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In the summer of 2008 local conservationists responding to numerous eyewitness accounts of adult wolf sightings coming from in and around Okanogan County were greeted with a series of significant discoveries. The first of which came one summer night during a planned “howling test” performed by a team scientist. The scientist’s “howls” were acknowledged not only by adult voices, juvenile howls were recorded as well. The night’s volunteer test was quickly followed by a large scale study conducted by several state research organizations. The results, DNA testing confirmed the resident animals were pure wild wolf. Knowledge in hand, more volunteers from the Washington based conservation group, Conservation Northwest, installed remote cameras in the North Cascade area. The reward was priceless; during a routine check one Sunday night volunteers were delighted to find images of an adult male grey wolf overseeing a group of playful pups. The pictures confirmed biologist’s hopes and announcements were made: Washington was home to our first official wolf pack in more than 70 years.

Government mandated measures along with overzealous hunting and trapping in the early 20th century had previously eradicated the wolf population. And this pack, dubbed “Lookout Pack”, represents the species first precarious step back into the state since 1930.

Based on genetic evidence collected from “Lookout’s” two adults, biologists believe that the pair is descended from a population of grey wolves in British Columbia. And, while tenuous, the pack was welcomed back to the US by stern federal and state protection laws. The grey wolf is listed as endangered in Washington State and, despite some governmental efforts, remains protected under federal law as well. This, a majority of state residents hoped, would provide the wolves a fighting chance to reestablish their role as apex predators in an un-balanced ecosystem. Sadly, the criminal ramifications and hefty fines (up to $100,000) proved insufficient in protecting the new pups. In April of this year poachers were caught trying to smuggle the bloody pelts of two “Lookout Pack” members into Canada.

Current scientific thought on the subject of wolf social systems show, in many ways, that pack tendencies mimic the behavior of human families. In most cases the matriarchal species are dominated by two adult wolves, the pair is often the only breeding couple in the pack and they typically mate for life. Despite the commonly named “Alpha Pair’s” exclusive right at parenthood, other members of the pack also assume the role of caring for their young. A healthy wolf gestation lasts for 62 days and will produce anywhere from two to eleven pups. Although confirmation is difficult the pack is now thought to consist of seven wolves; two adults and the five remaining offspring.

While “Lookout Pack” is the only true wolf pack documented in Washington, their have been sightings of solitary wolves throughout the state for several years now, including a “lucky” photograph taken by remote camera in 2007. Since the confirmation of the pack’s existence in summer 2008 state agencies have organized a conservation program in hopes of replenishing the lost species.

One of the major challenges for wolf re-population stems from European myth and active imaginations painting the wolves as cunning stalkers of man and small children. And images of vicious packs, fangs bore, closing in on helpless and unsuspecting maidens are resonate in our minds and in the stories of early America. With a bit of research these images melt away into what they are-stories. In reality there are few recorded attacks on humans by wolves in American history. Attack by hybrids or wild and even domesticated dogs are, and have always been, far more common. The wolf pack hunts large game such as elk, deer and moose and tends to take only the sick and elderly of the herd and attacks on livestock and smaller animals are typically made by solitary animals during times of scarcity or pack disassembly. This fact has lead many biologists to insist that the wolf plays an important role in the health of the herd by insuring only the fit survive to reproduce. The number of wolves in the wilds of Washington; however, are, at present, in no position to impact any of the state’s large mammal populations; let alone pose a significant threat to people.

Another hope of conservation scientists is the dispersal of elk herds in more densely packed and protected areas, such as the Olympic Rain Forest, where the banks and land have been severely impacted by their sheer numbers.

The efforts being made on the part of wolf populations by government and science is both ambitious and thought-provoking, ranging from concerns over species diversification to re-imbursements to local farmers whose livestock may become at risk in the future. A draft of this plan in its preliminary stages is now available for viewing, and, after nearly a year of cohesive efforts, seems to cover most of the concerns and hopes shared by Washington residents.

You can view a copy of the draft by linking to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/wlm/diversty/soc/gray_wolf/conservation_plan.htm

Also view Conservation Northwest’s latest wolf pack updates where you’ll see pictures and even hear the calls of “Lookout Pack” pups: http://www.conservationnw.org/wildlife-habitat/wolf-pack-confirmed-in-north-central-washington.

 

Read more about “Lookout Pack’s” progress in our upcoming Spring Issue.

 

 

 
 
Ginger’s Pet Rescue is reaching out to Northwest families; they are in dire need of foster homes for the latest group of dogs seized from a Washington puppy mill.
 
 
 

 

Each week Ginger Luke & her handful of volunteers receive hundreds of desperate phone calls from all across the Pacific Northwest. They run the gauntlet from shelter employees hoping to find 11th hour reprieves for  condemned dogs, to 3am calls from rescue workers in need of aid after the horrors of a puppy mill bust.

