Making that tough decision

Easily one of the worst parts that comes with caring for animals is having to say goodbye. I wish I could say that I’ve gotten better at saying goodbye to the animals who’ve died over the years but in reality, every single time I have to say goodbye is just as hard as...

Pollinators of the Pacific Northwest

Largely unseen by humans, pollination helps both plants, pollinators, and people, making any and all pollinators incredibly valuable in any and all ecosystems they're a part of. Nearly 85% of all plants in the world need pollination to reproduce, and a significant...

Behind the Breed: Airedale Terriers

Meet the Airedale Terrier!

Behind the Breed: Shetland Sheepdogs

Also known as Shelties, this breed is the definition of a herding dog and have guarded their owner's gardens against hungry wildlife for quite some time. Like other herding dogs, Shelties are intelligent, take well to training, and love having a job like being a...

Behind the Breed: Akitas

Akitas are dignified, brave, loyal dogs that are devoted and affectionate to their family. Almost feline in nature, these dogs are usually clean and tidy in the house and can be rather independent. Their double coats are relatively short (only about two inches long)...

So You Think You Want A Puppy.

Puppies are, at least in my opinion, the cutest heckin' things. They're tiny and often fluffy and still figuring out how to exist in the world, which can be quite cute on occasion. While there are many great things about puppies, they're a whole lot of work and can be...

12 of the Most Dog Friendly National Parks in the United States

In the United States, there are roughly 63 national parks and many more national forests/monuments and state parks. The National Park Service was established in 1916 and currently manages 84 million acres of public land in the US. California has the most national...

Dogs, Cats, and Wildlife.

Growing up, my family always had indoor/outdoor cats and for some odd reason, those two cats loved to bring any animal they caught to my (carpeted) room, often hiding the dead animal under my bed. It was a particularly gross habit they had but it meant that after a...

Selfies with tigers, holding koalas, and riding elephants: How wildlife tourism can harm animals

How is our search for a unique experience harming the very animals we claim to love?

Should My Cat Be Indoor Only? 5 Reasons To Keep Your Cat Indoors and 2 Myths About This Decision

Note, this post does include affiliate links that I may make a commission off of, at no cost to you. Domestic cats have been an important part of our lives for thousands of years; some cultures have even worshipped cats as deities. Nowadays, cats are one of the most...

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: Pit Bulls

Behind the Breed: Pit Bulls

This post contains affiliate links that I could make a commission off of. All opinions are my own. For decades, pit bulls have had a bad reputation. They're seen as fighting dogs that are inherently aggressive and are more likely to bite, notions that are based on the...

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This unassuming, semiaquatic rodent is seen as a nuisance by some but in reality, beavers are significant players in the health of ecosystems and are even vital in stopping wildfires. In addition to providing habitat and a source of water, the ponds and wetlands that...

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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. 

Happy Pride Month!

Happy Pride! For the last several decades, June and early July have been a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and a protest for our rights. Animals of the Pacific Northwest is focused on pet care, wildlife conservation, and environmental justice so why does Pride...

Puffins of the Pacific Northwest

Puffins are an easily recognizable species and because of their iconic looks, are often called parrots of the sea or even sea clowns. These birds live their entire lives near or on the sea in the Northern Hemisphere and technically speaking, there are four species:...

Enjoying The Great Outdoors

It is finally summer here in the Pacific Northwest (more or less!), which means nice weather and plenty of chances to enjoy the nature all around us. The Pacific Northwest is blessed with a range of different environments; there are lakes, rivers, forests, sagelands,...

The Oregon Spotted Frog

In addition to all the other animals that call the Pacific Northwest home, there are several species of frogs that also live in the region! One such species is the Oregon Spotted Frog (Rana pretiosa), which is found in different areas of the northwest. They can be...

Beating the Heat: Taking Care of Pets During Warm Weather

Global warming and climate change play a huge role in the rising temperatures here in the Northwest and around the world. Summers seem to be getting longer and hotter all across the world and these rising temperatures are impacting people, animals of all kinds, and...

Bird is the Word: Effects of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu

The Highly Pathogenic Avian Flu, also known as HPAI and avian/bird flu, has unfortunately been a large-scale issue across the Pacific Northwest and North America over the last year and a half. This flu strain (H5N1) impacts wild birds like California Condors and...

Behind the Breed: Designer/Hybrid Breeds

Designer breeds like Goldendoodles and Pomskys have become very popular over the last few years. But at what cost?

Mountain Lions of North America

Also known as pumas, mountain lions, and catamounts, cougars are adaptable predators and the world’s fourth largest wildcat following lions, tigers, and jaguars. Cougars are relatively solitary animals but despite living mostly alone, these cats still have complex...

Behind the Breed: Brittany Dogs

Formerly known as the Brittany Spaniel, these dogs are incredibly energetic and affectionate dogs up for adventures!

City Nature Challenge: April 28th to May 1st, 2023

Spend time in nature and become a citizen scientist this weekend – April 28 to May 1, 2023!


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. 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.