce County law also states that “It shall be unlawful for any person, firm, or corporation to sell or offer for sale, barter or give away living baby chicks, rabbits, ducklings or other fowl under two months of age in any quantity less than six.”  (Pierce County Code, Chapter 6.14.010.)   
      If you do decide to bring a rabbit, chick, or duckling into your life, please do the responsible thing and research the needs of proper care before considering the lifelong commitment.  More information on rabbits can be found online at www.rabbit.org, or call The Humane Society’s Education Department at (253) 284-5814.

The Lost Turtle Has a Safe New Home

                                                                                                         (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

    April 5, 2004

    Acting on the advice of a respected Tacoma herpetologist the turtle rescued by Patty Rath was released yesterday in a friend's private pond. The pond is completely protected from traffic and people on ten acres of beautiful farmland. This was a happy turtle as he hurried toward the beckoning water and freedom. He went out a few feet into the water, ducked under and watched the humans on the shore. Of course he knew we couldn't see him because he kept very still. It was a good feeling to see him free, the great natural habitat sure beats a kitchen sink! See below for the back story of this turtle's adventure. 

Is This Your Turtle?

                                                        (photo by Bob Walter)

     by Dixie A. Walter
     March 31, 2004 

   On Monday afternoon I got a call from Eatonville's new "First Lady" Patty Rath. She was on her way home and discovered this turtle walking along the hill. Knowing I have a tortoise Patty called me, then brought this handsome fellow to me in a box. 
   He is a red-eared slider (res) and is not native to this area. We have no idea why he was in a place so far from water as these animals are almost exclusively aquatic. They rarely ventures out of the water except to lay eggs or to migrate to a new water body, should the need arise. 
   This res measures a little over seven inches from the top of his shell to the bottom. We can tell his sex because of his very long front nails which are used in courtship. Now is the breeding season for this species. Several people have come up with theories as to why this animal was so far from water: he a pet who was "dumped;" he was a pet that escaped; he lived in a local wetlands that was filled in or he was looking for a mate.
    He probably was active Monday because of the heat. This is a lucky turtle because Patty was kind enough to rescue, him he could have easily been killed on the road by a vehicle, other animals or even cruel humans. I belong to several tortoise/turtle groups through the Internet and their publications often tell of sad stories about human behavior to these harmless reptiles.
   These animals live in sluggish rivers, shallow streams, swamps, ponds, and lakes with soft bottoms and dense vegetation. I have written to a turtle/tortoise rescue group, Turtle Homes, asking if there are any rehabbers in our area. The turtle is in good physical condition and seems content to sit quietly in my kitchen sink. But he needs a better home. 
   If you know of anyone who lost a turtle please have them call me, my number is in the phone book.  If noone claims him soon I will send him to the humane society where he will be adopted. However, these animals are not the easiest to care for because they can't even eat unless they are in water. Plus, small living quarters get fouled quickly. I just wish people would be more informed and take better care of all animals they take in as pets. This turtle had to have been in captivity at one time. It would be nice if he could be wild but that's not going to happen. The best we can do is find him a good home and thank Patty for caring enough to rescue him. 


Daffodil Festival Magnificent Mutt Show...

                                                                                    (photo by Bob Walter)

      April 1, 2004

     Puyallup Valley Daffodil Festival's annual Magnificent Mutt Show, held Sat., March 27 at Frontier Park in Graham. The judges for the show were the Festival's princesses. Bethel High School Princess Alayna Melton, and Eatonville High School Princess Rachel Abrahams, enjoy a moment with this English pug during a break in the competition.

                                                                                                                            More Mutt Photos


A Little More About Reptiles...

                                                              (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

       by Dixie A. Walter
       April 1, 2004

     The Reptile Man, Scott Petersen, holds a deadly puff adder aloft last week during his visit to Eatonville Elementary School's evening reptile show. The puff adder, a member of the viper family, is one of several poisonous snakes that Petersen travels with to various schools and corporate functions. All the venomous snakes in Petersen's show have had their poison sacs surgically removed. Because of this the snakes must  be force fed.
The puff adder is the second largest of the poisonous vipers. It is one of the most common snakes in Africa. It is largely nocturnal, hunting at night and seeking shelter during the day's heat. This puff adder is quick to strike and it's venom is highly toxic, destroying bloods cells and causing extensive tissue damage. 
A puff adder (Bitis arietans) can deliver multiple bites and has been known to bite without injecting venom. This is a very dangerous snake is native to most of Africa and portions of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan. Studies have shown that more than 50 percent of severe venomous bites left untreated result in death.  Death may follow rapidly but more commonly occurs in 12-24 hours.
     This viper's habitat is arid regions, swamps, dense forests and is common around human settlements. The Reptile Man cautioned students and parents to visit his "zoo" and research reptiles before going to the pet store and purchasing one as a "pet." He also warned that various species of turtles are endangered because they cannot reproduce quickly enough to keep up with man's destructive nature. Petersen said never order turtle soup if you see it on a menu.
      For more information about The Reptile Man please see the reptile man

Hands On at the Reptile Show...