Luke’s organization spends day & night arranging transport & care for any and all dogs they can help. Heart-wrenching stories follow each rescue that passes through the group’s hands, and, as the minutes tick by, she works tirelessly to find them sanctuary. Luke, herself, takes on an enormous financial burden in the process. And, as one can imagine, economic downturn has dried up much of the crucial donation support needed to continue rescue efforts. Beyond financial needs; however, the organization is also in constant need of new foster homes. While Luke’s group is usually able to secure emergency care & basic veterinary needs for the dogs, they also need to find  a safe place for them to stay until permanent homes can be found.

**For information on these & other rescued dogs and to learn how you can help please visit

Ginger’s Pet Rescue at www.gingerspetrescue.org.**

 

 

A shout out to new mom Kristy Pachciarz of Auburn Parks Dept, thanks for including us in this year’s festivities & best wishes to you and your family!

Pigs were dancing, parrots were rollerblading, goats were playing basketball and thousands of excited tails were wagging at the City of Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation’s inaugural Petpalooza event, held on Saturday, May 31, 2008.  This first time event was kicked off with a Dog Trot 3K Fun Run and also featured an animal-related entertainment stage, a petting zoo, pony rides, Skyhoundz Disc Dog Championships, a pet parade, an ‘Unleashed’ pet contest, animal-inspired inflatable rides, children’s activities, over 65 vendors, food concessions and much more.

Highlights from the event included the noon pet parade, featuring over 500 participants and their pets, dressed up in various costumes, riding in wagons or just walking along side their owners.  The ‘Unleashed’ Pet Contest attracted the most spectators at the entertainment stage, with seven fun categories including the Best Pooch Smooch, Best Voice and Best Pet Trick.  The title of Best Pet/Owner Look-a-Like went to a 60’s couple…a man dressed as a hippie and his shaggy-haired, peace sign and tie-dye wearing dog.  The Valentine Performing Pigs, who have graced the stages of The Dave Letterman Show and Jay Leno’s The Tonight Show, wrapped up the day’s entertainment.

Those who were brave enough to come with children and their pets, had plenty to do.  In addition to the entertainment stage and host of vendors, the festival provided a petting zoo and pony rides, animal-inspired inflatable rides, face painting, as well as other fun activities aimed at children, including duck races, cow milking and a fishing pond.  Of course, if the dogs were anxious to participate in some fun of their own, there was an agility area and the disc dog competition available. 

Auburn’s Petpalooza blew event coordinator’s expectations and will be back in a big way in 2009!  This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, May 30 at Auburn’s Game Farm Park, from 10:00am – 4:00pm – and you’re going to want to ‘paw’ticipate!  Once again, the Dog Trot will kick off the event at 9:30am.  Registrations are already being accepted for this owner/pet fun run and the first 100 to register receive a FREE event bag jam-packed full of wonderful goodies.  The City of Auburn is currently accepting event vendors and sponsors.  For more information about Auburn’s Petpalooza, visit www.auburnwa.gov or call the Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Department at 253-931-3043. 

Kristy L. Pachciarz, CPRP, CPO

Special Events Coordinator

Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation

 

 

To cap off a peaceful and relaxing stay at Salish Lodge the boys enjoyed their gourmet breakfast from the ‘Canine Cuisine Menu’ in one of its new dog friendly rooms. The complementary bottle of Dunham cellar’s Three Legged Red, however, was reserved the night before by the room’s human occupants.

 

 

As you pass through the mosaic glass doors in downtown Tacoma’s Murano you don’t just enter a hotel, you enter a vertical art gallery. Take a midnight elevator tour with us as we explore the glasswork display by each floor’s commissioned artist. Than take a stroll through the elegant modern décor of it’s many bars & sitting rooms. You won’t regret a weekend at the Murano. And although many attractions, including Point Defiance Park, Tacoma Art Museum & the Museum of Glass, sit nearby you may find it unnecessary to leave this hotel’s posh comfort.

As a life-long dog lover & Washington resident I have spent countless hours searching for new & exciting things that our family of four can experience together. Kiko & Maxx are our four-legged kids, and, along with my husband Alan, we love exploring the northwest’s cities and back roads. Our experiences range from camping and back-packing the Olympic Rain Forest to reveling in the most luxurious of resorts and spas. Although our boys are no longer the athletes they were in their youth, travel remains one of the great highlights of their lives. Thankfully, over the years the number of ‘dog friendly’ places and events seems to be growing. Hotels, parks and even legislature are at last taking note of our desire to include our four-legged family members in our outings & vacations. One of our goals is to search out and share these places & experiences with all of you. So please take a quick peek at a few of the adventures we’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy with our boys this year. You may be surprised at whose locations have joined the dog friendly list…

 

Dear Readers,

 

On behalf of our staff at Seattle Dog Magazine I would like to offer you our heartfelt thanks for your ongoing patronage and support as we transition into our new roles. We hope that you enjoy reading our newest issue as much as we enjoyed writing it! Here’s a quick preview. As always, we welcome and appreciate your feedback, so please let us know if you have an opinion or article suggestion.

 

Erin Bradley

Editor-in-Chief

Seattle Dog Magazine

 

Petpalooza May 31st

April 2009
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