New PAWS Wildlife Center in Snohomish open to injured wildlife

A great blue heron undergoing surgery at the former facility in Lynnwood. (Photo courtesy of PAWS)

The newly built PAWS Wildlife Center in Snohomish opened just in time for the extremely busy “baby season” — those spring and summer months when young animals are at their most vulnerable.

Injured, sick or orphaned wildlife – birds, land and sea mammals, amphibians and reptiles — should now be taken to the new location at 13508 State Route 9 Southeast in Snohomish rather than the former site in Lynnwood.

The April 20 ribbon-cutting ceremony in Snohomish was the culmination of a three-year capital campaign that netted $47.5 million in donations. These funds came primarily from individuals and foundations, while $4 million came from Snohomish and King counties and Washington state, said Mick Szydlowski, PAWS director of public affairs.

Spread over 25 acres, the new Wildlife Center operates an emergency hospital and specialized recovery facilities designed to restore animals to full health and return them as functioning members of their wild population.

The PAWS wildlife team treats a black bear cub. (Photo courtesy of PAWS)

At the Lynnwood’s 3.5-acre campus, there was capacity to care for seven black bear cubs; it’s now increased to 30. Similarly, seabird capacity jumped from 100 to 200 and bobcats from 10 to 20. Plus, the quieter, more rural setting in Snohomish provides a calmer environment in which wildlife can heal.

And it’s not just capacity that’s increased: the modern, roomier facilities were designed — in part with input from PAWS medical staff — to maximize ease and efficacy of treatment and boost recovery outcomes.

The new raptor flight pen is an example. The Lynnwood pen was L-shaped while the new one is circular — more easily navigable for recovering birds, which “allows for better observation of a patient’s recovery by medical staff,” Szydlowksi said.

If you have found an animal in distress, the PAWS site offers guidance about what steps to take. Animal intake at the wildlife center is available 8 a.m.-7 p.m. every day and returns to 8 a.m.-5 p.m. daily in the fall. The facility is not open to the public beyond the intake area, in compliance with state and federal wildlife regulations.

A young barn owl is examined. (Photo courtesy of PAWS)

The Lynnwood PAWS location continues to offer vital dog and cat adoption and education services, but no longer provides wildlife drop-off or medical services.

Volunteers are crucial to the organization’s success, Szydlowski said. “We rely on them, especially in this busy baby season. Baby birds need to be fed every 30 to 45 minutes,” he added. You can find information about volunteering opportunities here.

— By Clare McLean

  1. Hello Wildlife Center
    I am so happy for PAWS, and the wildlife for having this new center!
    I would love to volunteer at some point down the road. My only experience is volunteering at ARF, an animal shelter for cats, and dogs, in CA, and walking dogs at PAWS.
    I recently had a total hip replacement on April 29, and am recovering. I am a Letter Carrier, in Kirkland, and plan to retire next October.
    At this point I could only volunteer on Sundays, and after retirement my schedule would be flexible, and open.
    I believe in PAWS, and would love to be part of the volunteer team again.
    Thank You
    Trish Franks

    1. Hi Trish — would be a good idea to contact the Wildlife Center directly if you want to volunteer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real first and last names — as well as city of residence — are required for all commenters.
This is so we can verify your identity before approving your comment.