                                                                                                  (photo by Dixie A. Walter)

     Children and adults alike are enthralled by a large green iguana in mating colors. The big lizard appeared to enjoy the gentle petting as he snoozed amidst the hubbub of the reptile show. Green iguanas are one of the top "throw away pets" in America. Humane shelters and rescue groups are inundated with these animals. People buy them at pet stores and are often not given proper care instructions. The lizards grow and become aggressive if not handled and given large amounts of attention. A big iguana can inflict a dangerous bite. If you are interested in getting an iguana for a pet you may want to adopt from a shelter or rescue group. For more information please see Adoptions & Rescues and/or North Carolina Iguana Rescue Association

                                                                                                                                  More Photos 

Another Roadside Attraction 

                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

     March 26, 2004

    ENN's wonderful wildlife photographer Tony Sirgedas shares these photos of a local elk herd. Tony spotted this herd, "... in one of the fields along Hwy 161 north of Clear Lake this afternoon [March 25] enjoying the new shoots of grass popping up. Some still with last year's antlers and others with new growth sprouting just tall enough that they look like another set of ears."  

                                                                                             (photo by Tony Sirgedas)
A four eared elk? Nope, just growing antlers for the fall rut.


    More Internet Fun...   

   by Dixie A. Walter
February 24, 2004

      The Internet provides the bad and the beautiful with the click of a mouse. The link below shows a little part of the beautiful side. You will see a photographic series of a hummingbird nest waiting for eggs until the fledgling takes to the air. Hummers usually nest as high as possible so this series of photographs are unusual since the mother bird built her nest so close to the ground. The photos were taken by a woman in California over a period of 24 days last year. Be sure and share these great images with kids and grandkids. 
     The hummingbirds most common to our area is the Rufous hummer. Males often hit Eatonville and environs in February and March. Years ago when I was in the Dogwood Garden Club I held a hummingbird contest for several years to see who spotted the first bird of the year. Often the "winners" arrived in mid-February. Females arrive later than males. To help this tiny dynamos get through the cold weather it's a good idea to hang your feeders now.
     Hummingbirds have little fear of humans. If you hold a feeder and stand very still it won't take them long to feed. I've had them sit on my arms and shoulders while holding a feeder. But, for your own safety you don't want to move quickly, you could get a hummingbird in the eye!
     To view the amazing photos please see
     For solutions to helping hummers trapped in the garage, nests on the ground, injured birds and general information about these delightful birds please see About Hummingbirds
     Want more information about Rufous hummingbirds? Please see
Rufous Hummingbird

Pamper Your Pets...

For More Information Please See 
Pet Boarding Grooming and Daycare

It's all About Pets...

Have a for Chained Dogs

February 7-14 is Have a Heart for Chained Dogs Week

For More Information Please See 
Dogs Deserve Better Home: NO CHAINS!
And Please See 
The Facts About Chaining or Tethering Dogs

America Needs a No Pets Left Behind Act.

