PAWS holding virtual auction to raise needed funds for ‘baby season’

One-of-a-kind experiences, such as assisting on the tarmac at Paine Field Airport with dogs and cats being transported to PAWS to find homes, are available in the PAWS Wild Week virtual auction. (Photo courtesy PAWS)

The Lynnwood-based PAWS animal shelter is holding a week-long virtual fundraising auction in lieu of its annual gala, which had to be canceled.

“Animals don’t know there’s a pandemic,” says PAWS CEO Heidi Wills. Because the need is great  especially during the busy baby animal season — and because the spring fundraising gala had to be canceled, Wills says the PAWS Events Team has created a week-long virtual auction.

PAWS Wild Week runs from May 24-31 and supporters can bid on the 100-plus unique items and experiences from the safety and comfort of home.

“PAWS is providing essential services to animals and people,” says Wills. This includes appointment-only cat and dog adoptions from PAWS Companion Animal Shelter and rehabilitation of orphaned and injured wild animals at PAWS Wildlife Center. “We’re right in the middle of the busy spring/summer baby season when more kittens, puppies and orphaned wild animals are in need of care.”

Due to the online auction platform, PAWS was able to bring in a large variety of items and experiences at all price points. In an era of social distancing, Zoom chats are being offered with a Seattle Seahawk and even Bart Simpson. There are also items to look forward to after the pandemic, such as spa experiences, exotic get-aways, and dinners by award-winning chefs.

Animal lovers can bid on experiences only available during PAWS Wild Week including joining a wildlife release, a nature walk with a PAWS Naturalist at the University of Washington Seattle campus, and a Kitten ’n’ Kids party at PAWS Cat City in the University District.

“We invite our community to find a few moments to enjoy this virtual auction from the safety of home, especially knowing that donations will go directly to helping animals in need,” says Wills.

PAWS Wild Week is presented by Premera Blue Cross, a longtime sponsor of the annual spring gala. “PAWS and Premera recognize that when people spend time with animals, it’s shown to improve health and well-being,” says Wills. “Especially during these uncertain times, people can benefit greatly from the comfort and unconditional love from a companion animal.”

To participate in PAWS Wild Week go to give.paws.org/wildweek. Bidding runs through 8 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

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