Are Zoos Good or Bad? The Ethical Considerations of Keeping Wild Animals in Captivity.

In the Pacific Northwest, there are ten aquariums and zoos accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (eleven if you include the Calgary Zoo in Alberta, Canada). In addition to being open to the public (now with restrictions because of Covid-19), these parks...

Endangered Species Day

Tomorrow (May 21st) is the 16th annual Endangered Species Day, a day dedicated to learning about, celebrating, and taking action to protect endangered species around the world. Endangered Species Day is celebrated the third Friday of May each year. Unfortunately, some...

Spirit Bears and The Great Bear Rainforest

Covering 6.4 million hectares (15.8 million acres) along British Columbia's north and central coast, this forest is home to vivid landscapes and a highly diverse collection of plants, animals, and marine life. The Great Bear Rainforest is just one of the temperate...

Bee Friendly Gardens.

Spring is right around the corner and with that, there are many people getting their backyard gardens ready for the new season! If you are one of these people and looking for a few new plants, consider getting plants and gardening in a way that will help bees! Many...

Behind the Breed: Alaskan Klee Kai

Alaskan Klee Kais are adorably wonderful dogs that look just like miniature Huskies! The Klee Kai is a relatively new breed, having only been first developed in the early 1970s, and ancestors include Siberian Huskies and American Eskimo dogs. They do come in three...

Adopting A Rescue Animal.

Deciding to get a dog, cat, or another pet is a big decision. You have to think about vet bills, food costs, how much time and attention these animals will need, training, and so much more. But even with all that pets need, it’s still wonderful to have an animal in...

Conservation Dogs: How Dogs Use Their Sense of Smell to Help Endangered Species

Dogs are incredible animals. With a heightened sense of smell and millennia of artificial selection, there are so many jobs that dogs can do and one important one is as a conservation canine. This work involves dogs being trained to detect organic and inorganic...

Behind the Breed: Papillons

These small, happy dogs are known for their big wing-like ears and agility abilities. Papillons are incredibly smart and friendly, making them great companions, especially for those who might live in smaller places or those who want to travel with their dog. They're...

5 Pet Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

5 Pet Products That Will Make Your Life Easier

Adopting a dog.

When I was just a young one, I was obsessed with getting a dog. There was nothing I really wanted more and after years of talking about it with my parents, my mom agreed to take my sister and I to the local humane society to “just look” one day. Not too long after we...

Animals of the Pacific Northwest is an online project dedicated to animal welfare, humane education, environmental justice, wildlife conservation, and the animals and their fans that call the Pacific Northwest home.


The Pacific Northwest is home to many different habitats, flora and fauna species, communities, and domestic animals. In this region, you can find mountain goats, grizzly bears, transient and resident orcas, northwestern salamanders, western pond turtles, red foxes, grey wolves, long-tailed weasels, cougars, bobcats, and so much more.




Domestic animals also call this place home as well and have existed with humans for thousands of years. Dogs, cats, horses, chickens, sheep, and more have had a huge impact both on human life and the environment in this region.

Behind the Breed: American Water Spaniel

Behind the Breed: American Water Spaniel

American Water Spaniels are relatively rare dogs that make great family companions, hiking companions, and/or watch dogs. This breed has a big dog personality in a smaller package, usually weighing 25-45 pounds, and despite the spaniel name, the AWS is more like a...

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Pigeons And Doves

Pigeons And Doves

Pigeons can often be gravely misunderstood while doves are considered signs of peace and tranquility. But these birds have a lot in common.

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Behind the Breed: Bearded Collies

Behind the Breed: Bearded Collies

The Bearded Collie is a happy, bouncy breed that looks very similar to the Old English Sheepdog. Both breeds are in the herding group and can be hard to tell apart from a distance. But Beardies, as they’re also known, have a long tail, several different coat colors, a...

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Cat Safe House Plants

Cat Safe House Plants

After years of not having cats, I forgot that they love to, at the very least, try eating plants. So when my two little rescue cats were old enough, they definitely started eating the house plants I had around the house! I do not have much of a green thumb so the fact...

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is Animals of the Pacific Northwest?

Animals of the Pacific Northwest is an online space for folks to learn more about the animals found in and around the Pacific Northwest region of North America. It was started in August of 2017 by me, Andrea Merrill, and began after I spent years caring for all sorts of animals.

Why are there more ads on the site?

Animals of the Pacific Northwest is a labor of love and is a project that I do not get paid for. As much as I love working on the site, there are some costs to running and maintaining it. I am now working with Google AdSense to place some ads around the site to help offset those costs.

