Caring for Cardinals

Bird lovers find almost every kind of bird interesting. There are about 10, 000 species of birds all over the world. Majority of this figure can be domesticated, and these birds are known to make wonderful pets. And as many of these birds enjoy close contact, those who have decided to take one or more of these birds as pets have enjoyed the company of these interesting, social and cuddly creatures. And there are those that are considered wild birds and are not intended to be kept as pets, including cardinals. But as many of these birds are migratory and might be seen flying over some gardens when the breeding season comes, you might want to find some information on caring for cardinals. This post might just be of help.


Fast Facts About Cardinals

There are a number of interesting facts that make many bird enthusiasts prefer cardinals for a pet than other birds. These birds are more than just beautiful feathers after all.

  1. One of the interesting facts about cardinals is their intelligence. A good display of such features is the fact that these birds are noted to visit feeders first and last. Such a behavior has been predicted to be due to the perceived competition between those times. Ornithologists describe competition during these times to be lower than any other times of the day.


  1. There are three true species of these birds — Vermillion, Northern and Desert Cardial. There is a forth species, however, that is also considered a cardinal but is not actually a part of genus Cardinalis and this is the Red Crested Cardinal. Of these types of cardinals, the Northern Cardinal is noted to be the most popular.


  1. There is a total of 19 known subspecies of Northern Cardinals, and they are usually identifiable by their colors. The average life span of these birds is about three years. Some can even live for up to about 13 to 15 years. Genus Cardinalis include the following family: Cardinals, Grosbeaks and Buntings.


  1. During the cold season, the Northern Cardinals flock together to look for food. In contrast with many other songbirds, the Northern Cardinals are mostly non-migratory. They opt to overwinter in their chosen spring/summer habitat.


  1. Northern Cardinals are monogamous and would be seen together with its female throughout the year.


  1. Northern Cardinals shed old feathers at least once a year. During this period, you will notice your feathered friend to be losing its feathers and within a couple of weeks will be showing off the dark grey or black skin on its head.


  1. Both male and female cardinals sing. The females are noted to have more complex songs than the males, however.

Caring for Cardinals

If you would like to wake up to the singing of these stunning birds, you need to have the best feeder for cardinals stationed where they may see, feed and rest for a while.

You will need to create an appropriate habitat where these birds may have access to lots of food, water, as well as shelter. You will need at least one bird feeder (add more feeders if you would like even more of these wild birds to flying in and out of your garden), a bird bath (again, you can have more than one –the more the merrier!), and a number of areas where these birds can take for cover or nesting. It is best to avoid using reflecting surfaces in your yard as cardinals often attempt to attack their own reflection in an effort to protect their territory. It is also wise to keep your pets away from the bird feeders, birdbath and other areas where birds can rest. (more…)

Volunteer for Paws

Paws Animal Rescue is operated solely on a volunteer basis. If it wasn’t for all the volunteers that support us, we wouldn’t be able to save as many homeless animals as we do each year.

The new facility at 1530 N Lowell Avenue (behind Walmart off of Airport Road) is staffed part-time on weekdays from 8 to noon. It houses both our available cats and dogs that aren’t being fostered. Volunteers come in at night and on weekends.

The work involves cleaning, socializing, and providing fresh food and water for all. On weekends, we like to have extra volunteers signed up to accomplish everything that needs to be done, plus those to help during open hours.

  • Download the Volunteer Waiver Form or contact us for a copy.
  • Please mail the completed form to:
    Paws Animal Rescue
    P.O. Box 954
    Pierre, SD 57501-0954
  • Alternatively, you can drop them off in person during open hours.

Sponsor an Animal

We estimate each animal in our care requires $30 per month to cover vaccinations, food, litter, toys, shelter, etc. What better way to help Paws Animal Rescue, than to sponsor a cat or dog each month?

You have the option to pay by check or automatic withdrawal from your bank account. You also have the option to have your name listed on our website as a sponsor or to remain anonymous.

