Performing Animal Welfare Society, December 8, 2011


Celebrating Thanksgiving

With Bob Barker


PAWS directors, Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, were delighted to host Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet, director of the DJ&T Foundation, for a Thanksgiving visit to see the wonderful habitats for bears and lions, and the third bull elephant barn - all funded by the Foundation.


bob_bearsMr. Barker and Ms. Burnet were greeted by curious bears, Boo-Boo, Winston and Jack, as they toured the outer area around the spacious, forested bear habitat. All bears were engaged in their early morning foray for acorns when the visitors arrived. Oma and Sampson remained at a distance, but fat little Cinnamon waddled down the hill to check for possible treats.


bob 2



Bolivia lions Camba, Daktari, Simba and Bambek sleepily watched the fascinated benefactors as they approached, but quickly flopped over to sleep in the morning sun in true lion fashion - quite a change from the snarling, frightened circus survivors we saw when they arrived from Bolivia.


Sheba, our female lion from Galt, was more alert, silently stalking the group from behind a large bush. Hope springs eternal in the world of female lions, the quintessential hunters; Sheba quietly waited for someone to stumble, allowing her to spring into action. After a few moments, she turned away and watched as a red-tailed hawk swooped past, patrolling the premises. Another quiet day at ARK 2000.


nancy_nicNicholas, the first bull elephant rescued on behalf of Mr. Barker, seemed to recognize his friends who have visited him before, and happily dusted, played, accepted a treat bag and blew the elephant version of a kiss at Nancy. Elephants identify and recognize individuals by smell, and often blow long breaths at each other in the process. It resembles blowing a kiss, and is a delightful behavior to watch.


Our guests joined Pat and Ed for Thanksgiving dinner, celebrating the many blessings enjoyed by the animals and provided by the generosity of the DJ&T Foundation. Just as they were sitting down for dinner, the phone rang with the news of the Toronto City Council's decision to send Thika, Toka and Iringa, the Toronto Zoo elephants, to ARK 2000. Although they were quite aware of the problems inherent in relocating elephants, and the challenges they will now face, everyone was happy and excited about the momentous decision.


buzzThanksgiving entertainment was provided by Pat and Ed's precocious housecats, Buzz and Julie. Julie focused most of her attention on Nancy; Buzz was so fascinated by Mr. Barker that she climbed into his lap whenever he sat down, purring and preening in a blatant display of cat adoration. Mr. Barker is quite obviously her favorite visitor.


Thank you Bob Barker and Nancy Burnet and the DJ&T Foundation, for your dedication and support to the PAWS' animals!


julieBuzz and Julie are two of the "Real Housecats of PAWS", a prestigious group of former feral domestic cats, a majority of which were rescued by PAWS board member, Ed Minghelli and his wife, Cindy. Ed and Cindy have been loyal supporters, and fierce activists, involved in PAWS' campaigns and rescues for nearly 20 years.


Trained, licensed wildlife rehabbers, the Minghellis have fostered, rescued and rehabilitated a variety of native wildlife: possums, skunks, squirrels, raccoons and many others.


Ed Minghelli has sat waiting all night with Pat in the freezing cold to monitor the unloading of circus elephants when they arrived in Las Vegas; he accompanied Ed Stewart on a grueling rescue of a bear incarcerated in a small cage at a convenience store in Wisconsin; and he and Cindy have participated in numerous other PAWS' campaigns to help captive wildlife.


"The Real Housecats of PAWS"


gordoThe issue of feral housecats straggling into our sanctuaries has been a problem for many years. They often carry diseases fatal to lions and tigers, and they reproduce rapidly if they are not caught and neutered. Since we are all cat lovers, the problem is compounded by our desire to help them which consumes a lot of the time allocated to the sanctuary residents.


We were so appreciative and grateful when Cindy and Ed Minghelli founded The Agee Memorial Wildlife Fund, Inc. (Fat Kitty City) in 1998. A non-profit corporation, Fat Kitty City is dedicated to ending needless animal suffering through spaying, neutering, socializing, adopting and other programs to feed and care for an endless stream of domestic dogs, cats and others.


galtofficeFor the past 13 years, PAWS has relied upon Fat Kitty City for all our domestic animal problems. We have sent many sick and starving felines on the verge of death to this remarkable haven where Cindy and Ed and a team of volunteers perform the magic of TLC, good veterinary care and superlative housing to transform snarling, defensive bundles of matted fur into loving, happy companions.


sylvesterThe Fat Kitty City Sanctuary is located in the Sacramento area foothills on a 20-acre, tree-studded, natural habitat where homeless and severely abused domestic animals (mostly cats and dogs) are provided grassy, spacious areas to run, play, jump, climb, chase and explore. They can go indoors or outside, as they wish, in an environment that replicates a natural home.


The "Real Housecats of PAWS" are former residents of Fat Kitty City, adopted under a rigorous screening program (even for us!) to be office kitties and personal pets for PAWS staff. Buzz, Julie, Sylvester, Gordo, Susie and Abby, are beloved members of the PAWS family, and we hope all of our supporters will visit the Fat Kitty City website to learn more about their wonderful work, to volunteer, to adopt an animal or to donate.feeding


Fat Kitty City provides a unique and very necessary service to homeless, abused and abandoned domestic animals.


Thank you Cindy and Ed for your dedication to all animals.


Pat Derby's blog: Rumblings From PAWS
Zoo vs. Sanctuary: The AZA Position
I have often wondered why PAWS continues to be a target for the perpetuation of myths versus facts by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) regarding sanctuaries. Why us? It is even more perplexing when one considers their silence when blatant animal abuse and neglect is exposed at one of their AZA-accredited or AZA-affiliated facilities like Have Trunk Will Travel.
When the Milwaukee County Zoo, an AZA-accredited facility, donated Lota, an Asian elephant, to a circus corporation, the transfer was negotiated with the full approval of AZA. Lota contracted TB while travelling with various circuses and was ultimately mandated by USDA to be sent to the Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee, a transfer protested by AZA who preferred having Lota perform in a circus to life in a sanctuary. Why?
Click here to read the rest of the story.



PAWS' veterinarian, Dr. Jackie Gai (right), performs an ultrasound exam and registered veterinary technician, Tami Chleborad (left), collects a blood sample, while Robert dozes peacefully under anesthesia.


Robert Gets A Checkup


In late November, Robert the bobcat underwent a physical examination. Robert's exact age is unknown but he is at least 15 years old.


Just as we visit our family doctor for routine checkups, animals need to be checked periodically to make sure they are in good health. As cats enter their "golden years" they are prone to developing heart disease, renal failure, dental problems, arthritis, and other issues.


PAWS veterinarian Jackie Gai, DVM, and assistant Tami Chleborad, gave Robert a thorough, head-to-toe exam including blood tests, x-rays, and ultrasound. Dr. Gai found that Robert has early signs of arthritis and mild age-related kidney disease, but he is otherwise in excellent shape. He is now receiving medications, hidden in his food, and is doing well.


Your donations help support the veterinary care of all the animals at PAWS. Through your generous support, we were able to recently purchase an ultrasound machine which has greatly enhanced the level of care we can provide. Please see our wish list for other items needed.




HR 3359 - Traveling Exotic Animal Protection Act

Help us end the use of exotic animals in traveling circuses.



ARK 2000 Holiday Open House
Saturday, December 10

11 a.m. - 2 p.m.

San Andreas, CA 

$50 per adult/$25 kids under 12 and seniors 62 and over.
Pre-paid reservations required. Call (209) 745-2606.


PAWS animal adoptions and partnerships make great gifts. Visit our website to learn more. Click here for more holiday gift ideas.

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