I think I saw [wild animal]! Can you verify?

One of the things I love about this site is all the stories that you, the audience, tell me! That includes all the wonderful wildlife sightings. While I’m not going to be able to verify every sighting, I can at least try to confirm what you saw. 

Also, I am not a biologist, zoologist, or wildlife official so my understanding of wild animals in the Pacific Northwest is more limited than those with more specialized education and experience. That said, I’ll try my darnedest to find an answer if you ask about a wild animal sighting.

I want to adopt [specific breed]. Do you know how I can do that?

Right now, I, unfortunately, don’t have the resources or abilities to know every rescue group and shelter in the Pacific Northwest. That means that typically, I’m not going to have many suggestions on where to find a specific breed of dog or cat you can adopt.

In my ‘Behind the Breed’ series, I try to see if there are any groups or organizations that focus on rescuing that breed. But for the most part, my best recommendation on finding a specific type of dog, cat, or other animals from a rescue is to do some research or look on sites like PetFinder.

Can I pitch an article/guest post?

At the moment, I am not currently taking any unsolicited submissions for the site. That may change in the future.

I have another question for you. How do I get in contact?

You can email me at with any questions, concerns, or comments!

Where else can I find Animals of the Pacific Northwest?

You can find Animals of the Pacific Northwest on many social media platforms, including Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

The Effects Of Wildfires

For the past few years, wildfires along the west coast of the US and Canada have been burning hotter, faster, and longer during the summer months. The National Interagency Fire Center, self-described as the country's support center for wildland firefighting, has a map...

Five Ways You Can Help Pollinators

Like so much of the world, pollinators of all kinds are facing threats and declining populations. From rising global temperatures, habitat loss, pesticides, and so much more, these vital creatures are facing immense challenges. It seems utterly overwhelming but there...

The Problems For Pollinators

Pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, bats, and butterflies are all facing threats to their existence and many of their populations are on the decline. Between habitat loss, non-native and invasive species, modern agriculture, pesticides and herbicides, and climate...

Four Things To Consider With Going Zero Waste

Over the last few years, the zero waste movement has been having a moment. From appearing as a plot in shows like The Politician to being the focus of some social media influencers and businesses, this movement is being heralded as solutions to the climate crisis. And...

Happy Earth Week!

Happy Earth Week! Each day this week, I’ll be posting about different ways to celebrate and fight for the planet.

The Climate Crisis and the Green New Deal.

Climate change isn't just about living during the hottest years on record and through numerous wildfires, rising ocean levels, and melting glaciers. It's also about severe winter weather as well. Texas was recently hit with uncharacteristically freezing temperatures...

Environmental Justice.

Talking about climate change is a vital part of addressing the problems we're currently facing. Natural disasters are worsening because of the rise in the Earth's temperature; the ocean is currently going through acidification because of the increasing carbon dioxide...

The State of Climate Change.

Climate change is an ever-present threat to humans, animals, and ecosystems around the world. A new study confirmed suspicions that human-caused climate change made the 2019-2020 southeast Australian fires worse and that is just one natural disaster that's negatively...

Climate Change’s Impact on Natural Disasters, Ecosystems, and Wildlife.

All around the world, the impacts of climate change are becoming more and more apparent, even here in the Pacific Northwest and the surrounding areas. The rising sea temperatures are essentially cooking some salmon in the Salish Sea before they can reproduce; high...

#ClimateStrike: Do What You Can to Save Our Planet.

Climate change is an increasingly pressing issue that affects people, wildlife, and ecosystems around the world. Rising sea levels from melting glaciers affect island countries around the equator and animals like polar bears are losing more of their habitats....


I am not a veterinarian, vet tech, animal trainer, behaviorist, or nutritionist and do not have any sort of professional experience in these fields. Much of the information shared on this blog comes from plenty of research or from my years of caring for animals. New routines, including new diets or exercises, should be discussed with your vet or appropriate professional before being put into place. Information found on this site cannot and should not be substituted for information obtained by a licensed professional.

Some posts on Animals of the Pacific Northwest contain affiliate links that I could make a commission off of. All opinions expressed are my own and any post with affiliate links will contain a disclosure statement at the beginning. There are some additional third party ads on the site that I could also make a commission off of.

Do not sell, reproduce, or otherwise modify any written content found on this blog. That also applies to photos on Animals of the Pacific Northwest’s Instagram or ones for sale on The Dandelion Dogs. Sharing a link with proper credit is allowed.

Lastly, any and all opinions shared by the author are solely the author’s. The author, Andrea, does not speak for any and all outside employers.