  • Download the Pet Sponsorship Form or contact us for a copy.
  • Please mail the completed form and any applicable payments to:
    Paws Animal Rescue
    P.O. Box 954
    Pierre, SD 57501-0954
  • Alternatively, you can drop them off in person during open hours.
  • Dr Marty Allison
  • Wendy Bloomenrader
  • Kieran Duff and Shelby Frame
  • Shirley Gross
  • Kendra Macke
  • Brenda & Kyle Manning
  • Jill Moody
  • Deann Nystom
  • Jenna Schiefelbein
  • April Smart


Your donations are critical to the continued success of PAWS. Every dollar makes a difference!

You can donate online, by mail or in person by following the steps below. You can also set up recurring payments. If you can’t afford a monetary donation, below is a wish list of items we are always in need of to take care of the shelter animals. Again, every little helps. Thank you for your contribution!


Within the first 24 hours an animal is with Paws Animal Rescue, the following expenses incur. These expenses do not include daily needs like food, litter, toys, etc.

MALE CAT – $75.11Neuter, de-worming, Revolution (fleas, ticks, & mites), FVRCP vaccine, Rabies vaccine, FELV/FIV test
MALE DOG – $109.34 Neuter, de-worming, Frontline, DHLP Parvo vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, Rabies vaccine
FEMALE CAT – $114.62 Spay, de-worming, Revolution (fleas, ticks, & mites), FVRCP vaccine, Rabies vaccine, FELV/FIV test
FEMALE DOG – $119.23 Spay, de-worming, Frontline, DHLP Parvo vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, Rabies vaccine

Checks or Wish List items can be sent to the following mailing address:

Paws Animal Rescue,
PO Box 954, Pierre, SD 57501


Donations may be dropped off at 1530 N Lowell Avenue (behind Walmart off Airport Road):
Thursday 5:30 P.M. to 7:30 P.M.
Saturday 11:00 A.M. to 2:00 P.M.

Alternatively, call (605) 223-CATS and arrangements will be made for another drop off time or to pick up your donation.


Below is a list of donation items we are always in need of:

    • Temptations Cat treats
    • Cat beds and pillows
    • Clumping Litter
    • Purina One Sensitive System (dry cat food)
    • Bully Sticks for dogs (please no rawhides as they can cause digestive problems)
    • Nylabones
    • NexGard or Frontline for all weight groups
    • Purina One Adult Dog Food (lamb and rice)
    • Science Diet Puppy Food
    • Bleach
    • Borax
    • Dryer Sheets
    • Febreeze Fabric Freshener
    • Laundry Detergent (HE)
    • Clorox Wipes
    • Antibacterial Hand Soap
    • Paper Towels
    • Tall Kitchen Garbage Bags

Adoption Process

If you would like to adopt a loving cat or dog from us, please contact us via phone or email. Tell us what you’re looking for as well as your lifestyle and we’ll suggest some animals which might fit well into your life. Then we’ll set up a time to show you animals we think might be a perfect fit.

  • Applicants can now fill out the Online Adoption Form, or a three-page adoption application (pdf) must be completed and can be sent to [email protected] or handed in during open hours.
  • We will contact personal and vet references.
  • If you rent, written permission is required from your landlord.
  • You will be observed interacting with the animal.
  • We will ask you general questions.
  • If we feel the cat or dog is right for you, we’ll approve the adoption.

Please remember we are all volunteers and it may take a few days for us to review your application, set up appointments, etc.


Cats – $85.00 + $5.53 tax = $90.53
Includes: testing for Leukemia & FIV (we don’t take any cats which test positive), Leukemia vaccine, distemper vaccine, rabies vaccine, deworming, Revolution (fleas, ticks, and mites), and spay/neuter.

Dogs – $100.00 + $6.50 tax = $106.50
Includes: Parvo vaccine, rabies vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, deworming, Frontline Plus, and spay/neuter.