Los Angeles City Council
Poised To Vote On Ending Use Of
Elephants In Traveling Circuses

PAWS is pleased to report that on Tuesday, November 20, the Los Angeles Personnel & Animal Welfare Committee (PAW) voted to send its recommendation for an ordinance that would end the use of elephants in traveling circuses and prohibit the use of bullhooks in public displays to the full council for vote. Animal supporters showed up in force for this critical meeting -- so many in fact, that an overflow room was needed to seat everyone!


If the ordinance passes the full council vote, Los Angeles will become the largest U.S. city to restrict the use of elephants in circuses and also to ban the bullhook. The ordinance could go before the City Council in December. Securing this ban in Los Angeles will send a powerful message to other cities and counties that cruelty in the guise of entertainment will not be tolerated.


The Los Angeles Times editorial board has published an important editorial in support of the ordinance. Please read their full editorial here. You can send a letter to the editor at If you do, please keep the letter to 150 words or less, and be sure to include your full name, mailing address, phone number and email address. (Personal information is only seen by the letters editors and used for verification purposes.)


Nicholas, as a baby, performing in the circus.

Baby elephant Nicholas performing in the circus.

Note trainer on the left with bullhook in hand.

Nicholas now lives at PAWS' ARK 2000.

Since our founding in 1984, PAWS has contended that elephants cannot live a healthy, normal life while traveling and performing. In circuses they are immobilized by chains for most of their lives, spend long periods in cramped transport vehicles, and are subjected to cruel training. Handlers use the bullhook -- a steel rod resembling a fireplace poker -- to dominate elephants through fear and violence. In addition, traveling shows often display animals in substandard housing and unsafe conditions that compromise animal welfare as well as public safety.


Help PAWS ensure that Los Angeles is added to the growing list of cities and countries worldwide that have made important policy changes and enacted restrictions on circus practices involving wild animals (view current list). If you live or work in Los Angeles and would like to help with this campaign, please contact Catherine Doyle, PAWS' Director of Science, Research & Advocacy, at If you reside or work outside of Los Angeles, there are still important things you can do to help. Contact Catherine for more information.



DONATE $1, $5, $10 


New Videos: This month's featured residents

Arthur the Black Bear 

The following video, taken earlier this year when temperatures in the valley were still quite warm, shows Arthur eating one of his favorite treats, a frozen delite made of berries and melons. He had as much fun eating it as we did watching him!


Donate for Arthur's care here.

Adopt Arthur here, for yourself, or to give as a gift.


Arthur the black bear: warm-weather treats.

Arthur the black bear:

warm-weather treats.


Jackie the Coyote

Jackie, who lives at our Galt Sanctuary, is seldom seen, preferring to hide in the tall grass or behind the trees in her habitat. When people she knows approach, Jackie will often start vocalizing, wagging her tail, spinning around in circles and many times will flop on the ground in greeting.


Donate for Jackie's care here. Adopt Jackie here.


Jackie the Coyote
Jackie the Coyote
Holiday Gift Ideas For The Animal-Lover In Your Life
PAWS Animal Adoptions
If you would like to help our animals, one of the best ways is to become an "adoptive parent," or give a PAWS adoption as a gift to an animal lover in your life. PAWS adoptions are symbolic adoptions only. No animal will be sent!
PAWS Partnerships

Help us change the life of a victim of captivity by giving the gift of a PAWS Partnerships to someone in your life. Your gift helps support our sanctuary operations and the day-to-day care of the animals.

"Seeing The Elephant"
2013 Dates Announced!
One- or two-day educational getaways designed to provide a better understanding of elephants as individuals and their needs in captivity. Participants spend the day with PAWS co-founders and directors, Pat Derby and Ed Stewart, and the PAWS elephants.
PAWS Holiday Wish List
  • Pickups & Flatbed Trucks (3/4-ton+, 4x4 would be great, new or used.) Learn more about donating your vehicle to PAWS.

  • Small vehicle for running errands (2004+ with good MPG)

  • A gently used passenger van in good running condition for shuttling guests
  • Utility-type van, good condition, climate controlled for transporting animals
  • Stock/horse trailer in good condition, for transporting animals in large transport cages to and from the UC Davis veterinary hospital, and for future rescue transports. Standard hitch, not 5th wheel.
  • View our full wish list, here.
PAWS 2012 Holiday Open House
ARK 2000 opens on December 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for our annual Holiday Open House. Tickets for this event must be purchased in advance. Tickets are $50 adults; $25 for kids or seniors. For information on purchasing tickets, click on the calendar link below. 
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P. O. Box 849, Galt, CA 95632
(209) 745-2606