      by Ginny McConnell

      Not too long ago I opened my weekend Daily News and, on the Pet of the Week page, saw the serenely beautiful face of a cat up for adoption at the Whitman County Humane Society. She was taken to the shelter because her owners were moving. And - check this out - she is 14 years old. Now I will admit that I don't know the particulars of this surrender. But, in my opinion, the only time a pet should be left behind is when you move to: a retirement home (and some of these do take pets); the hospital for an extended stay; or the cemetery.
     What possible set of circumstances can justify the abandonment of a pet that someone has had for 14 years?
     This is not an isolated instance, either. A neighbor who volunteered at a humane society told me I would not believe the excuses people had for surrendering their pets. Most of these had to do with moving. Our local vet told me the same. Someone will say, "I have to find another home for my dog/cat because I'm moving to San Diego." Why? Are pets forbidden in San Diego?
     Sometimes people with pets move to a no-pets-allowed situation. But if that place forbade children, and you had those, would you still move there? There is really no excuse for this, and many pets - such as the 14-year-old cat - are so disoriented that they may never adjust. If a place doesn't allow pets, don't move there.
     Taking on a pet is a voluntary act that requires a commitment. If you don't want it, don't get it. Of course, there often has to be a "test drive" period where you see if the pet fits into your household. For example, an 80-something woman got a golden retriever puppy for companionship and then realized that the dog was really too much for her to handle. She surrendered the dog while it was still young, and now it is thriving in a family with four young children. Sometimes people realize that a newly acquired pet triggers allergies, or doesn't adjust well to other pets in the household, or snaps at children.
     But there comes a time when this trial period must end and you are no longer allowed to relinquish this pet unless absolutely extraordinary circumstances arise (see reasons above). Just because you are moving, or moving on, is not a valid reason. My sister and her husband recently adopted a beautiful 6-year-old golden retriever because the couple who owned him were divorcing. Neither wanted to take him.
     Another cruel notice appeared in the latest Latah Eagle: Four little puppies, only a few weeks old, were abandoned in a field in Steptoe. Luckily, they were rescued and taken to a shelter. But they could easily have been coyote snacks long before then, which is possibly what the owner planned on.
     Acquiring a pet is not to be undertaken lightly. Think it through before you do it. If you are struggling to make ends meet, how will you afford to feed a pet and provide veterinary care? If you travel a lot, how will you provide exercise and companionship for it? If you have a small living space, why would you select a large breed, or a puppy with over-large feet? If you are elderly or frail, why would you select a large or energetic dog? If you or your family members have asthma or allergies, why would you select a pet with long hair? All of these scenarios are invitations to abandonment or surrender of a pet.
    Unfortunately, we live in a throw-away society. If something isn't working out for us - a marriage, a job, an appliance - we toss it away and get another. But pets are living beings who depend on us for so much and at the same time provide so much richness in our lives - if we let them. They require a commitment of our time, our attention, our resources, and they should be neither taken on nor relinquished lightly.
     I propose that we enact a No Pet Left Behind Act.

    * Ginny McConnell lives in Troy, Idaho, and teaches English at Walla Walla Community College in Clarkston, Washington.

     (Publisher's Note: This excellent article was originally published in the Moscow-Pullman Daily News January 8, 2004 and is reprinted with permission by the author. An  animal loving ENN reader sent us this column.)

Please Contact
The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County
2608 Center St., Tacoma, WA 98409

Help End Pet Overpopulation. Encourage Spay/Neuter!


Pet Safety Tips for the Cold Weather

The Humane Society for Tacoma & Pierce County urges you to consider your pet's well-being during the cold weather...

     Press Release
     January 5, 2004

      With winter upon us, it’s time for us to remember how to keep our pets safe in the cold weather.  Here are a few things that you can do to keep your pets safe this season.

  • Anti-Freeze – we all know by now that it is a deadly poison and pets will drink it.  Wipe up spills and store antifreeze out of reach.  Better yet, use an antifreeze coolant made with propylene glycol; if swallowed in small amounts, it will not hurt pets, wildlife or people.
  • Even though companion animals with thicker coats or more body fat are better able to handle cold temperatures, they’re still vulnerable.  To help them cope, keep them inside as much as possible. 
  • If your animals do spend time outdoors, be sure to provide them with extra food so they can fend off the cold better; also check several times a day to assure that their water dish doesn’t become a brick of ice.  Avoid using metal dishes; how would you like your tongue stuck to a frozen dish?
  • Wind-chill can also be a deadly threat to your pet, no matter what the temperature is outside.  Outdoor dogs must be protected by having a dry, draft free dog house that is large enough for them to lie down comfortably, but yet small enough to hold in his/her body heat.  The floor of the dog house should also be raised a few inches off of the ground and be layered with straw or cedar shavings.  The house should be situated so that the opening is facing away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with a flap of heavy waterproof material.
  • Animals seek warmth in the winter, and often get cozy in car engines.  Parked cars with warm engine compartments are an attractant for many smaller animals.  To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
  • Salt used to melt snow is a useful tool for people but harmful to other animals; it can injure paws and burn mouths.  Be sure to wipe your pet’s feet off with a damp towel after they have walked through salt.

    Bob Walter, The Humane Society’s Education Director urges us to remember that many of the different breeds have little ability to handle these extremely low temperatures.  “Please don’t let them suffer.  Do what you have to, to protect them.”

Don't Forget the Birds....

Wild Birds are vulnerable during cold, freezing weather.  Fresh water is extremely 
important since most of their water sources are frozen. For more ideas to help the
birds please see Help Birds Through Cold Weather

     December 5, 2003

Eatonville Students Help the Animals

     Eatonville Elementary third grade classes had a fundraiser for foster pets and raised $275. PetSmart Charities gave each student a frisbee December 5 as a "Thank You" for their kindness.    

Weyerhaeuser Students Collect Nearly a Ton of Pet Food for Humane Society...

                                                                                                                       (photo by Bob Walter)

     Left to right: Ainsley, Hilary, Shelby, Ainsley's brother, Smith, Weyerhaeuser Elementary Principal Pam Burke and third grade teacher Mrs. Robertson displaying 1,700 pounds of pet food donated by Weyerhaeuser students. 

        by Bob Walter
        November 9, 2003

      This is what one little girl with a great big heart can do.  Hilary Harris is in third grade at Weyerhaeuser Elementary this year. She loves animals so much that, ever since she was in kindergarten, on each of her birthdays, she has thrown what one might call a pet-food-drive-party. Friends are invited to bring a donation of pet food as the gift. This year, her philanthropy produced over 1,700 pounds of pet food for Pierce County’s hungriest pets.  
     With help from her mom, Robin, her teacher, Mrs. Robertson, Weyerhaeuser Elementary Principal Pam Burke, and a host of others, Hilary was able to arrange a school-wide competition among classrooms. And with help from her friends and classmates, Hilary’s own class won the honor for most food collected – over 400 pounds!
     The Humane Society’s pet food bank is a program for Pierce County pet owners who temporarily cannot afford to buy food for their pets. Hilary has happily and generously donated to it every year. Her mom often hears Hilary saying, “I don’t want any animal to go hungry.” 
     Bags of unopened, dry kibble go the farthest. This drive produced plenty of it - two pickup trucks completely filled, with a wide assortment of two-pound to fifty-pound bags, and a few cans, of food for both dogs and cats.
     In the crisp, November air just after school Friday, November 7,  Hilary, her friends Ainsley and Shelby, and Ainsley’s brother, Smith, were among those hauling 1,700 pounds of food, from where it sat along a 30-foot stretch of hallway, out the back door of the school and into the trucks. With energy to spare, the job was done in less than 10 minutes.
     The Humane Society for Tacoma and Pierce County, a non-profit corporation whose community outreach is supported by charitable contributions, appreciates the work performed by children on behalf of animals. There are many ways to help. For more information, students of all ages are encouraged to call education director Bob Walter at 253-284-5814.
     A related program, The Humane Society Spay/Neuter Project, also helps prevent the tragedy of hungry pets. With the support of a $25,000 matching grant from Pierce County, this project of The Humane Society is spaying and neutering enough dogs and cats of qualified pet owners to prevent hundreds upon hundreds of litters of homeless pets. The potential number of lives spared is staggering.
    Funds are still available and residents are encouraged to apply. Contact The Humane Society at 253.383.2733, ext. 5838 to request an application form.

Bob Walter Accepts Pet Food for Shelter

                                                                                                   (photo by Tom Sayre)

     Bob Walter, Director of Humane Education for The Humane Society, happily accepts close to one ton of donated food for hungry pets.  Hilary Harris,  who inspired the pet food drive, is flanked by her friends Shelby and Ainsley.  

A Healthy Local Black Tail...

                                                                                                 (photo by Tony Sirgedas)

      Photographer Tony Sirgedas says, "Even after everyone chased them around during deer season, a few good ones still made it." This photo was taken  in Tony's  front yard. According to Tony the buck "is still out chasing does around." He's a beauty and the picture of health. It's encouraging to see a vibrant black tail since there have been so many ill deer spotted around the last couple of years.    

Show Dogs Harley & Dixie 


    These beautiful English Springer Spaniels own Eatonville residents Pam and Bob Holt. Eighteen-month-old   Harley is a male and year-old Dixie is a bitch. With a pedigree royalty would envy their "fancy" names are Ramblewood Life's a Dance (Harley) and Ramblewood There's Your Trouble (Dixie). Both are very young to be consistent winners  in the show ring. The dogs are companion animals as well as show dogs, and  Pam says, "We've been taking a break through the Holiday season. Starting in  January we will be at the Puyallup Fairgrounds for a three day show, then down to Portland for a Eukanuba Sponsored show at the Expo Center. In February the Seattle Kennel Club has a series of shows at the Seattle Expo Center, next to  Safeco Field." The Holts and the dogs share their home with "Patch: Cat Extraordinaire." (photo courtesy of Family Tree Imaging)


Harley's show count stands at:                                    Dixie's count is:
1 Reserve Winner's Dog                                                1 Best Puppy in Breed
13 First                                                                              1 Reserve Winner's Bitch
3 second                                                                           10 First
1 third                                                                                3 Second
4 fourth                                                                             3 Third 
                                                                                           1 Fourth

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"Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living
    things, man will not himself find peace."
~Albert Schweitzer





"Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace." 

~ Milan Kundera








"Old dogs, like old shoes, are comfortable. They might be a bit out of shape and a little worn around the edges, but they fit well." 

~Bonnie Wilcox







     We Care!